Friday, April 2, 2010

Indian Robin

An Indian Black Robin perched on a branch, photographed in Sri Lanka
A male Indian Robin

The Indian Robin is a common bird found in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. The males of the northern (Indian) population have a brown back which gradually reduces in extent southwards, with populations in the southern peninsular having a completely black back. More info and images after the jump.

An Indian Black Robin perched on a branch, photographed in Sri Lanka
A male Indian Robin

The Indian robin resembles a smaller version of the Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) in shape and habits. The males found in Sri Lanka have backs which are black in colour with rufous undertail coverts. It also shows a white patch on the wings when in flight. The female is dark brown in colour. It is a common resident garden bird in the dry lowlands of Sri Lanka and is also seen in the mid hills but it is rare and scattered in the wet zone.

An Indian Black Robin perched on a branch, photographed in Sri Lanka
A male Indian Robin

The Indian Robin feeds on insects but is known to take frogs, especially when feeding young at the nest.  The breeding season is generally from September to December but varies depending on region and usually begins with the rainy season. During this season, males sing and display by lowering and raising their tail feathers while strutting around the females. Males guard their territory and drive away other males and protect their territory by flying with slow wing beats from perch to perch. 

An Indian Black Robin perched on a branch, photographed in Sri Lanka
A male Indian Robin

Nests are built between rocks, in holes in walls or in a tree hollow. Nests are lined with animal hairs and it has been  noted that many nests have pieces of snake sloughs. The eggs are oval in shape and are fairly glossy. A clutch usually consist of 3 - 4 eggs. Only the females incubate the eggs which hatch in 10 - 12 days. Both the male and the female feed the the young. The same nest may be reused in subsequent years.

An Indian Black Robin perched on a branch, photographed in Sri Lanka
A male Indian Robin

These images were taken in Anuradhapura and Kandy. I used the 7D and the 100-400mm lens to capture them. The birds were not shy and allowed me to get quite close to them . 
  

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