Sri Lanka whistling thrush

Myophonus blighi

The Sri Lanka whistling thrush is a whistling thrush in the family Muscicapidae. It is a resident endemic bird in Sri Lanka.

It is found in the highlands of Sri Lanka in jungle or other dense forest near water. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, frogs, earthworms and berries. It lays one or two eggs in a neat cup-shaped nest in a bush or on a ledge near water.

It does not form flocks, although several birds may be loosely associated in suitable habitat.

This is a small whistling thrush, at only 20 cm. Adult males are dark blue with a darker head and back. There are bright blue patches on the shoulders, supercilia and forehead. The female is brown above and chestnut below, but has a bright blue shoulder patch like the male.

The male sings its simple whistling song from trees, usually in deep cover.

This is a notoriously difficult species to see, even when the males are singing in the breeding season, which starts in February. It is very shy, scarce, localised and declining due to habitat loss. Perhaps the best chance is at dawn at Horton Plains National Park, 2000m up in the highlands of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka whistling thrush (Myophonus blighi) female Horton Plains NP, Sri Lanka. Jan 21, 2015. Geotagged,Myophonus blighi,Sri Lanka,Sri Lanka whistling thrush,Winter

Cultural

In Sri Lanka, this bird is known as ''Lanka Arangaya'' in the Sinhala language. The Whistling-thrush appears in a 75c Sri Lankan postal stamp.

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Status: Endangered
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyMuscicapidae
GenusMyophonus
SpeciesM. blighi
Photographed in
Sri Lanka