Monday, 27 February 2012

Tailor bird

The Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) is a tiny bird that is more heard of than seen. Its name is one of the more famous ones but not as many have seen or will recognize the bird. It is a very shy bird and is usually hidden by its small size and camouflaged plumage within the leaves of trees.

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However, it is a loud bird and can be heard before it is spotted. The call is much louder than what is expected for such a small bird. When it calls, the throat swells and reveals the concealed black spots on the sides of the neck.

Below is the call of the bird:

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When spotted its distinctive features are the greenish upper body plumage, long upright tail and the rust coloured forehead and crown. It has a rather long and pointed bill, with the upper mandible darker and the lower mandible a fleshy colour. The legs are straw coloured to pale reddish.

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The tail is long and pointed in summer and short and rounded in winter and the bird carries it almost erect in a wren-like fashion. In the breeding season, the male acquires two central tail feathers that are two inches longer than the winter feathers.

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The bird is more famous for its nest, which is built by sewing two or more leaves together and building a soft nest within the cavity within. The sewing is done with threads of cobweb, silk from cocoons, wool or cottons. The breeding season is principally from May-July. Around 6 eggs are laid.

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It is a common garden bird and is commonly seen around human habitation.

 

  Sighting Information:
Location: Sarjapur
Date: 26th Feb 2012
Time: Morning; 8:50 AM
Weather: Sunny morning after overnight rains
Other Details: Seen foraging among the branches of a tree along with a black-headed cuckooshrike.