Duminda S. B. Dissanayake, Lasanthika D. Thewarage and Mane Akshaya Mohan

Nesting behaviour and ecology of the White-browed Fantail Flycatcher (Rhipidura aureola) in Sri Lanka

Abstract The White-browed Fantail Flycatcher (Rhipidura aureola) is a widely distributed species in tropical regions of the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast Asia. We determined the breeding biology and nest site characteristics of R. aureola in Sri Lanka during 2012 to 2017. All the nests observed were small cup-shaped and without a ‘tail’ extending below the nest base. Both male and female R. aureola built their nests within 9–13 days with an average mean external diameter, mean internal diameter, and mean depth of, respectively, 6.4 ± 0.32, 5.6 ± 0.22, and 2.9 ± 0.21 cm. The R. aureola we found used various habitats such as home gardens, forest boundaries, sanctuaries, man-made tanks/water bodies, stream banks, tea plantations and road edges to build their nests. We did not find any change in clutch size (2–3 eggs) with different elevation gradients. The eggs were oval-shaped with the ground colour of pale warm yellow-brown to pink and lots of spots or blotches in dark gray-brown. More than 60% of nests were built in a high to medium range of visibility to predators, without a specific location or tree preference, which resulted in nest failure due to predation by domestic cats or birds of prey. Also, we found nest failure due to washing away by abundant rains. Detailed studies on ecological and environmental parameters with respect to nesting or breeding success will help to better understand the species.


Doi https://doi.org/10.35513/21658005.2019.1.1

Keywords White-browed Fantail Flycatcher; nest; ecology; Sri Lanka

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