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Common Name : Velvet-fronted Nuthatch     -       Scientific Name : Sitta frontalis       -       Other Name : Nil Panukurulla
Panikkar Villu to Nelumwila

This is a breeding resident found throughout the country from the highest hills to the lowlands excluding the extreme north. This interesting species is found in Southern Asia from Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka east to south China and Indonesia.

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 unique bird that moved up and down the tree trunks and branches. I have seen this species in tall forests throughout the island except in Jaffna Peninsula and the Mannar Island. In the dry zone national parks such as Yala and Udawalawa I have seen it in the tall riverine forests. In the wet zone I have seen it in the large forested areas such as Sinharaja, Knuckles, Peak wilderness as well as at small fragmented forest patches such as Meethirigala and Labugama Kalatuwawa. The highest altitude at which I have seen it has been at Horton Plains National Park at 2300 meters.

This is a very common species in the forested areas of Wilpattu but is seldom seen as it is usually found in the canopy. This species moves with the small mixed feeding flocks and can be detected by the recognition of its characteristic call.