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Common Name : Banded Crake     -       Scientific Name : Rallina eurizonoides       -       Other Name : Slaty-legged Crake (E), Dara Korawakka (S)
Hunuwilagama
03/03/2019

This is a species that was considered to be a migrant to the country until September 2011where nesting was found in the wet zone. Since then it is regarded as a rare breeding resident confined to the wet zone. During the migrant season their numbers increase with the birds that arrive from the mainland and, though nowhere common, they may be seen in the wet zone, higher hills and also in the dry lowlands. This species is also native to India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Considering that only a handful of records exist of the breeding birds in the country the conservation status of the resident species is regarded as “ Critically Endangered” (National Red List 2012).

This is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

On the 17th of September 2011 my self along with Deepal Warakagoda and Uditha Hettige observed and photographed a Banded Crake with a juvenile in a home garden at Eheliyagoda planted with Tea and Pepper. The owner of the property also showed us the nest, which was built on a pepper vine. It was a large mass of dried leaves and sticks well concealed and was hardly visible. I have seen this species in the Sinharaja forest reserve, Galle and at Kiriella. During the migrant season Banded Crakes appear to be entering the country from the west coast as exhausted individuals are some times found in the home gardens in Colombo.

My first record of this species in the dry zone was in Wilpattu. In March 2019 Namal Kamalgoda and Hemantha Wimalasena of Wilpattu Safari Camp in Hunuwilagama informed me that a Banded Crake is seen at the back of their camp where wastewater was flowing out in to a thicket adjoining a paddy field. On the third of March 2019 Namal kindly allowed me to set up my equipment at the back of his camp where the bird was seen. In less than an hour I was observing a beautiful specimen of a Banded Crake through my binoculars. The bird was quite shy but I managed to get a few record shots. This bird was seen throughout the season at the same location and was gone by mid march indicating that it was a migrant.