Confirmed again, I am a geek.
Also confirmed is that this bird is the
Jungle Babbler (Turdoides striata) Yellow-Billed Babbler (Turboides affinis), also known locally as the Seven Sisters since the bird lives in flocks of 7 to 10 birds. In Sinhala, it’s called demalichcha. (ETA: It looks like the main difference – as far as I can tell – between the Jungle Babbler and the Yellow-Billed Babbler – is the colour of the bill. Thanks to e4c5/Raditha Dissanayake for catching my mistake.)
I started looking at bird sites for the proper names for local birds – you know, like the ones that visit the tree outside my kitchen window when I’m cooking, like this guy, or visit the tree outside our front balcony or the like. And I like knowing not just local names, but also the scientific names. Makes it easier to make sure I’m talking about the same bird as someone else.
And to that end, I came across a few very excellent websites with such relevant information, some with pictures (a necessity for me!), some without. Here are some of them:
- Endemic birds of Sri Lanka. Complete with common English name, Sinhala name, and scientific name. Not all of the birds I happily watch are here, though, so they’re obviously not endemic ones. 26 species are listed.
- Endemic birds of Sri Lanka. Yeah, not very creative with titles, but hey, it gets the point across. A list of the 26 endemic birds with links to pages that have a picture of the bird and a little bit more information on each bird.
- Sri Lanka Birds blog. If you want to geek out about bird counts and other such things, check it out. Lots of esoteric bird info.
- Birds of Sri Lanka, the Complete Checklist. Includes all birds that are either endemic or visit Sri Lanka. Long long list. Includes scientific name and common name, but no other information on that page, nor do the bird names link to other information. Still, a complete list will prove to be useful.
- Birds of Sri Lanka, Endemic Birds. A list of all endemic birds in Sri Lanka with links to much more information, including a map of Sri Lanka showing the areas the birds inhabit. Unfortunately, they’ve chosen a blinding colour scheme of red links on a blue background which make it difficult to read anything hyperlinked.
For me, it means that my job of identifying names and species of the birds I see is made much easier. Fantastic news!
Edited to add:
And another bird site for Sri Lanka birds. Pick the general shape of the bird and theoretically find the bird you’re looking to identify. I say theoretically because it ain’t as easy as it looks. For me, anyway.