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Fauna

Several small and harmless wild animals like the Malabar Gaint Squirrel, barking deer, sambar deer, wild rabbits etc., thrive in and around resort property, and are easily sighted. The streams abound in mountain game fish and rare varieties of small fishes. Numerous butterflies, moths and other colourful insects can be observed at close quarters. There are plenty of birds that sing from the tree tops and bushes all around in the morning and evening. Thrushes, warblers, bulbuls, shrikes, woodpeckers, mynas, flycatchers, pigeons, parakeets, etc., abound in the green shade. There are also rare frogs, toads and other amphibians in the streams.

BIRDS

Malabar Whistling Thrush (Myophonus Horsfieldii) :-25 cm :Resident. Hills of west India. Adult blackish, with blue forehead and shoulders. Juvenile more sooty-brown, and lacks blue forehead. Rocky hill streams in forest and well-wooded areas.


Hill Myna (Gracula Religiosa) :-25-29 cm :Resident. Himalayan foothills, hills of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Large myna with yellow wattles, large orange to yellow bill, and white wing patches. Juvenile has duller yellowish-orange bill, paler yellow wattles, and less gloss to plumage. Moist forest and plantations.


Greater Flameback(Woodpecker) (Chrysocolaptes Lucidus) :-33 cm :Resident. Himalayas, hills of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. White or black-and-white spotted hind-neck and upper mantle, large size, and long bill. Moustachial stripe is clearly divided. Female has prominent white spotting on crown and crest. Sri Lnkan race stricklandi has crimson upperparts. Forest and groves.


Yellow-Browed Bulbul (Iole Indica) :-20 cm :Resident. Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. Yellow supercilium, eye-ring and underparts. Striking black bill and dark eye. Moist forest and secondary growth.


Blyth's Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus Dumetorum) :-14 cm :Widespread winter visitor and passage migrant. Long bill, olive-brown to olive-grey upperparts and uniform wings. Comparatively indistinct supercilium barely apparent behind eye. Bushes and trees at edges of forest, cultivation and in wooded areas.


Grey-Headed Canary Flycatcher (Culicicapa Ceylonensis) :-13 cm :Resident. Breeds in Himalayas, hills of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka; winters in Himalayan foothills, and plains in Pakistan and E and north-east India. Grey head and breast, yellow rest of underparts, and greenish upperparts. Forest and wooded areas.


Oriental White (Eye Zosterops Palpebrosus) :-10 cm :Widespread resident; unrecorded in parts of the northwest. White eye-ring, yellow throat and breast, and whitish belly. Open broad-leaved forest and wooded areas.


Black-Lored (Tit Parus Xanthogenys) :-13 cm :Resident. Himalayas and peninsular hills. Where ranges overlap in Himalayas, best told from Yellow-cheeked by black forehead and lores, uniform greenish upperparts with black streaking sonfined to scapulars, olive rump, and yellowish wing-bars. Two races in the peninsula have white wing-bars (adult) and show sexual variation, most marked in travancoreensis where female has greyish olive crest and mantle. Open forest, forest edges and plantations.


Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch (Sitta Frontalis) :-10 cm :Resident. Himalayas, Indian hills, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Violet-blue upperparts, black forehead, black-tipped red bill, and lilac underparts, Male has black eye-stripe. Open broad-leaved forest and well-wooded areas.


Nilgiri Flycatcher (Eumyias Albicaudata) :-15 cm :Resident. Western Ghats. White on tail-base and diffuse whitish frings to blue-grey undertail-coverts. Male indigo-blue, with blue-grey belly, black lores and bright blue forehead and supercilium. Female blue-grey paler on underparts. Juvenile has buff spotting on upperparts and blackish scaling on white underparts. Evergreen biotope in hills.


White-Cheeked Barbet (Megalaima Viridis) :-23 cm :Resident. Western Ghats and hills of Tamilnadu. Brownish bill. White supercilium and cheeks contrasting with brown crown and nape. Whitish throat, and bold white streaking on breast. call is a pucock, pucock, pucock. Wooded areas, gardens, groves.


Grey-Breasted LaughingThrush (Garullax Jerdoni) :-20 cm :Resident. Western Ghats. White supercilium. Grey or grey-streaked white throat and breast, greyish ear-coverts. Two races lack black chin. Thickets with wild raspberry.


Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus Horsfieldii) :-22 cm :Resident. Hills of peninsular India, Sri Lanka. Yellow bill, whte supercilium. Breast sides and flanks grey to blackish in peninsular India, olive- to chestnut-brown in Sri Lanka. Forest and secondary growth.


Ashy Drongo Dicrurus (Leucophaeus) :-29 cm :Breeds in Himalayas and north-east Indian hills; winters in plains in peninsula and Sri Lanka. Adult has dark grey underparts and slate-grey upperparts with blue-grey gloss; iris bright red. first-winter has brownish-grey underparts with indistinct pale fringes. Juvenile as juvenile black. Breeds in forest; winters in well-wooded areas.


Nilgiri Wood Pigeon (Columba Elphinstonii) :-42 cm :Resident. Western Ghats. Checkerboard pattern in neck, maroon-brown upperparts, uniform slate-grey tail. Moist evergreen forest.


Pompadour Green Pigeon (Treron Pompadora) :-28 cm :Resident. Himalayas, hills of north-east and south-west India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Both sexes told from Thick-billed Green by thin blue-grey bill and lack of prominent greenish orbital skin. Male has maroon mantle; where range overlaps with Thick-billed's, has diffuse orange patch on breast, greenish-yellow throat, and uniform chestnut undertail-coverts. Female lacks maroon mantle. Tropical and subtropical moist broad-leaved forest and well-wooded areas.


Nilgiri Pipit Anthus (Anthus Nilghiriensis) :-17 cm :Resident. South-west indian hills. Large, heavily streaked pipit. Compared with Paddyfield, has shorter tail, more heavily streaked upperparts, and streaked upper belly and flanks, and lacks malar stripe and patch. Call a weak see-see, quite unlike Paddyfield's. Grassy slopes.


Grey Junglefowl (Gallus Sonneratii) :-M 66-72.5 cm, F 35 cm :Resident. Sri Lanka. Male has orange-red underparts, yellow spot on comb, elongated orange feathers covering entire mantle, and purple-black wings and tail. Apparently does not have eclipse plumage. Female has white streaking on breast, and black-and-white patterning to belly. Forest.


Large Billed Crow (Corvus Macrorhynchos) :-46-59 cm :Widespread resident. All black, lacking paler collar of House Crow. Domed head, and large bill with arched culmen. The two Himalayan forms are bigger and with heavier bill, wedge-shaped tail, and harsher calls, compared with those in the 'plains'. Himalayan forms best told from Raven by absence of throat hackles, shorter and broader wings, less strongly wedge-shaped tail, squarer or domed crown, and dry kaaa-kaaa call. Wide range of habitats, except deserts and semi-deserts.


Brown - Backed needletail(Swift) (Hirundapus Giganteus) :-23 cm :Resident. Hills of north-east India, and Bangladesh, Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. Large size, brown throat, indistinct 'saddle', and white lores. Pointed tail with prominent 'needles'. Broad-leaved forest.


Common Kestrel (Falco Tinnunculus) :-32-35 cm :Widespread winter visitor. Long, rather broad tail; wing-tips more rounded than on most falcons. Frequently hovers. Male has greyish head with diffuse dark moustachial stripe, rufous upperparts heavily marked with black, and grey tail with black subterminal band. Female and juvenile have rufous crown and nape streaked with black, diffuse and narrow dark moustachial stripe, rufous upperparts heavily barred and spotted with black, and dark barring on rufous tail; underwing more heavily barred than male's.


Black Eagle (Ictinaetus Malayensis) :-69-81 cm :Distinctive wing shape, and long-tail. Flies with wings raised in V, with primaries upturned. At rest, long wings extend to tip of tail. Adult dark brownish-black, with striking yellow cere and feet; in flight, shows whitish barring on uppertail-coverts, and faint greyish barring on tail and underside of remiges. Juvenile has dark-streaked buffish head, underparts and underwing-coverts. Broad-leaved forest in hills and mountains.


Pacifif Swallow (Hirundo Tahitica) :-13 cm :Resident. South-west Indian hills, Andamans and Sri Lanka. Told from Barn by more extensive rufous on throat, lack of breast-band, dingy underparts and underwing-coverts, and blackish under-tail-coverts with whitish fringes; lacks tail-streamers. Grassy hills, rivers and habitation.


Crimson Backed Sunbird (Nectarinia Minima) :-8 cm :Resident. Hills of west India. Smaller and finer-billed than Purple-rumped. Male has broad crimson breast-band and mantle. Female has crimson rump. Eclipse male has crimson back and purple rump. Calls include a flowerpecker-like thlick-thlick. Evergreen forest and plantations.


Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus Flammeus) :-20-22 cm :Resident. Himalayas, hills of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Large. Isolated red (male) or yellow (female) patch on secondaries. Female head pattern closest to Short-billed. Forest.


Crested Serphent Eagle (Spilornis Cheela) :-56-74 cm :Widespread resident, unrecorded in most of north-west and north-east. Broad, rounded wings. Soars with wings held forward and in pronounced V. adult has broad white bands across wings and tail; hooded appearance at rest, with yellow cere and lores, and white spotting on brown underparts. Juvenile has blackish ear-coverts, yellow cere and lores, whitish head and underparts, narrower barring on tail, and largely white underwing with fine dark tailing edge.


Yellow-legged Buttonquail (Turnix Tanki) :-15-16 cm :Mainly resident; summer visitor to north-west. Widespread chiefly in lowlands. Yellow legs and bill. Comparatively uniform upperparts, buff coverts with bold black spotting. Pattern and coloration of underparts very different from Barred. Low-pitched hoot, repeated with increasing strength, becoming human-like moan. Scrub and grassland, and crops


Yellow-legged Buttonquail (Anthus Rufulus) :-15 cm :Widespread resident, except in parts of north-east and north-west subcontinent. Smaller than Richard's, with chip-chip-chip call. Well-streaked breast; lores usually look pale. When flushed, has comparatively weak, rather fluttering flight. Short grassland and cultivation.


Grey Wagtail (Motacilla Cinerea) :-19 cm :Widespread in winter. Longer-tailed than other wagtails. White supercilium, grey upperparts, and yellow vent and undertail-coverts. Male has black throat when breeding. Breads by mountain streams; winters by slower streams in lowlands and foothills


Brown Shrike (Lanius Cristatus) :-18-19 cm :Widespread winter visitor. Compared with Rufous-tailed, typically has darker rufous-brown upperparts (lacking clear contrast between crown and mantle and between mantle and tail); also thicker bill and more graduated tail. Forest edges and scrub.


Common Tailor Bird (Orthotomus Sutorius) :-13 cm :Widespread resident. Rufous forehead, greenish upperparts, and whitish underparts including undertail-coverts. Bushes in gardens, cultivation edges and forest edges.


Malabar Parakeet (Psittacula Columboides) :-38 cm :Resident. Western Ghats. Blue-grey head, breast and mantle. Blue primaries, yellow tip to tail. Female lacks blue-green collar of male. Evergreen and moist deciduous forest.


Black-Shouldered Kite (Elanus Caerulus) :-31-35 cm :Widespread resident; unrecorded in parts of north-east and north-west. Small size. Grey and white with black 'shoulders'. Flight buoyant, with much hovering. Juvenile has brownish-grey upperparts with pale fringes, with less distinct shoulder patch. Grassland with cultivation and open scrub.


Pale-Billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum Erythrorhyncos) :-8 cm :Widespread resident; unrecorded in parts of Northeast and Northwest subcontinent. Pale bill, greyish-olive upperparts, pale grey underparts. Open broad-leaved forest and well-wooded areas.


Ashy Prinia (Prinia Socialis) :-13 cm :Widespread resident. Slate-grey crown and ear-coverts, red eyes, slate-grey or rufous-brown upperparts, and orange-buff wash to underparts. Tall grass and scrub, open secondary growth and reedbeds.


Ashy Prinia (Prinia Inornata) :-13 cm :Widespread resident. Smaller than Jungl, with finer bill. Pale or rufous fringes to tertails. Song is a rapid trill, tlick tlick tlick; calls include plaintive tee-tee-tee and nasal beep. Tall crops, reeds, grassland, scrub and tall grass, and mangroves.


Blue Capped Rock Thrush (Monticola Cinchlorhynchus) :-17 cm :Summer visitor to Himalayas and Northeast India; winters mainly in Western Ghats and Assam hills. Male has white wing patch and blue-black tail; blue crown and throat and orange underparts, obscured by pale fringes in non-breeding and first-winter plumages. Female has uniform olive-brown upperparts; lacks buff neck patch of Chestnut-bellied and orange-red tail of Rufous-tailed. Summers in open dry forest; winters in moist forest and well-wooded areas.


Black & Orange Flycatcher (Ficedula Nigrorufa) :-11 cm :Resident. Western Ghats. Male rufous-orange and black; female duller. Evergreen sholas and moist thickets in ravines.


