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  • Jody
    todayearly Marchtwo weeks ago One of my favorite birds is the Brown-headed Barbet. I loved these birds' songs long before I knew who they were, got into birding, or tryed my hand at photographing birds. I find them to be pretty shy though. In early March, I discovered one pounding away making a nest on a dead tree near Thalangama Lake, where I try to walk every day. It was so engrossed in what it was doing that it didn't even care that I was nearby. Then quarantine came, and for two months I couldn't check back on the site. Once we were free to return, and walk (with masks), I checked again over and over, and figured too much time had passed. Then one morning I spotted one of the barbets coming out of the hole, so I kept checking back, keeping a distance (bridge camera with 1200 zoom). Saw it a few times, and nothing again for the last couple of weeks, so I thought maybe the time had passed. This morning I saw one of them again, on a branch near the hole! There aren't a lot of good books on the birds of Sri Lanka, but I do have a couple I keep on hand and reference frequently. It's often the case - as in this instance - that I witness something and then learn more about it. Primary breeding season is February to July (fits my timeframe), and "the bird, working solitarily, hammers and pecks out a hole in a soft-wooded dead stump or branch" (G.M. Henry, A Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka, p. 324). I also learned from the guide that the calls I love so much are the pair keeping in touch with one another from some distance.
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