Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Asian Koel


In Indian subcontinent, spring comes every year in March with its magical touch that drives away the coldness of the winter and fills the nature with colors. Almost everywhere in this vast subcontinent, surroundings is filled with the sweet call of the “Asian Koel” ; “ko-eeul”, two syllables that is uttered at intervals or repeated in rapid series, increasing in pitch.
Since times long forgotten, Koel has found its place in literature, poetry, myths, tribal lore and traditions and admiration to be the harbinger of “spring”. The trembling notes of koel and the sweet fragrance of the mango flowers , together claims the end of winter and signifies the warm feeling of overnight burst of the Spring reflected everywhere in the arena of the mother nature .
If we turn over the pages to find this bird in the history, we see it was mentioned as “Kokila” in Sanskrit and also had mentioned its name with same veneration and reputation in “Manusmriti” like present days .The Vedas, Sanskrit literature dated to about 2000 BC referred to it as “Anya-Vapa” which meant "that was raised by others". This has been interpreted as the earliest knowledge of brood parasitism.

It has been chosen as the state bird by the southern Indian state of Pondicherry.

Asian Koel Male

Tuesday, 20 January 2015


Hoopoe bird

It is really a pleasant experience watching this bird in its natural habitat. It is indeed an exotic creation of “Mother Nature” with a distinctive colourful “crown” of feathers. I t belongs to family Upupidae.  In English, it is called “onomatopoeic”, like the Latin name “upupa”, which means the cry of the bird.
The hoopoe is the national bird of Israel.Hoopoe belongs to the “clade Coraciiformes”. Nine subspecies has been recorded so far. Credit goes to Kristin (in the 2001 Handbook of the Birds of the World). Among them, one insular species, the "Saint Helena hoopoe", is said to be extinct, and the "Madagascar subspecies" of the hoopoe is sometimes considered to a full species. 

Hoopoe bird


What is birding?

I thought several times how to start this blog. Shall I start with something that bares the philosophical overview regarding “birding”? Then thought no. we, the “birder” are very much clear regarding “Birding”. We love watching our winged friends flying free in the sky. We are happy to watch them , protect them and do not claim any award in doing so as this is quite normal for friends in helping each other . So we are very much clear in our consciousness and no need to discuss any “philosophical overview”. So it is better to start with some “historical information”, a boring one as it always has been with me.

Birding and Bird watching, the long going battle

Bird watching or birding is nothing but a new form of wildlife observation in which the observation is only limited with “Birds”. One can observe the birds by the naked eyes or through the “binoculars and telescopes” or by listening to the bird’s voice and recording it for future purpose. It is not mandatory that “Bird watchers” must do the scientific approach like “ornithologists”. Rather they simply enjoy watching them, but of course, with a greater responsibility to make our society realizing the importance of protection of our “Feathered Friend” so that “Mother Nature” can maintain her balance.
I cannot simply able to resist myself from quoting some lines from “Wikipedia” found while searching the origination of the term “Bird watching” are as follow.
The first recorded use of the term birdwatcher was in 1891; bird was introduced as a verb. The term birding was also used for the practice of fowling or hunting with firearms as in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor: "She laments sir... her husband goes this morning a-birding.”
Now my dear friends, I would like to draw your kind attention in a battle that has been continuing for a long time over two terms. One is “Birding” and the other is “Bird watching”.
The terms “Birding” and “Bird watching” may appear same to us and can be thought to use interchangeably. But, some participants nourish different idea, though may appear to someone a subjective difference, as “Birders”, according to them, are not only more versed in aural and visual identification of birds but also found ready to travel in distant states and countries for the searching of birds what birdwatchers are lacking not venturing far from their local sites. Regarding this discussion, another term sometimes floats and catches our attention that is “Twitching”, a British term, what is used to mean "the pursuit of a previously located rare bird."
There are some “terms” come up regarding “Bird-Watching” when duration of the survey is concerned are as follow
Big Day: It is a team game. Each team has 24 hours to identify as many species as possible.
Big Year: like a big day, but contestants are individuals, and rest of the rules are same that is need to identify as many species as possible.
Big Sit or Big Stay: birdwatchers must see birds from a circle of prescribed diameter. Once birds are spotted, birdwatchers can leave the circle to confirm the identity, but new birds seen may not be counted.