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Category Archives: birds

The Indian Ringneck Parrot

It was a cloudy summer day.  The birds were at their noisiest.  There was the cuckoo – the male and female.  The bulbul flitting in and out of our balcony. And the parrot that was perched on the leafless african tulip tree, prying the pods open with its beak.

These birds I read are supposed to be very social. Makes good pets.  And are good mimics too.

Also called the Rose-ringed parrot.

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Asian Koel

I always thought the cuckoo family had these tiny black birds that go ‘koohoo’ as the rainy season approaches.  I was in for a surprise when I realised that this fairly big black bird ( that I just identified) with a piercing red eye that gave me quite a fright, was the Asian Koel.  It nests in a neem tree that I only have a top view of.  The male generally keeps out of sight and ventures only when it wants to feed on the ripe papayya. 

Eudynamys scolopaceus – The Asian Koel  is a member of the cuckoo order. is a large, long-tailed, cuckoo at 45 cm. The adult male koel is jet black, unrelieved by any contrasting marking; its bill is ivory-yellow and iris brilliant red.

                                                                 The female Asian Koel looks like this –

The upper part of the adult female koel is dark brown and profusely spotted and tarred with white; it is white underneath, the bill is greenish in colour and the iris red.  The same crimson eye!  That’s how I realised they were related and then discovered that the black one was male and the striped one the female..

The Asian Koels are found wherever there are house crows as it is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of crows. All the chores like building the nest, incubating the eggs, nurturing the hatchlings are saddled on the crows! The koel breeding season synchronises with that of the crow.  The male Koel engages the crow in a chase, and in the meantime the female Koel lays the eggs in the crow’s nest.  All this is done in quick time.  The eggs are similar looking though smaller in size.  They hatch quicker than the crow’s eggs, gorges on all the food and is able to fly away just as the differences become evident!

Info – Wiki and the article in The Hindu 

Another great site for identification of birds – http://www.kolkatabirds.com

Little Green Bee-eater

The Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, (sometimes Little Green Bee-eater) is a near passerine bird (perching birds)  in the bee-eater family. This is a petite little grass green colour bird no bigger than a sparrow. Its green has hints of reddish brown on the head and neck which is ornamented with a prominent black ‘necklace’. The slender bill is slightly curved and could be called long, keeping in mind the size of the bird.
Like other bee-eaters, this species is a richly coloured, slender bird.Just as the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and ants, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.

These birds are generally sitting on this high cable TV wire that stretches between two apartment buildings.  I saw them sitting there from my balcony. 

Here the bird on the left is feeding on a grasshopper.

The small green bee eater is often seen in pairs or parties sitting on phone wires and fence posts in open country .Before feeding, a bee-eater removes stings and breaks the exoskeleton of the prey by repeatedly hitting the insect on their perch.

Info – Wiki and Indiasite.com

Red -Vented Bulbul

I really cannot identify birds apart from the crow and pigeon, but that does not prevent me from admiring them . We stay on the third floor of an apartment complex and the few trees in a ‘still standing’ independent house, brings scores of birds to the neighbourhood.  With the Sankranti festival and  kites getting entangled in the trees; we had birds coming out of their nesting areas.  Thanks to Sandhya, who identified the bird for me.

The Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer).  The Red-vented Bulbul is easily identified by its short crest giving the head a squarish appearance. The body is dark brown with a scaly pattern while the head is darker or black. Sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds are duller than adults. Bird of dry scrub, open forest, plains and cultivated lands It feeds mainly on fruits, petals of flowers,nectar, insects and occasionally geckos

The bulbul first played hide and seek for sometime. 

and then she turned away

then for some nectar

Aah finally

   and close

Info – Wikipedia

Picture taken  – Hyderabad