Sri Lankan Junglefowl
Sri Lanka’s national bird is the Sri Lankan Junglefowl, also known as the Ceylon Junglefowl. It is part of the larger Galliforms bird order, which also contains the Wild Junglefowl, the bird from which the chicken was domesticated.
The Junglefowl is not unlike a chicken in appearance – the male is ornate with a bright reddish orange body and dark purple wings, whereas the female is a dull brown colour.
This bird is sexually dimorphic – a term which means there is a great difference in the male and the female of a species. In the case of the Sri Lankan Junglefowl it is not just colour but size – the male is double the size of the female at 70cm to the females 35cm!
Despite their differing sizes, the male and female Junglefowl play an equal role when it comes to egg protection and rearing their chicks.
The adult Junglefowl feed on seeds, fallen fruit and insects which they forage for but the young need a constant supply of live food – baby land crabs are a particular favourite. The young Junglefowl cannot digest any processed vegetable based protein, so cannot be domesticated or kept in captivity.
This bird is known for it’s distinct call, which sounds like they are shouting a mans name – John Joyce – repeatedly!