Endemic species “Level 2**” (“star“) – published on 4th of June 2018
See Phasianidae family (partridges, francolins, grouses…)
In French: Galloperdrix de Ceylan en français
This bird, which which superficially looks like a regular francolin, is a classic terrestrial “hen” of Sri Lanka’s primary forests. It exists mainly in the mountainous regions of the south-west but also more locally in the plains of the centre and South. It is a shy, discreet albeit sometimes noisy, uncommon and therefore difficult to see. While most of Sri Lanka’s endemics are often found by ornithologists who seek them, this species regularly missed by foreign visitors who make a short birding trip
Protected forests such as Sinharaja, Uda Walawe and the Hortons plains are the best sites look for it. Some twitchers try to attract the spurfowl with playback, but it is not advisable: it is an additional disturbance for this species already decreasing, and which will undoubtedly soon join the too long list of officially threatened species. It suffers from deforestation, as do all animals that depend on natural forests.
Its behaviour is classic and reminds of other birds in the family such as the Sri Lanka Junglefowl or the Red-necked Spurfowl, for example. It nests on the ground and pecks seeds and invertebrates, like almost all other “hens”.
As expected, it is a monotypic species in such a small range. It is genetically distinct, belonging to a genus of three species; the other two, quite different, being endemic to India.
[Species #155 of the Holistic Encyclopedia of Birds project]
All photos and text are © Valéry Schollaert