Watching the Evolution

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 …

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Brown Rock Chat

Everyday while sitting in the balcony of my flat, I see this bird 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 …

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Idyllic Life

There is a piece of uncultivated land adjacent to our building. Land is scarce in Punjab. Every inch is under cultivation. So this piece of land with uneven surface must have been purchased by some builder for construction of high rise buildings. But at present it is as it is. Grass and shrubs are growing uninterrupted in this land. On the opposite end are dense woods where poplar and eucalyptus are growing majestically. Poplars are not complicated trees. They are straight with no branches stand like the sentries at attention. The eucalyptus trees have grown so high as to touching …

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Goshawk

Those who live in Punjab must have seen the picture of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. He is depicted riding a horse with full regalia and a falcon sitting on his hand. The guru has in fact a title given to him as “Baajan Wala”. Baaz is the name of the falcon he is holding. The falcon is called Goshawk and Baaz is the female of species. Its counterpart male is called “Jurra” in the Punjabi. Also the female of the Baaz is much larger in size and esteemed for its preying prowess. The falcon was a prized possession for …

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Chinese Love this Delicacy

Soups made from bird nest seems to incredulous. Bird nests are usually made from twigs and other materials which are inedible by humans. But believe it that there are nests made by some birds called Swiftlets, which are used to make soups in China and this soup is amongst one of most expensive food items in the bird. Swiftlets are very small birds belonging to Collocallini tribe. They are mostly the inhabitants of South Asia and Australia. They live in the seashore caves. Most of these caves in the limestone rocks. The birds use echolocation technique to navigate inside deep …

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Hummingbirds: The extraordinary birds

Hummingbirds are most beautiful birds endowed with dazzling colors and hues. But these birds seem to be consigned to the extreme life because at the end of the day, they are so exhausted that it is not sure whether or not they will live to see the another day. Their humming near the flowers in which they insert their specialized beaks to suck the nectar while steadying themselves by constantly flapping their wings, seems like a fluid motion poetry. It is sight to behold. They can fly forward and backward, up and down manoeuvrings come as easily to them. So …

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Not only Men

“The Bird Detective” is a book written by Bridget Stutchbury, a biologist in Canada. The book, it is claimed, has been written after extensive research and reveals many startling facts about the habits of birds especially songbirds. Evidence exists already that females of some birds cheat on their partners. This was confirmed by DNA fingerprinting of birds and their chicks to ascertain the fatherhood. There is a reference to this in the chapter “DNA fingerprinting” in the book “The Magic Universe” by Nigel Calder. This books dispels many myths about the birds behavior. The belief that birds pair up for …

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Mynahs

It was the month of November 2009. At about 6′ O clock in the evening we reached the Chandigarh railway station to catch the train to Delhi. November is half way but surprisingly it was still hot. Weather is undergoing changes and becoming unpredictable. It was not cold as should have been. We were dropped by three wheeler on the wrong side of the entry gate and we have to cross the over bridge chugging our heavy suitcase. As we were descending the steps to the platform No.1, I was taken by big surprise. A deafening noise was issuing from …

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Mythical Birds: Albatross, Rara-Avis & Halcyon

Nature never ceases offering us wonders to us humans. In fact, for those whose heart is still like that of a child; full of curiosity and creativity, nature is always ready to offer her beauty and wonders. There are birds of indescribable beauty with vivid plumage; there are awe inspiring animals, rainbow in the sky in the aftermath of rain, thunder and lightning, beautiful brooks with purling water, impeccable cloudless azure sky which no one can believe in the season of rains when clouds run hither and thither in the skies. It seems that different types of gigantic animals have …

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Assam in winter

There are lush green trees everywhere; betel nut trees, banana, Sal, coconut grow in abundant in addition to umpteen other varieties of bushes and trees in jungles. The climate is unpolluted and the place is famous for heaviest rainfalls in India. There are big ponds called beels in local Assamese language where so many kinds of birds many of them migratory live. There are bar-headed goose, pin tail duck, grey legged goose, mallards, white and grey pelican and northern lapwing. These birds stay here from October to February when there is bitter cold in their homelands and they live here …

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