Thursday, February 2, 2012

Common Wood-Shrike - Yala, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Common Woodshrike photographed in Yala, Sri Lanka
Common Wood-Shrike (Tephrodornis pondicerianus) - Yala, Sri Lanka

The Common Wood-Shrike is a member of the helmetshrike family Prionopidae and is found throughout Southern Asia. The sub-species found in Sri Lanka is sometimes considered a separate species, the Sri Lanka Woodshrike. I photographed them in Yala and Anuradhapura in July.

More photographs inside.

A photograph of a Common Woodshrike photographed in Yala, Sri Lanka
Common Wood-Shrike (Tephrodornis pondicerianus) - Yala, Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka the Common Wood-Shrike is found throughout the dry zone and up to the mid hills. It can be seen in the wet zone as well but is rarer and localised. In Asia the  bird is found in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand and Laos.

A photograph of a Common Woodshrike photographed in Yala, Sri Lanka
Common Wood-Shrike (Tephrodornis pondicerianus) - Yala, Sri Lanka

The female of this species is duller than the male and appears to be slightly brown in colour. They are often seen in pairs and this was the case in Yala. The bird in the second photograph on this post is most likely a male and the other photographs are of females.  It is not a small bird and was easy to spot in the mid canopy. Fortunately they flew down onto lower branches and I was able to shoot a few clear frames of the bird.

A photograph of a Common Woodshrike photographed in Yala, Sri Lanka
Common Wood-Shrike (Tephrodornis pondicerianus) - Yala, Sri Lanka

These photographs were taken with the Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens. From a photography point of view, the fact that the bird was above eye level was a bit frustrating as the angle distorted the proportions of the bird.



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