Look into my eyes : Brown Fish Owl

Mahoora safari experience can be identified as the best safari experience that a traveler can get in Sri lanka. Our professional naturalist and the campsite staff knows wilderness to the best and this is another real time Safari Example.

It was a warm day at yala national park our naturalist Raj was doing a safari with our clients and he heard a familiar voice.He suspected that the Brown Fish-owl must be near by.He was right !!!!  he able to capture this beautiful photo of Brown Fish-owl from 35meters away from the safari jeep.

The Brown Fish Owl

This species is a part of the family known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most living owls. It inhabits the warm subtropical and humid tropical parts of continental Asia and some offshore islands.

Ceylon’s smallest kingfisher

Black-backed Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca). Ceylon’s smallest kingfisher. I had to waist 60 shots in 3 successive days, to get this photo as it’s bright glistening colors make the it in-unfocussed and blurred. It was in the riverine forests and Wet zone forests in dark shady areas. Unlike the name suggests, I saw it was foraging on insects considerably..

Safe heaven of Leopards : Semi wild Leopard zones

They are not born free but under grand plans on the drawing boards of the National Zoological Gardens at Dehiwala, they will live free under the Special Leopard Conservation Project to be launched next month. Under this project, eager men, women and children will be able to see sleek and beautiful leopards sauntering around in a natural environment rather than pacing up and down in restricted cages.

There is tremendous potential for tourism as the leopards can be seen in the semi-wild. The 500-acre Safari Park is at Ridiyagama close to the Madunagala Sanctuary and 40 acres would be for leopards. Free Leopard Zones would have the primary objective of conservation, as this Big Cat species is not only endemic but also endangered. A subsidiary benefit would be the funds that would flow in from visitors, both foreign and local, who wish to see them in their natural habitat, it is learnt.

News source :  Sunday times news paper


The Beautiful Stranger

Mahoora found some thing rear from a news paper in recent days and it is to worthy to keep only for us.So Mahoora decided to come up with another blog post to share this news with our world wide friends and fans.

Recently villagers of Mahamookalanya found something unusual form a school garden of that area.most of the villagers said its a 30 cm large butterfly but actually it is a moth. the real name of this stranger is Tussore silk Moth.

News source form Dailey news.

A moth is an insect related to the butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. Moths form the majority of this order; there are thought to be about 160,000 species of moth (nearly ten times the number of species of butterfly), with thousands of species yet to be described. Most species of moth are nocturnal, but there are crepuscular and diurnal species.

Sri lankan snake eater Crested Serpent-eagle

Yala national park can be identified as a good place to spot birds and to do birding safaris and bird photography.This beautiful raptor captured to Raj’s camera eye when he was doing a birding safari with our Mahoora clients at Yala national park.Crested Serpent-eagle is amazing raptor who prefer to eat snakes as his main food source.But some times we can see that they are eating insects,small baby birds apart from their main meal as a snack of survival. According to Raj’s idea Crested Serpent-eagle is not a shy bird there for we can see him very closely in a safari tour.

Some information about this snake killer

The Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela) is a medium-sized bird of prey that is found in forested habitats across tropical Asia. Within its widespread range, there are considerable variations and some authorities prefer to treat several of its subspecies as completely separate species.[In the past, several species including the Philippine Serpent Eagle (S. holospila), Andaman Serpent Eagle (S. elgini) and South Nicobar Serpent Eagle (S. klossi) were treated as subspecies of the Crested Serpent Eagle.

This medium-large, dark brown eagle is stocky, with rounded wings and a short tail. Its short black and white fan-shaped nuchal crest gives it a thick-necked appearance. The bare facial skin and feet are yellow. The underside is spotted with white and yellowish-brown. When perched the wing tips do not reach until the tail tip. In soaring flight, the broad and paddle-shaped wings are held in a shallow V. The tail and underside of the flight feathers are black with broad white bars. Young birds show a lot of white on the head.The breeding season is mainly in winter to spring. The nest is a large platform built high on a tree. Both birds in a pair build the nest but the female alone incubates.

