Birds of Sirumalai, Tamil Nadu: 1980–2009. Indian Birds 5 (5): 143–145.


This paper reports the birds observed in Sirumalai (Little Hills) in
the Dindigul district of Tamilnadu by the author in the years 1980,
and 2009. It includes observations reported by Swami (2006), and
additional reports by local informants to the author in 2009. It also
makes reference to a list of the birds of the Palani Hills published
by the Palani Hills Birdwatchers Society1.

The author was privileged to stay in the village of Sirumalai
Palaiyur for a period of eight months, from January to August, in
1980, and to return for a period of five days in January 2009.

In geological terms it would seem that Sirumalai is one of the
southernmost outposts of the Eastern Ghats.2 However, in terms of
its location, it is close to the Western Ghats, and more particularly
to the spur of the Palani Hills, from which it is separated at the
narrowest point by a distance of only 12 km or so. Although
Sirumalai has been studied in some detail in terms of its flora
(Pallithanam, 2001; Karuppusamy et al. 1999; Kottaimuthu et al.
2008), there seems to be little of substance published on its fauna
in general or, other than Swami (2006), on its birds in particular.
Sirumalai lies to the north of Madurai, and to the south of
Dindigul. The surrounding plain lies at an average height of about
300 m. Sirumalai, roughly speaking, consists of an outer ring of
hills at an average height of about 1,000 m, though with a number
of peaks exceeding 1,350 m, and a central bowl at about 700 m. The
hills rise more or less abruptly from the plain in the north, west,
and south while tapering away into low hills to the east. Much
of the hills are reserved forest, including areas of more or less
natural dry evergreen and semi-evergreen forest; some is coffee,
and other plantation, often with mature, planted tree cover; and
the remainder is cultivated by local smallholder agriculturalists or
larger landowners. Three main streams run through the hills, and
down to the plains. Sirumalai receives its only significant rainfall
between October and December with the NE Monsoon . . . .

(For more please follow this link to Indian Birds :

Birds of Sirumalai – Further observations, February 2015.

This note is an up-date to the observations reported in Indian Birds 5 (5): 143–145.
I visited Sirumalai again in February 2015. The list below records all species observed during my visit, with those not previously reported given in bold.

• Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus
• Asian Paradise flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
• Black-headed Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina melanoptera
Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus
Black-naped Monarch Flycatcher Hypothymis azurea
• Blue-throated Flycatcher Cyornis rubeculoides
• Brainfever Bird Hierococcyx varius
• Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
• Brown-headed Barbet Megalaima zeylanica
• Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
• Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus
• Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
• Grey Junglefowl Gallus sonneratii
• House Swift Apus affinis
• Jungle Babbler Turdoides striatus
• Jungle Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
• Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Rufous-backed Shrike Lanius schach
• Blue-winged Parakeet Psittacula columboides
Nilgiri Laughingthrush Garrulax cachinnans
• Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis
• Indian Pond-Heron Ardeola grayii
• Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata
• Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala
• Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
• Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
• Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus
• Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus
• Shikra Accipiter badius
• Little Scaly-bellied Green Woodpecker Picus xanthopygaeus
• Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax
• Indian Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda
• Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis
• Indian Hanging-Parrot Loriculus vernalis
• White-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
• White-cheeked Barbet Megalaima viridis

Also :
Grizzled giant squirrel Ratufa macroura
Hanuman langur Semnopithecus entellus
Bonnet macaque Macaca radiata
Gaur Bos gaur

For a further study of the birds of Sirumalai please see :

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