Among the Maldives’ birdlife, you will find herons, cranes, seagulls, and a variety of other types of water birds.
There are over 12 species of heron in the Maldives, but the most common is the grey heron, also known as the Maakana in Dhivehi. The white-breasted Maldivian water hen is the national bird and symbol of the country.
Whether you are looking for a photo opportunity or a close-up, you’ll be able to find it scuttling amongst overhanging bushes.
What will I learn?
The White-breasted Waterhen of Maldivian waters is a unique species of crake and rail bird, which is endemic to the Maldives. It feeds on fish, insects, and small mollusks.
Its breeding season is from June to October. It has an extremely large range, and it is not a threatened species, but its numbers are decreasing.
The Maldives are home to the white-breasted waterhen, which is the national bird. While it is commonly found elsewhere in the world, it is endemic to the Maldives.
Its bright yellow bill is an attractive feature, and it makes for an ideal souvenir! The White-breasted Waterhen calls loudly, and it often attracts predators. It also prefers marshes and wet scrubs.
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You can find a pair of Grey Herons of the Maldives while swimming in the pristine waters of the island paradise. These birds have a reputation for being fierce predators, which is understandable.
However, a closer look at the bird’s diet will reveal its varied nutritional profile. Among its main foods are fish and other aquatic animals, including crustaceans and mollusks. They may also consume small birds and even rodents.
The large Grey heron is among the 13 species of Ardeidae (herons and bitterns) recorded in the Maldives. There are several uninhabited islands populated with resorts.
Their natural habitats are flooded marshes, lagoons, and tarns. The Grey heron is a resident species throughout its range, though some populations migrate south during autumn.
It is a wetland bird that feeds on aquatic creatures and stalks its prey through shallow waters.
Although the Grey Heron is primarily a solitary bird, it also feeds in loose aggregations and mixed species flocks. After the breeding season, large feeding aggregations can form.
The species is territorial, with the most aggressive behaviour occurring during the feeding of young. When prey is not near a feeding area, herons will walk through the shallow water to ambush them, but will only be aggressive when the food source is low.
A few Grey Herons of the Maldives can be spotted in the Maldives. It is not uncommon to see them scuttling through overhanging bushes. They also make a variety of noises.
In the breeding colony, a single adult will stay at the nest for around 20 days. They live together in pairs for about three months. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot them together in a clump!
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Located in Southeastern Asia, Asian koels are mainly found in South and Southeast Asia. They are also found in Australia and the Greater Sunda Islands.
Their high colonizing potential means that they have the potential to adapt well to a new environment. In Singapore, for example, Asian koels were first recorded in 1980. Today, they can be found in urban areas as well as in the countryside in dense woodland.
Although they are primarily omnivores, Asian koels do eat some fruit and insects. The male of the pair guards the nest of his female, which feeds the young.
These birds are highly intelligent, and are known to live in populated areas, although they are most commonly found in a dense canopy. The Asian koel’s feeding habits may surprise you.
The Asian Koel is a cuckoo-like bird with large, long-tailed bill and red iris.
The male Asian Koel has glossy blue-black plumage with pale green bill and rich red eyes, while the female is whitish with rufous streaks on its head and back. Its whitish underparts are covered in buff and white spots.
Despite its size, the Asian koel is easy to observe, as it is a brood parasite. They lay eggs in the nests of crows and other hosts, and spend their days among bushes and trees.
Other birds that you may see include the fairy tern and white-tailed tropicbird. The white-breasted Maldivian hen, known as the Maakana in Dhivehi, is the national symbol of the Maldives.
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The fruits bats of the Maldives are a plethora of different colours. These colorful creatures have an affinity for flowers and are able to survive in very poor environments.
Most Maldivians consider the bats to be pests. However, there are two subspecies of bats, one of which is endangered due to over-culling. In addition to their beautiful colors, the fruit bats of the Maldives have good vision and are highly social.
The fruit bats of the Maldives are known as the Flying Foxes. Their red fur and canine-like head make them stand out among the other wildlife in the Maldives.
Their ability to fly between islands makes them an important element in the Maldives’ ecosystem. These creatures also play an important role in pollination.
They are the only flying animals large enough to carry large seeds. These insects are responsible for the pollination of some commercial plants. The fruits that rely on fruit bats to pollinate their crops include coconuts, guavas, and mangoes.
The Maldives is home to a variety of animals and plants, but the main attraction is the rich marine life and exotic animals that inhabit this island chain.
The Maldives is also home to the Indian Flying Fox, which has a wing span of 4 feet. While the Indian Flying Fox is revered in India and Tamil Nadu, the Maldives fruit bat is not.
The Maldives is an ocean-locked nation, so most of the animals and plants of the island chain live in the water.
Despite their beautiful colours, the fruit bats are incredibly hard to photograph. One fruit bat, taken in the Maldives, clings to a branch while fighting for the tropical fruits.
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Its long tongue does not fit inside the bat’s mouth, so it is tucked around its rib cage. The fruit bat’s natural survival skills are astounding. One of the main reasons for their popularity is the fact that they are a plethora of places to visit.
The Maldives has a tropical climate year-round, but it has two distinct seasons. The dry season lasts from November to April, punctuated by northeast winter monsoons.
The wet season is from May to October, characterized by southwest monsoons and strong winds. So, no matter which season you visit, you’re sure to see a fruit bat or two while you’re in the Maldives.
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