Sri Lankan frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger)

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Pair of Sri Lankan frogmouths
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Sri Lankan frogmouth fact file

Sri Lankan frogmouth description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderStrigiformes
FamilyBatrachostomidae
GenusBatrachostomus (1)

Distinctive in both its appearance and its loud laughing song, the Sri Lankan frogmouth is a tropical bird related to the nightjars. So called because of its large, gaping mouth, the Sri Lankan frogmouth’s head is as wide as its body, and has a broad, flattened, hooked bill. The female is rusty red with sparse white freckling, whereas the male is grey and more heavily spotted with white. The tail feathers are long and narrow (2).

Also known as
Ceylon frogmouth.
Size
Length: 23 cm (2)
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Sri Lankan frogmouth biology

The Sri Lankan frogmouth is nocturnal, hunting insects at night and resting on branches during the day. It builds a nest in the fork of a tree from 2 – 12 metres above the ground, lining it with moss, small leaves, twigs and underfeathers (3). A single white egg is laid and is incubated by the female at night and the male during the day (2). The white chick is cared for over a period of weeks before dispersing (3).

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Sri Lankan frogmouth range

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Sri Lankan frogmouth habitat

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Sri Lankan frogmouth status

The Sri Lankan frogmouth is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern

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Sri Lankan frogmouth threats

The Sri Lankan frogmouth can inhabit shade-grown coffee plantations, which require the presence of the taller trees of native forest, and are therefore relatively ecologically sound. However, a recent trend has seen tea plantations becoming more profitable than coffee plantations, leading to the destruction of native forests. Habitat is also being lost to fires, forestry operations, water resource development, cultivation and grazing (4).

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Sri Lankan frogmouth conservation

The Sri Lankan frogmouth is found in several protected areas including the United Nation’s Biosphere Reserves. Outside these reserves it is necessary to discourage the loss of shade-grown coffee crops in favour of more damaging crops, possibly by the use of an incentive scheme. It is also important to increase the diversity of native shade-trees (4).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For more information on Biosphere Reserves see:

For more information on this and other bird species please see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Incubation
The act of incubating eggs, that is, keeping them warm so that development is possible.
Nocturnal
Active at night.
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References

  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (December, 2004)
    http://www.itis.gov/
  2. Wikipedia (December, 2004)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lanka_Frogmouth
  3. In Quest of the Frogmouth Nest (No series) (2002, d. Suresh Elamon).
  4. Shankar Raman, T.R. (2004) Effects of landscape matrix and plantations on birds in tropical rainforest fragments of the Western Ghats, India. CERC Technical Report No. 9. Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, India.
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Image credit

Pair of Sri Lankan frogmouths  
Pair of Sri Lankan frogmouths

© Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne
155 Model Farm Road
Colombo 8
Sri Lanka
gehan@jetwing.lk
http://www.jetwingeco.com

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