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A natural Red Riding Hood in the wild - The Red Faced Malkoha

Sinharaja Rainforest 

Where to find them

Pictured here is the Red Faced Malkoha, Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus at the Sinharaja Rainforest, captured by our naturalist Mindaka Mahela. The Red Faced Malkoha is a canopy species who prefer being on the tops of all trees found in thick undisturbed forests. It occasionally glides to the forest floor in areas of particularly dense undergrowth. These birds are said to breed during the months of January to May and possibly during the month of August, during summer - which is however yet to be confirmed as there is no evidence to support the second breeding cycle. 

Lesser known facts

During the period of breeding, it was seen that the birds work on creating a nest, which is however observed to be ‘carelessly’ put together with saucers of grass, roots and twigs. Although their nests are observed to be untidy to the human observer, the nests should not be anthropomorphized as careless - as it is built to look so to be camouflaged from predators.

Fun facts

In May 1978, Shirley Perera observed a breeding attempt on the banks of the Walawe River, at the Udawalawe National Park. It was observed that this well-anchored and well-concealed nest was built on the topmost fork about 9 to 12 meters off the ground in a Kunumella tree Diospyros malabarica. The nest was created using 15 to 20 centimeter long twigs, with a deep cup which was neatly lined with leaf midribs and presumably created to have an untidy appearance to keep away predators on top of this Kunumella tree. 

During this time, Shirley Perera observed that both sexes worked together to build this nest, with the male often following the female uttering a soft ‘kree-kree-kree’ during this building process. However, this nest was unfortunately abandoned owing to the disturbance caused by a pair of Greater Racket-tailed Drongos, Dicrurus paradiseus, that were nesting nearby.
 

 

Much more than just a great place to stay

"Thanks to our guide Avinka we had five great safaris staying four nights just after reopening this February. The staff made us feel so very welcome during the entire stay.

The safaries are just wonderful, and having a great guide in your vehicle makes a big difference. Avinka can spot animals you would never see and we were even lucky enough to sight leopards on the trees, close to our vehicle, and also running through the field. The wildlife is so exciting that you will have a great experience even if you don‘t see any leopards. We also had a great driver, which is essential if you drive through difficult territory. You are being taken care of the entire time, so even for those who do safaris for the first time, you will always feel safe.

The camp itself is very comfortable, you get everything you can think of, and on top of the great food being served with so much attention and friendliness. You also get wonderful vegetarian and vegan options. They put on bonfires at night, which makes it unforgettable.
When booking and making plans, you get great support from the headquarters, even if it gets difficult since you have to change your plans.
The best thing what can happen to you at the end of a vacation is when you are a bit sad to leave the place, having experienced something to remember forever, and the team does everything for this to happen. Thank you so much"

Axel S wrote, Traveled with family
January 2021

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