Sunday, Apr 16, 2023

Wildlife with W15 EP:03

by and Tharushan Fernando

Prepare to be mesmerized by the breathtaking birdlife of paradise and embark on an adventurous journey as you encounter a diverse array of captivating avian species.

Welcome back to Wildlife Spotting with W15! Let's dive into the fascinating world of our feathered friends. Our in-house naturalists have been hard at work capturing sightings of some truly amazing creatures of the sky.

Yellow Fronted Barbet

The yellow-fronted barbet, a stunning avian creature also known as Psilopogon flavifrons, is a dazzling sight to behold. This Asian barbet is a resident breeder that inhabits Sri Lanka's lush subtropical and tropical moist forests, wetlands, plantations, and rural gardens, soaring up to an altitude of 2,000 meters (6,600 feet). With its vivid green plumage, it wears a resplendent yellow crown and boasts striking blue patches beneath its eyes, on its throat, and on its chin. Its medium-sized body measures between 21-22 centimetres in length, and it weighs a mere 57-60 grams, making it a truly lightweight wonder. This charming bird predominantly feeds on scrumptious berries and fruits, but it is not uncommon for it to indulge in the occasional insect or two. When the time comes to nest, the yellow-fronted barbet looks for the perfect tree hole, where it lays its precious 2-3 eggs. In Sri Lanka, where this bird calls home, it is known as the mukalang kottoruwa, a name that rolls off the tongue with poetic beauty in the Sinhala language. Its cultural significance is such that it has even made an appearance on a 5-rupee Sri Lankan postal stamp, serving as a delightful reminder of this captivating bird's importance in the country's rich cultural heritage.



The shikra, a small bird of prey in the Accipitridae family, can be found across Asia and Africa. This raptor species has short, rounded wings and a narrow, somewhat long tail, with males having a red iris and females having a less red (yellowish-orange) iris and brownish upperparts. Juveniles have dark streaks and spots on the upper breast and a narrowly barred wing, while the tail has dark but narrow bands. The shikra's call is a pee-wee, with the first note being higher and the second being longer. There are several subspecies of the shikra found in different regions, including the larger and paler subspecies cenchroides found in Turkestan, Afghanistan, and eastern Iran, and the resident Indian population dussumieri. The nominate form is found in Sri Lanka and has somewhat darker grey upperparts. The African and southern African populations, A. b. sphenurus and A. b. polyzonoides, respectively, are migratory or more nomadic in their movements. In Asia, only the A. b. cenchroides subspecies is migratory. The shikra's closest relatives are other Accipiter hawks, and the species can be confused with the Chinese goshawk and Eurasian sparrowhawk.


Oriental Honey Buzzard

The majestic Crested Honey Buzzard, also known as the Oriental Honey Buzzard, is a sight to behold for bird enthusiasts in Sri Lanka. This forest-loving species is primarily a migrant to the island, with a small resident population that adds to its charm. With two races, P.p. orientalis and P.p. ruficollis, the latter being the commoner migrant and resident subspecies, this raptor is a true wonder of nature. During the winter months, the population may increase as migrant birds arrive, filling the air with the buzz of excitement. While the species is considered rare as a breeding resident, it has been known to build nests and mate, with young birds being observed as well.

The Oriental Honey-Buzzard is a creature of the forest, but it does venture into open areas, adding to the excitement of bird watchers. It feeds primarily on wild bees and wasps, raiding their nests for their larvae, and also consumes other insects, lizards, and small mammals. The bird's unique diet is not the only fascinating aspect of its lifestyle; its nesting behaviour is also intriguing. In India, this species builds its nest with sticks, twigs, and green leaves, carefully crafted in a forest tree where it lays two eggs.


If you're a passionate bird watcher in search of a new adventure, look no further than W15 Hanthana and W15 Lake Gregory. These locations offer the perfect base to explore a unique terrain teeming with birds of all shapes and sizes. With the help of our in-house naturalists, you'll have the opportunity to spot some of the most beautiful creatures of the sky, all while enjoying absolute luxury and comfort amidst the hills.

Don't miss out on the chance to discover more incredible wildlife sightings! Stay tuned to the W15 Collection's Press Room for the latest updates and amazing photographs of the natural world. Keep your eyes peeled for some truly awe-inspiring spottings that are sure to leave you breathless.

Tharushan Fernando

Tharushan Fernando

Content Creator

Former journalist, copywriter, concept developer and digital media professional. Has been in the field of professional writing for over 10 years, with experience in a variety of industries, including advertising, content writing and news. He is currently working as the Group Content Writer for Steradian Capital Investments and W15 collection .

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