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.
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 (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
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
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
I have noticed this bird many a times. They are particularly active during the evening when the light is barely present. They make very sweet sounds. The color of the feathers is black with white on sides and at the bottom side. It is slightly bigger than a house sparrow. Particularly it is very active in the evening catching the flying insects. If I am not wrong, I have heard their sounds at about two or three o’clock in the morning. It is Oriental Magpie Robin!! Little did I knew that this is the national bird of Bangladesh where it… Read More »Rescuing Oriental Magpie Robin Chick!!!
There is a river near Panchkula city of Haryana in India. It is called Ghaggar. Once a mighty river, now it has become a mere shadow of its past. A thin stream of water flows through the large bed made of sand, pebbles and small amounts of clay. Bushes and different grasses like bulrushes grow in its bed. Here in the beds near running water one can spot these little cute birds only if you look very carefully on the ground because there colour camouflage them in the sand. They keep standing at a given spot for long time. They… Read More »Little or Small Pratincoles: Beauty in small packets
The Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) is a large non-migratory crane. It is found in parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia. These cranes are the tallest of the flying birds, standing at a height of up to 6 feet and live and forage in the wetlands. The Sarus Crane is easily distinguished from other cranes in the region by the overall grey colour and the contrasting red head and upper neck. In India these birds are held in great esteem. It is said that the epic Ramayana written by sage Valmiki was inspired by an painful incident which… Read More »Sarus Crane: Venerated Bird
I had a long cherished wish to watch the evolution in the making. But lifespan of us humans is infinitely short to witness the events taking place during the evolution which span over thousands or sometimes million years. But my desire grew with time. So I many a times felt anguished and helpless. We are living in a time when it is quite easy to access information. On the scientific front, there are wonderful instrument which are available making the life of a scientist comparatively easy. Think of the times, when Darwin, Newton, Kekule did their research. They were the… Read More »Watching the Evolution
Not for nothing is peacock called the king of birds. It is one of the most beautiful birds. India has chosen it as its National bird. It is big bird. Females don’t have the beautiful train of tailed feathers. They look drab in comparison. Every part of the body of the peacock is full of beauty except its feet. There are many myths and fables connected to this bird in India. It is said that Lord Krishna adorns a small peacock feather in his hair because more is most pious and devoid of any sex. It produces ear drops while… Read More »Peacock: The National Bird of India