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Common Name : Indian Three-toed Kingfisher     -       Scientific Name : Ceyx erithaca       -       Other Name : Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher / Black-backed Kingfisher (E), Ran Pilihuduwa (S)
Kudapatessa
05/08/2016
Kudapatessa
05/08/2016
Kudapatessa
05/08/2016

This exquisitely beautiful kingfisher is a breeding resident found from the lowlands up to the mid hills. It’s the smallest kingfisher species found in the country.  Other than in Sri Lanka it is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

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

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

Other than in Jaffna Peninsula and the Mannar Island I have seen this kingfisher throughout the wet and dry lowlands up to mid hills. The highest altitude at which I have seen it so far has been at Meemure in the Knuckles Forest Reserve at 1310 meters. I have often seen this beautiful bird perched on tiny branch in secluded shady locations along narrow streams and waterways. During the nesting season these active little birds will regularly visit their nest holes with skinks and disappear in to the nest hole. In the wet zone I have seen it at many locations including Bodinagala, Kitulgala, Labugama, Meethirigala, Udawattakele in Kandy, Kanneliya, Matale and Sinharaja forest reserve. In the dry zone I have seen it at Wellawaya, Habarana, Pidurangala, Sigiriya and Udawalawa National Parks.

This is not uncommon at Wilpattu but it is seldom seen due to its very fast flight. I have often seen it due to my recognition of its call made while flying across. I have seen this species at many locations including Thammanna Wala, Kombansanchaipooval, Tala Wila, and Manikkapola Uttu and at Kudapatessa.