They were so common that we hardly noticed them. They were the part of Punjabi folklore. For example, the unmarried girls were compared with them, saying that these girls are like sparrows chirping all day in the verandahs of their parents and will also fly away when married. Whole day, they will dart inside and out bringing semi dry grass stubble for construction of the nest. There was chirping all day. There was a mulberry tree in our courtyard where in the evening these birds rested in its cool and secure boughs. The cacophony in the evening would be ear… Read More »Rediscovering the house sparrows
I first noticed this beautiful bird sitting on the transmission wires passing over the wheat field. Due to green color, these looked like small parrots. Then we found it in many places in our neighborhood like over the water bodies and trees. This bird is called Green Bee Eater with its scientific name as “Merops orientalis” is an exquisite little bird with bright emerald green plumage. The wings are largely green, sometimes tinted with gold or reddish-brown, and have a black trailing edge. The bird is fairly gregarious and forages either alone or in small groups. From a perch on… Read More »Green Bee Eaters
These days, the calls of this bird are so common that they will compel you to take notice. Owing to the purple colour of the bird, despite its minuscule size, you can locate it hovering and sucking nectar from flowers. Female are very difficult to locate as they are not purple at all but olive colored. So here are few more pictures.
Everyday while sitting in the balcony of my flat, I see these birds in the playground below. They don’t sit idle for long at one place. They suddenly dive to ground, catch some insect and fly to roost on the top of poles, basketball board or on the wire net along the boundary. While sitting, they usually lift their head and wag their tails. Sometimes they sit in the bushes from where they swoop to grass to catch the insects. The common name of this bird is Brown Rock Chat and the scientific is Cercomela fusca. It belongs to the… Read More »Brown Rock Chat
Indian Roller or Neelkanth is a beautiful bird. It is seen usually here in the North India from August and till winters. Usually one can spot the bird sitting on the transmission lines passing over the fields or on the top of trees like mangoes. It sits at one place for a long periods of time. It swoops down to catch insects like beetles or grasshoppers. It is not easily scared when you take pictures. The bird is about 26–27 cm long. It is similar in appearance to European rollers which are also here during summer. The difference is that… Read More »Indian Roller or Neelkanth
In our younger days, I remember we often spotted the “Neelkanth” as Indian Roller is called in India. “Neel” means “blue” and “Kanth” means “throat”. It is found in the agricultural fields here in Punjab. In those days there were no electrical transmission lines crossing the fields. There were trees and there were fields. So it was found sitting in smaller trees and shrubs. It is considered auspicious to see it because its name is connected to God Shiva whose throat also became blue to due drinking of the poison which threatened to destroy the world. It is the mythology… Read More »Neelkanth (Indian Roller) Bird
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!!!
Many birds and animals are associated with mythology. The term halcyon days usually refers to the periods of past times in one’s life when there was calm, happiness and success. That is to say Good Times. The word halcyon comes from “Hals” meaning “sea or salty” and “kyon” meaning “to conceive” meaning to conceive in sea. The term derives from the Latin word Alcyone who in Greek mythology was the daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. Her husband died when their ship wrecked. The grief stricken Alcyone threw herself into the sea. After that both were transformed into halcyon… Read More »Halcyon days and Mythical Bird identified with kingfisher
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