Birds

Steppe Eagle: Endangered Bird

Steppe Eagle is also known as Aquila nipalensis in the scientific language is a scavenger. This species breeds in Eastern European Russia from across Kazakhstan into Kyrgyzstan, China and Mongolia. Birds spend winter mainly in south and south-east Asia. The bird is placed in the Red List by IUCN in the endangered category. There are many reasons attributed to the decline in population to such an extent. Some are like loss of habitat and exposure to radioactive radiations in its basic habitat. Bird winters in South and South East Asia. It has suffered in Pakistan and India due to the presence… Read More »Steppe Eagle: Endangered Bird

Peafowls in our Neighborhood

Birds evolved from aquatic animals when some of these animals ventured on land to escape the competition for resources and perils from the mightier ones. Reptiles came into existence but even here some of them lost two limbs and grew feathers and became a airborne again to be at safety from marauders. They became tree living and gained the advantage of having larger area under their surveillance for food and move to safer places. But there are some birds which are fowls like hens and roosters and peacock which have limited capacity to fly. They live mostly on the lower… Read More »Peafowls in our Neighborhood

Purple Sunbird: Beauty in Small Package

When winter gives way to spring season, the dormant nature wakes up. Every plant and tree begin to bear new leaves. There is a riot of flowers and many of the birds come back to gorge on flower nectar and other insects which also visit the flowers and plants. If you happen to be in some garden and near flowering bushes, you will hear calls of a bird but will have trouble to locate the bird itself. This bird is very small in size. It is due to its peculiar sounds it makes and its purple colour, you can locate… Read More »Purple Sunbird: Beauty in Small Package

Scaly Breasted Munia

There are grown up Ficus Shrubs with thick canopy of branches and leaves at the top in the small park outside our house. In the morning usually I sit up in the balcony and watch birds and green fields away. There are common birds to be seen dominated by the rock pigeons which are multiplying here at an abnormal speed and breeding in the niches of buildings.  Residents scatter seeds for them so that there is no scarcity of the food to them. Then there are mynas which have arrived here after the end of winter season. Similarly there are… Read More »Scaly Breasted Munia

Shaheen Falcon 

There is a forest near my home. It is maintained by Department of Forests. The department has converted a small portion of the forest into a Nature Park. I am a regular visitor to this park where sometimes very different birds make their appearance. One day, I was lucky to spot this beauty perched on the branch of a leafless tree. It was sitting very patiently perhaps inviting me to take as many pictures as I liked. I took so many pictures. When I processed them, I had some confusion between Eurasian Hobby and Peregrine Falcon because the former was spotted… Read More »Shaheen Falcon 

Pigeons

In front of Gateway of India and Hotel Taj in Mumbai, there are hundreds of pigeons. The visitors scatter the seeds and they gobble these with insatiable appetite. They can eat literally from your palms. They are not scared by humans. In one of the visits, I also tried to sit amidst these birds. Here one of them is eating seeds from my palm.

Greater Cormorants: Fishing Experts

During the winter months, a number of migratory birds visit India from the countries where winter is very severe and food availability becomes low. These annual visitors add colour to the season. Many of the migratory birds are water waders and land in the lakes , big pools and other water bodies. Amongst these are greater Cormorants. They are huge birds and expert fishers. They hunt in groups and there is great jostling and fighting for the catch snatching. In older days the trained Cormorants were used for river fishing in Japan and China. A snare was tied at the… Read More »Greater Cormorants: Fishing Experts

Savanna nightjar

Savanna Nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis) is a bird which is found in South East India. I was moving about in Ghaggar River in Panchkula. It was in the June month, scorching heat and dry. Bed of the river is almost dry- full of sand and pebbles. As I was descending a raised bank through the pebbles, three of them flew just from my feet. They are master of camouflage. It is very difficult to spot them. They just merge with the background. They caught you unawares and suddenly fly away. You have to keep watching them where they land. It is… Read More »Savanna nightjar

The Sparrows

I grew up in a village. In my childhood days, there were lush green fields around our village. The land was very fertile and only animal manure was used to boost the crops. Water for irrigation came  from the canals and a schedule for distribution of water according to the area of land a farmer had was fixed. We used to go to fields everyday after our school. We took many detours on our way to our field. In the summers, we took dip in the cool refreshing waters in the canals in which cattle also cooled themselves. We stole… Read More »The Sparrows

Oriental Honey Buzzard

It is also called Crested Honey Buzzard with scientific name as Pernis ptilorhynchus. It  is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, eagles, and harriers. It is quite big raptor with a long tail. It’s head is very small like that of pigeon. It is a specialist bird feeding on the larvae of bees. It also consumes crumbs of the honeycomb. Additionally it take cicadas. It’s flight is very stealthy. In a forest it is possible to spot it only when it is perched on top of very lofty… Read More »Oriental Honey Buzzard