Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ashy Prinia

An Ashy Prinia photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

The Ashy Prinia, or the Ashy Wren-Warbler, is a common bird found throughout Sri Lanka and the Indian subcontinent. It's colours, an Ashy upper-part and buff underpart, and upright tail make it easy to identify. These images were shot in Anuradhapura in the north central province of Sri Lanka. It actually perched on this small branch and let me photograph it for quite a while. More info and images after the jump.

An Ashy Prinia photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Like most warblers, the Ashy Prinia is insectivorous and can be distinguished by the loud snapping noise it makes during flight. According to sources on the internet, no one knows for certain how this noise is produced. Possible sources of this noise include, the birds mandibles and the beating of the wings against the tail. The resident Prinia genus shows biannual moult which is rare among passerines.

An Ashy Prinia photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

The Ashy Prinia builds its nest close to the ground in a shrub or tall grass. A clutch usually consists of 3 - 5 eggs which are laid in a nest made of leaves. The eggs vary in colour from a brick red to a rich chestnut.  The eggs hatch in around 10 - 12 days. The breeding season varies with the locality but is mostly after the monsoons (December to March or August to October in Sri Lanka). The species is considered to be monogamous and both the male and the female incubate the eggs (to varying extents).  

An Ashy Prinia photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

These images were captured with the Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens. I was very close to the branch which the bird perched on and was quite surprised by how unconcerned it was with my presence.


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