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Common Name : Black-fronted Babbler     -       Scientific Name : Rhopocichla atriceps       -       Other Name : Dark-fronted Babbler (E), Hisa Kalu Demalichcha (S)
Hunuwilagama
04/24/2016
Hunuwilagama
04/24/2016
Hunuwilagama
04/24/2016

This a breeding resident species found through out the country. It is an active little bird that moves in the forest in small parties that is more often heard than seen. Two races are recognized based on the colour of the upper parts. Rhopocichla atriceps nigrifrons found in the wet zone has more rufous on its back compared to the dry zone race Rhopocichla atriceps siccatus. Other than in Sri Lanka this species is only found in the Western Ghats in India.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red List 2012).

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

This is a species that I have seen through out the country from very small forest patches to the largest forest reserves. In October 1996 I observed a small flock of 4 birds in the Kotte Marshes. It is common in all the wet zone forests. It is found in the highest hills and I have seen it in the Horton Plains national park at an altitude of 2300 meters. In the north I have seen it at Omanthai but not in the Mannar Island.

It is a common species in Wilpattu but is a difficult species to photograph as they move quite fast. The best method to photograph them would be to stay at a water hole during the dry season where many species arrive to quench their thrust.  This species can be seen through out the park.