Monday, July 5, 2010

Birds of Karnataka

As a 12 year old, I was into hobbies. One of them was birdwatching! Well, in the literal sense. No pun intended. I had a pair of binoculars, a book of common birds of India by Dr.Salim Ali and of course, a field guide – to make notes and sketches of my observations on birds found in my locality. I also had subscriptions to Hornbill and the British Wildlife magazine . I could very well call myself an amateur ornithologist.

Today, after almost as many years as I was old then, I find myself a birdwatcher still, though of a different kind. Friends know, I got bored of this aspect of birdwatching too, months back. Recently however, I was inclined to start off with traditional birdwatching again. So, I’ve planned to visit the Banerghatta National Park and Nandi Hills among other places. My area, Whitefield also is home to some interesting species of birds I would love to know about. Here’s a compilation of some of the rare bird species of Karnataka of which I’ve seen only two(Blue-Winged Parakeet and . . )
Four out of the five descriptions presented below are courtesy Ornithological Archives of the Wildlife and Conservation Department of Karnataka/India. And the last one . . . is a work of fiction by Yours truly!

1. Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon

Family : Columbidae

Scientific Name : Columba elphinstonii

Description :
The Nilgiri Woodpigeon (Columba elphinstonii) is a bird endemic to moist deciduous forests and sholas of the Western Ghats in southwestern India. They are identified in the field by the checkerboard pattern on their napes. This pigeon species qualifies as vulnerable owing to its small, declining population, restricted range and widespread destruction of its forest habitat. A few relict populations survive on the high altitude hills of the peninsula outside the Western Ghats formation.

Habitat :
Biligirirangan Hills and Nandi Hills near Bangalore.

2. Blue-winged Parakeet

Family : Psittacidae - Parakeets & Hanging-Parrots

Scientific Name : Psittacula columboides

Description :
The Malabar Parakeet also known as the Blue-winged Parakeet, is endemic to the Western Ghats in Southern India. he Malabar Parakeet has beautifully colored plumage. The male's overall color is a bluish-gray with a sometimes reddish-pink tint. One of the things that make this bird so striking is the double ring around the neck of the male. The lower ring is a brilliant light blue, while the top ring is more of a greenish dark gray color. They have green feathers in front of their eyes, which extend towards their beaks. The plumage on their heads is bluer in color than the rest of their bodies, though it gets progressively lighter at the top of the head. Above the nares and on the cheeks the blue color is more distinct. They have a striking bright red beak with a bone colored tip. The female Malabar Parakeets lack the brilliant blue band around their necks. Males generally have a greener casting to the feathers on their foreheads, and female's heads are gray. The bill of the female is black, as opposed to the brilliantly color bill of the male.The average adult Malabar Parakeet measures 38 centimeters in length.

Habitat : Evergreen forest and humid montane forest between 450 m and 1,600 m; occasionally also in humid lowland forest.

3. White-bellied Treepie

Family :

Scientific Name : Dendrocitta leucogastra

Description :
The White-bellied Treepie (Dendrocitta leucogastra) is a bird of the crow family found in the forests of the Western Ghats and associated hills. A record from Erimalai near Dharmapuri marks the eastern limit of the species.The species is often seen bowing and lowering its wings as it calls. Several birds may arrive at one tree and call repeatedly during the pre-monsoon breeding season (April-May). The nest is a platform of twigs on a medium sized tree.

Habitat : Western Ghats.

4. Grey-headed Bulbul

Family : Pycnonotidae – Bulbuls and Finchbills

Scientific Name : Pycnonotus priocephalus

Description :
The Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is endemic to the Western Ghats of south-west India, found from Goa south to Tamil Nadu, at altitudes up to 1200m. This bulbul is resident in moist broadleaved evergreen forest with bamboo and dense undergrowth. Its plumage is olive-green, with a medium-grey head, yellow-green forehead, black chin and grey tail. Its bill and irides are pale yellow. The upper rump and lower back has blackish bars. The tail is grey with black outer feathers broadly tipped grey. Both sexes are similar but juveniles have the head dark olive with the yellow on the forehead duller.

Habitat: Moist-deciduous forest, flanked by scrub and acacia monoculture, hills, valleys, ravines, floodplains.

5. Hot-headed Tweetie

Scientific Name: Tweetus Sweetosaurus Sonnacrazium

Brief Description: This bright-eyed, bipedal, chuckling vertebrate is as much an object of
desire, as it is, of research.

Habitat: Usually resides in RaRe Nagar but species originally hails from Dharwad/Bellary region of Karnataka.

Population: Unity.

Built: 'Healthy' & Diminutive.

  • White in regulated low temperatures
  • Red when provoked
  • Pink when invoked
  • Pale yellow when sick or disturbed

Best features:
  • Luscious beak
  • Silky mane
  • Soft feathers
  • 1 inch long eyelashes

Food habits:
  • Vegetarian.
  • Gorges on beetle leaf
  • Glucose based eatables
  • and yes, Apples!

Self Defense mechanism:
  • Has the knack to turn 'invisible',
  • 'block' incompatible species and
  • use high-pitch baritone to the effect of tearing apart eardrums.

Flight Capabilities: Knows how to fly in high altitudes but prefers staying 'down to earth'.

Other traits:
  • Has affinity for the colour pink
  • Repulsive to smoke/pollution
  • Cleanliness freak
  • Loyal to clan
  • Highly sociable with other species
  • Aggressive towards migratory bird species from Andhra Pradesh. Interestingly though, prefers their native lingo for recreation.
  • Probably the only bird species to migrate 36 kilometres up and down everyday for the sake of alternate livelihood.
  • Normally likes warmth but can be 'cold blooded' in rough weather.

  • For birdwatchers - Once sighted, induces permanent amnesia for other bird species.
  • For Pet Keepers - Highly domesticated but can turn wild at the slightest pretext.
  • For prospective Males - Has a heart composed of pure Gold, a brittle element. Meant to be handled with care.

-Loo©zar: 5th May, Monday, 5.30 pm.


abhilash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
abhilash said...

nice article...

Ambuj Sinha said...

Thanks duuude ...