Rusty-tailed Flycatcher (Muscicapa Ruficauda) :-14 cm :Breeds in Himalayas; winters mainly in Southwest India. Rufous upper tail-coverts and tail, rather plain face, and pale orange lower mandible. Forest.


Long Tailed Shrike (Lanius Schach) :-25 cm :Widespread resident. Adult has grey mantle, rufous scapulars and upper back, narrow black forehead, rufous sides to black tail, and small white patch on primaries. Juvenile has (dark-barred) rufous-brown scapulars, back and rump; dark greater coverts and tertails fringed rufous. Himalayan tricolor has black hood. Bushes in cultivation, open forest and gardens.


Red Whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus Jocosus) :-20 cm :Widespread resident; unrecorded in Pakistan, parts of north and north-west India and Sri Lanka. Black crest, red 'whiskers' and white underparts with complete or broken breast-band. Red vent. Juvenile duller and lacks 'whiskers'. Open forest and secondary growth


Jungle Myna (Acridotheres Fuscus) :-23 cm :Resident. Himalayas south to Bangladesh and North of Orissa, and West India. Tufted forehead, and white wing patch and tail-tip; lacks bare orbital skin. Juvenile browner, with reduced forehead tuft. Cultivation near well-wooded areas, and edges of habitation.


Pied Bushchat (Saxicola Caprata) :-13.5 cm :Widespread resident. Male black, with white rump and wing patch; rufous fringes to body in non-breeding and first-winter plumages. Female has dark brown upperparts, with rufous-orange rump. Mainly cultivation and open country with scattered bushes or tall grass.


Oriental Magpie Robbin (Copsychus Saularis) :-23 cm :Widespread resident; unrecorded in most of the Northwest. Black/slate-grey and white, with white on wing and at sides of tail. Juvenile scaled with dark brown on throat and breast. Gardens, groves and open broad-leaved forest.


Hoopoe (Upupa Epops) :-31 cm :Summer visitor to far north; resident and winter to much of rest of subcontinent. Rufous-orange or orange-buff, with black-and-white wings and tail and black-tipped fan-like crest. Open country, cultivation and villages.


Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia Asiatica) :-10 cm :Widespread resident; unrecorded in parts of Northeast and Northwest subcontinent. Male metallic purple. Female has uniform yellowish underparts, with faint supercilium and darker mask. Call is buzzing zit and high-pitched, wheezy swee. Open deciduous forest and gardens.


Oriental Honey Buzzard (Pernis Ptilorhyncus) :-57-60 cm :Widespread resident; absent in parts of Northwest and Northeast subcontinent of Southeast India. Wings and tail long and broad, and has narrow neck and small head. Soars with wings flat. Has small crest. Very variable in plumage, with underparts and underwing-coverts ranging from dark brown through rufous to white, and unmarked, streaked or barred; often shows dark moustachial stripe and gular stripe, and gorget of streaking across lower throat. Lacks dark carpal patch.


Northern House martin (Delichon Urbica) :-13 cm :Summer visitor to West Himalayas; mainly passage migrant elsewhere. Adult told from Asian House martin by combination of whiter underparts, longer and more deeply forked tail, and paler underwing-coverts. Juvenile has less glossy upperparts, is rather dingy underneath, and has shallower tail-fork.


House Swift (Apus Affinis) :-15 cm :Widespread resident; unrecorded in parts of northwest. Stocky shape and comparatively short wings. Tail has sqaure end or slight fork. White rump.


Greater Coucal (Centropus Sinensis) :-48 cm :Wdespread resident. Larger than Lesser, with brighter amd more uniform chestnut wings, and black underwing-coverts. Juvenile is heavily barred. Tall grassland, scrub and groves.


BUTERFLIES

Male Crimson Rose :A very striking, large, black and crimson swallowtail with a wingspan of 85-115 mm. The body is bright crimson and velvety black, a warning coloration advertising predators of its distastefulness, a phenomenon referred to as aposematism, not restricted to butterflies but also to many other organisms such as fish and snakes. These colour combinations have evolved over time to instruct predators of their unpalatability.


Male Common Rose :A large swallowtail butterfly with a wingspan of 80-95 mm. Sexes alike, but the males are smaller with narrower wings and less white on the forewing. The upper sides and undersides of both sexes are black. There is a well defined white patch in the center of the hind wing and a series of crimson spots below. The crimson spots are much brighter on the lower side and are of a different hue.


