Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sri Lankan Junglefowl

There are four species of junglefowl, all found in southeast Asia. One of those species, the red junglefowl, is the likely ancestor of the domestic chicken. One of the other species, the Sri Lankan junglefowl, also known as the Ceylon junglefowl, is endemic to Sri Lanka and is the national bird of Sri Lanka. 
Sri Lankan junglefowl in Yala NP.
Male and female Sri Lankan junglefowl are sexually dimorphic. The male is much larger than the female and resembles a large rooster. It has orange/red body plumage, a purple/black tail and wings, feathers on the mane (from the head to the bottom of the spine) are gold, and the face has bare red skin and wattles. The comb is red with a yellow center. 
Yellow mark on comb, red face and wattles, gold neck feathers. 
Purple/black wing and tail feathers.
The female has dull brown plumage with white patterning on the lower belly and breast. 
Female in Yala NP.
We saw our first one in Minneriya National Park and subsequently saw many of them in Yala National Park and a couple in Bundala National Park. 

One particularly fun sighting was a male and female in a mating ritual where the male was doing some frantic scratching in the dirt and both were bobbing and weaving. 
Male and female together.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the more dramatic male-female contrasts. I must admit that it makes me giggle to think of a chicken as being the national bird.