Hide and seek game of Ceylon Small Barbet

It was another safari day for Raj our senior naturalist..it took only 10 minutes out of the safari camp..suddenly He got an invitation from a beautiful Barbet bird to play hide and seek game..according to raj’s idea this is a newly built Barbet house and this young Barbet is checking weather its home is comfortable.Wilpattu national park is full of wildlife mysteries like this and that’s why we are inviting the entire world to experience Mahoora.    Crimson-fronted Barbet or Ceylon Small Barbet or Small Barbet (Megalaima rubricapillus) is an Asian barbet endemic to Sri Lanka. The Malabar Barbet endemic to the Western Ghats of India used to be treated as a subspecies of this species.Barbets and toucans are a group of near passerine birds with a worldwide tropical distribution. The barbets get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills.

Brahminy Starling

Early morning as usual raj starts his safari with our Mahoora clients.Another amazing bird captured to his camera eye,near to Yala junction.This is Brahminy Starling.Like most starlings, the Brahminy Starling is omnivorous, eating fruit and insects. They have been known to feed on the fruits of Thevetia peruviana which are toxic to many vertebrates.These birds are not as arboreal as the Grey-headed Mynas and they form small flocks that mix with other mynas on grass covered ground. The sometimes forage beside grazing cattle. They also visit flowers for nectar, particularly Salmalia, Butea monosperma and Erythrina. They roost communally in large numbers in leafy trees, often in the company of parakeets and other mynas.

It builds its nest in tree holes or artificial cavities. The breeding season is March to September but varies with location, being earlier in southern India. Both sexes take part in nest building. The nest is lined with grass, feathers and rags. The normal clutch is 3-4 eggs which are pale bluish green. The eggs hatch in about 12 to 14 days. Two or three broods may be raised in succession.

Ceylon Hill White-eye at Horton Plains

This amazing picture captured by our senior naturalist raj at Horton plains when he was doing a nature walk with our clients.This bird is slightly larger than the Oriental White-eye (about 11 cm long) which it replaces above 4000 ft. The upper parts of the body and sides of neck are dark olive green. The rump appears paler green while the crown and forehead appear darker. The wings and tail are brown edged with green on the back. The typical ring of tiny white feathers around the eye is present. The lores are dark and there is a dark streak below the eye.

The chin, throat and upper breast are greenish-yellow as are the thighs and vent. The belly region is grayish white. The dark bill has a slaty base to the lower mandible. The legs are dark. The iris is yellow to reddish-brown.This species can be distinguished from the widespread Oriental White-eye, Zosterops palpebrosus, by its larger size, duller green back and more extensive yellow on the breast. It has a darker patch between the eye and the bill.


It is sociable, forming large flocks which only separate on the approach of the breeding season. It builds a tree nest and lays 3 unspotted pale blue eggs.


Tourist birds live in harmony at Yala

Like other bee-eaters, this species is a richly coloured, slender bird. It is about 9 inches (16–18 cm) long with about 2 inches made up by the elongated central tail-feathers. The sexes are not visually distinguishable. The entire plumage is bright green and tinged with blue especially on the chin and throat. The crown and upper back are tinged with golden rufous. The flight feathers are rufous washed with green and tipped with blackish. A fine black line runs in front of and behind the eye.

Black-headed Ibis

Wilpattu national park can be identified as one of the Best national parks in Sri Lanka to spot birds and to do birding salaries.our naturalist Raj captured this above picture of Black-headed Ibis while he was doing the morning safari with our clients.

The Black-headed Ibis or Oriental White Ibis  is a species of wading bird of the ibis family Threskiornithidae which breeds in South Asia and Southeast Asia from Pakistan to India, Sri Lanka east up to Japan. It builds a stick nest in a tree and lays 2–4 eggs.

It occurs in marshy wetlands inland and on the coast, where it feeds on various fish, frogs and other water creatures, as well as on insects. It walks about actively on marshy land probing with its bill into soft mud and often feeds in shallow water with its head momentarily submerged. Like storks and Spoonbills, it lacks a true voice-producing mechanism and is silent except for peculiar ventriloquial grunts uttered when nesting.