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Heron

Maakana / މާކަނާ

You might encounter one of them during your stay with us. They are called the Grey Heron. They are a slow flight, with its long neck retracted (S-shaped). This is characteristic of herons and bittern, and distinguishes them from storks, cranes, and spoonbills, which extend their necks. They fly with slow wing-beats and glides for short distances. It sometimes soars, circling to considerable heights. The birds spend much time on the ground, striding about or standing still for long periods with an upright stance, often on a single leg.

Their diet consists of fish and eels, as well as amphibians, crabs, molluscs, crustaceans, aquatic insects, small rodents, small birds and plant matter (although this may be incidental, or only to aid in pellet formation).

Asian Koel

Koveli / ކޮވެލި

Among the resident birds in the Maldives, Asian Koel or Dhivehi koveli is a familiar bird which lives on the Islands. You can identify the gender through their feature easily, the male is bluish-black, with a pale green bill, rich red eyes, and grey legs and feet, which is locally known as “kaalhu koveli”. The female koels are brownish above and whitish below, but is heavily striped and spotted brown on the under parts and white on the upperparts. She has an olive or green beak and red eyes. Female koels are known as “Din din koveli”. Both sexes of baby koels are in black color. Asian Koel is a large, long-tailed, cuckoo at 45 cm.

Asian Koel is a shy bird, more heard than seen. When it is quiet, not alarmed, it adopts a typical stance with long tail held downwards, hunched back, head and bill uptilted. But often hidden in dense vegetation, it is difficult to see it. It is an arboreal species. During their breedingf season (March to August), These birds will have different calls, The male will sing koo-Ooo, while The female makes a shrill kik-kik-kik... call. Calls vary across populations.

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White-breasted Waterhen

Kabili / ކަބިލި

White Breasted Water-hen (Kanbili) is National bird of the Maldives. They have long toes, a short tail and a yellow bill and legs. Gender are similar but females measure slightly smaller. Immature birds are much duller versions of the adults. What they feed on primarily are invertebrates, aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, worms, small frogs and mollusks. It also feeds on seeds, grass, shoots and berries. They may sometimes feed in deeper water in the manner of a moorhen. They nest in a dry location on the ground in marsh vegetation.

You will see them usually single or in pairs as they forage slowly along the edge of a waterbody mainly on the ground but sometimes clambering up low vegetation. The tail is held up and jerked as they walk. They probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. Interesting fact about them is despite being called ‘Water hens’, they are not very good swimmers.

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