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Common Name : Black-capped Purple Kingfisher     -       Scientific Name : Halcyon pileata       -       Other Name : Black-capped Kingfisher, Dam Pilihuduwa (S)
Kumbuk Wila
12/30/2013
Kumbuk Wila
12/30/2013
Kumbuk Wila
12/30/2013

This is rare but regular migrant to the country. It is widely distributed in Asia and is found in India, China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. It is a resident in most of its range but the northern populations are migratory and will winter in Thailand, Borneo, Java and Sri Lanka.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (IUCN Red List)

Black-capped Purple Kingfisher is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

My first sighting of this rare species was in Udawalawa National Park on the 26th of March 1995 at a water hole referred to as the Buruthagollawa Tank. It was perched on a decaying tree stump at the centre of the water hole. I recorded this species at the same locality on 10 different occasions during the migrant seasons until 4th April1998. It would be seen on the same perch year after year. Even though this bird was not ringed and thus we cannot be certain the behaviour suggested that it was the same bird that visited the park during the above mentioned years.

Thereafter in 2004 Herpetologist Mendis Wickramasinghe saw another bird at Waskaduwa just beyond the city limits of Panadura. I observed this bird during the season at the same locality until 2007 during each of my visits.

On the 30th of December 2013 I was thrilled to see and photograph this rare species at Kumbuk Wila in Wilpattu National Park.