There is nothing like a chirp, coo or a cluck of a beautiful bird. Their soothing sounds put the world right for a minute or two. In the true spirit of Valentine’s Day, here’s our take on what it feels like to be loved.
One of the tallest flying birds, the sarus crane can grow up to 5’11’’ in height. These non-migratory birds can be found in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat. It is a pleasure to see the courtship dance of the sarus cranes during the monsoon. Experts say that the sarus pair for life. In Gujarat, married couples are shown a pair of sarus cranes to pray for their happy and long married life. The cranes nest in shallow grounds and marshy lands. The chicks are great swimmers, as they can swim as soon as they come out of the eggs.
At an altitude above 15,000 feet, where wind speed is over 100kmph and oxygen levels are low, is the playground of these majestic birds. They forage for food, play, fly and breed in the marshy lands of Ladakh. The black-necked crane is whitish-gray, its head black, with a red crown patch on top, and black legs and upper neck. Both sexes looks similar. Every summer, they fly from the remote regions of Bhutan and Tibet to the marshy lands of Ladakh to build nests and raise their young ones. The nest is usually a raised platform in the midst of the marshes. They are often seen in pairs, and from a distance, you could confuse them for humans working in fields.
One does not need to go to jungles to see these midsized birds which are social and can be seen in small groups, near our houses and gardens. These are widespread in the Indian subcontinent. This habit of flocking together has given them the name of seven sisters. Both the male and female look similar. Babblers are noisy birds with continuous chattering, squeaking and chirping. They love to play chases and mock fights.
It is a resident bird and breeds in India. It can be seen in city gardens and is tolerant to humans. It drills perfectly round holes in trees for nests. For most of the year, it is silent, but during the mating season, it becomes very vocal.
these long-legged predatory water waders of the Heron family are spread all over the world and are resident breeders at many places. These wetland birds can be seen near rivers and ponds. Grey herons breed high up in trees in colonies called heronries. Both the sexes of Grey Herons look alike. While flying, they retract their long necks, forming S shapes.
The painted storks are widespread in the Indian subcontinent. Their distinctive terrestrial tail feathers give them their name. Painted-storks are large waders in the stork family.
An enormous black bill, glistening black head and neck, and pied black and white wings make the black-necked storks among the more distinguishable birds in India. They make their nests —a platform with a shallow depression—on treetops in or near water between August and January. Both sexes of the black-necked stork look alike, except for one small difference: Males have a brown iris and females lemon yellow one.
This large plover is found mostly in the Indian subcontinent. These are ground birds and do not have a perch—they nest on land near water. They are the first to raise an alarm if other animals or humans approach the birds. They run and then stop, dipping forward as they pick up food. Both sexes are alike. The lapwings form groups, but are in pairs during the breeding season. They have a peculiar call that sounds like: “Did he do it, pity to do it.”
A red munia the size of a sparrow, the red avadavats are found mainly in the plains, in places with tall grass or crops. They are mostly in small flocks, and at the slightest sign of danger, they hide in the grass.