Grey Bellied Cuckoo

The grey-bellied cuckoo (Cacomantis passerinus) is a cuckoo with widespread occurrence throughout Asia.

It comes here in the Northern India at the time of outset of the summers. It is a small sized cuckoo. During this time of year another cuckoo known as the Jacobin Cuckoo also arrives.

Grey Bellied Cuckoo pic by Ranjit

Unlike Jacobin Cuckoo which migrates here in summers from Africa, Grey Bellied Cuckoo is short distance migrant.

It comes here for breeding. It is a brood parasite. It lays its eggs by replacing the eggs in the nests of babblers who then raise its brood. This strategy is just akin to the Koel using Crows to raise its chicks.

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 a rarity in my area and I was the first to spot them. I regularly visit the area to check they are staying here and found them there.

Photo by Ranjit Singh
Photo: Ranjit Singh