The misfortune of fame

Kumana National Park

Fun Facts

The fame of the White-rumped Shama stretches back through the ages. At one time, Its melodious voice used to fill the forests with birdsong, but this vocal talent was its very doom. As word of its famed warbling spread, it led to the capture and caging of these delicate little birds, simply because people wanted to keep them in their homes as pets. Unfortunately, captivity was no place for the Shama’s mating rituals which required lots of room for a complex mating dance and displays with fanned out feathers. This has led to the decline of the Shama population and even though the practice of caging them is not prevalent anymore, they are now much less plentiful.

Did you know?

The fame of the Shama was so widespread that Ludwig Koch of Germany made a recording of Shama birdsong all the way back in 1889! This is considered to be one of the first recordings of birdsong and was made on an Edison Wax Cylinder.


Although populations in other tropical countries seem to be recovering slowly, in Sri Lanka the Shama is mostly restricted to protected areas like National Parks. Which is why the Mahoora and Big Game Safaris campsites are great places to see these birds, as they are situated right on the edge of the parks.



Amazing experience - great company values

We had a wonderful stay at yala camp - great accommodation / food / safari. The staff were all outstanding - all full of passion for their role to make sure we had an unforgettable experience and absolutely committed to providing an ethical product. This company provides a perfect safari experience - no plastics / sustainable / local produce / knowledgeable committed staff. An honour to be a guest and support them."

J K wrote, Traveled as a couple
December 2019

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