Common Crow :The Common Crow (Euploea Core) is a common butterfly found in South Asia. In India it is also sometimes referred to as the Common Indian Crow, and in Australia as the Australian Crow. It belongs to the Crows and Tigers subfamily of the Nymphalidae (Brushfooted butterflies). The Common Crow is the most common representative of its genus Euploea. Like the Tigers (Danaus spp), the Crows are inedible and thus mimicked by other Indian butterflies (See Batesian mimicry). In addition, the Indian species of the Euploea genus shows another kind of mimicry, Müllerian mimicry. Accordingly, this species has been studied in greater detail than other members of its genus in India.


Danaid Egg Fly :Upperside rich velvety dark brownish black. Fore wing: a broad oval oblique white spot from below vein 3 to vein 7, and a preapical smaller similar white spot; both spots crossed by black veins and surrounded by iridescent blue. Hind wing with a much larger similar rounded white spot, surrounded with iridescent blue, but the veins crossing it yellowish, not so prominent as on the fore wing; two or three minute specks of white at the tornus. Cilia of both fore and hind wings white alternated with black.


Plain Tiger :The Plain Tiger is a medium sized butterfly with a wingspan of about 7-8 cm. The body is black with many white spots. The wings are tawny the upper side being brighter and richer than the underside. The apical half of the fore wing is black with a white band. The hind wing has 3 black spots around the center. The hind wing has a thin border of black enclosing a series of semicircular white spots.


Blue Tiger :Closely resembles Tirumala limniace, Cramer, but is always sufficiently distinct to be easily recognized, even on the wing. From T. limniace it differs on the upperside in the ground-colour being darker and the semihyaline markings narrower, more distinct, and of a bluer tint, In the fore wing, in interspace 1 the two streaks are narrower, never coalescent, the upper one forming an oval detached spot; the short streaks above vein 5 are outwardly never truncate, always acute.


Common Grass Yellow :The Large- or Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe) is a small pierid butterfly species found in Asia. They are found flying close to the ground and are found in open grass and scrub habitats. It is simply known as "the grass yellow" in parts of its range; the general therm otherwise refers to the entire genus Eurema.


Lime Butterfly :The Common Lime or the Lemon Butterfly (Papilio Demoleus) is a common and widespread Swallowtail butterfly. It gets its name from its host plants which are usually citrus species such as the lime. It is also sometimes called the Chequered Swallowtail. Unlike most swallowtail butterflies it does not have a prominent tail


Yellow Orange Tip :Dry-season brood. Male upperside: deep sulphur-yellow. Fore wing: base and basal half of costa thickly irrorated with black scales; apical half of the wing black, with an enclosed, large, irregularly triangular, orange-coloured patch, the apex of which is more or less broadly rounded and blunt; the orange colour extends into the apex of the cell bat is interrupted there by a black discocellular spot that spreads diffusely inwards and joins the black oblique bar which forms the base of the orange patch ; veins that traverse this latter, black.


Tawny Coster :The Tawny Coster (Acraea Terpsicore) is a small leathery winged butterfly which is common in grassland and scrub habitats. It belongs to the Nymphalidae or brush-footed butterfly family. It has a weak fluttery flight. It is avoided by most insect predators. This species and the Yellow Coster Acraea issoria are the only two Indian representatives of the predominantly African tribe Acraeini.


Pioneer :The Pioneer, also known as Caper White (Anaphaeis Aurota), is a migrant butterfly found in Kerala and throughout India except for Assam and other eastern states. The upper side of the butterfly is pure white with black apex in the forewings and black outer margins in both wings. There is a hockey stick like spot in the middle of the forewings. On the under side, there are spots in the apex, yellowish in forewings and yellow with black veins in hind wings. Wingspan is 50-60 mm


The Rainbow Trout - Angler's Trophy

The trout is a mountain fish with an elegant spindle-shaped body with medium-sized dorsal fins and small adipose fin. The colour of the rainbow trout seen in Munnar and surrounding areas is iridescent bluish with a broad purple longitudinal stripe along the middle part of the body and the back. There are a few red spots mostly above the lateral line and on the tail. They mature after three to four years and produce two hundred to three hundred eggs. The British who were fond of fishing imported fish from Britain in specially made barrels and set up a small hatchery at Chenduvarai in 1909. Anglers now go trout fishing at Mattuppetty Dam and Devikulam Lake, just as the British did one hundred years ago.

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