Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Paradise of Birds in Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh

It has been few years I've been fascinated by Nature. I've been travelling a lot with a hobby of doing photography with some basic photography skills. 

In my most recent trip to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, I've spotted some amazing birds which I thought of sharing. 

The drive from Bombay to Karnataka is scenic and fun. Before you know it, one is already driving off the highway into a smaller road that marks the way into the birds paradise. 

Few train crossings, where your car will share road space with tractors, bullock carts and village children in their school uniforms carrying slates and books, you will find yourself in the midst of trees with a canopy of leaves and branches so thick, it blocks out the sunlight and casts a greenish glow. 
The air is so fresh and pollution free, it will force you to switch off the AC in your car and roll down the windows. But since I was with Family, I was forced to keep the AC on. 

Jungle Babbler:
The scientific name of Jungle Babbler is Turdoides Striata and one of the common Indian name is Seven Brothers or Seven Sisters. This bird also looks like Angry Bird from the famous cartoon series based on birds. It looks that the cartoonist got the inspiration from Jungle babbler for few bird characters.

The bird family of these birds is Leiothrichidae and these birds are very common in Indian Subcontinent. We can see them in forests, gardens and residential areas.


As I was following this bird for some to take its pictures, however, I didn't succeed for few months. I was mainly attracted towards this Hoopoe because of crown on its head. It is common to see a Hoopoe in India when we show some patience. After Initial some failures, I got many good pics of Hoopoe with full grown.The Hoopoe is the national bird of Isreal and it is an Afro-Eurasian bird meaning it is found in Africam, Asia, Europe and at many other places/islands. The Hoopoe is one of highly noticed bird because of crown like feathers on his head, which he can open and close.

Enjoy the its distinctive "crown" of feathers.

Pond Heron:
Some of Birds are so good in camouflage that we need hard efforts to find them. Indian Pond Heron is also one such bird, which uses its wing color to hide in the leaves.
This happened with me during my recent visit to Hampi near the Tungabhadra River, while taking pictures, I spotted this beautiful Indian Pond Heron.

Plum-headed Parakeet:
Plum-headed Parakeet are third parakeets after Rose-ringed Parakeet (Indian Parrot) and Slaty-headed Parakeet (Himalayan Parrot) which I am going to share with you. Recently, I discovered that a parrot was trying to get my attention. At first look, I thought that it may be a slaty-headed parakeet; however, on closer inspection, I noticed that this parrot has a pinkish head.

On some search, I found that it is a Plum-headed Parakeet which is mostly found from the foothills of Himalaya to Srilanka. In Plum-headed Parakeet, the male Parakeet has a pinkish head while female parakeet has a gray head. 
I found these ones in Hampi.

Laughing Dove:
I am seeing Pigeon from my Childhood. They have always lived around me and it is common to find then Unlike Laughing Dove who move in big groups. 

These ones were quite unique in nature and I thought of sharing these.
When we spread grains on the roof for Pigeon, then one or two laughing doves also come to eat the grains.

Laughing Dove is a small pigeon and it is found in Africa, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent. The scientific name of Laughing dove is Spilopelia senegalensis and it is also known by names of Palm dove and Senegal dove. In these birds, we can notice a black colored necklace with embedded Rofous beats on it.

Indian Robin:
We can find Indian Robin in good numbers; therefore, there is no present threat to this bird. Indian Robin is a beautiful bird and it helps human by eating harmful insects.
These birds prefer dry environment and therefore, we don't find them in places where rain is too common. 
In villages, outer parts of cities or in the gardens, we can easily some of Indian Robins.
The scientific name of Indian Robin is Saxicoloides Fulicatus and it belongs to the Muscicapidae family of birds. It is common to find Indian robins in semi forests and open area looking for food.
We can find differences in the colors of Indian Robin in other parts of India. The female Indian Robins don't have dark colors.

Red Wattled Lapwing:
This is the one bird which I saw very late in life. It was very common to hear loud calls of this bird in wild places and forests. 
It is common to hear loud calls of Red-wattled Lapwing at night because these birds do feed at night and make noise.

This bird is very common in Northern part of India and one can easily recognize Red-wattled lapwing through its voice only.

Purple Sunbird:
This is first Sunbird which I captured in the hills of Andhra Pradesh near Gandhikota. The biggest difficulty you get while taking pictures of Sunbird is their very small size and their constant moments. We mostly don't notice these birds because of their small size.

The unique point of Purple Sunbird is their fast and direct flights and due to this, they can become out of sight anytime.

Green Bee-Eater:
his bird is mainly found in the plains; though, sometimes we can find in lower hills. The good thing about this Green Bee-eater is that it is found in good number and there is no threat to this bird. These birds can be sometimes observed in urban parts.
In general, we find Green Bee-eater birds in the short groups or in pairs. In the Hills and forest regions of Punjab (India), Karnataka, we can find these birds in Good numbers.
Green Bee-eater birds provide a great opportunity in front of a bird photographer to test his skills because we can find them in many avatars doing a number of things.

Indian Black Kite:
The black kite species is a medium sized bird and the females are slightly larger than the males.
he black kite has dark brown plumage. The head and neck are paler. There is a dark patch behind the eyes. The outer flight feathers are black and the feathers have dark cross bars and are mottled at the base. The cere, gape and legs are yellow. The beak and claws are black. These kite species have a distinctive shrill whistling sound followed by a rapid whinnying call.
The Indian black kites are opportunistic hunters, spend a lot of time soaring and gliding in thermals in search of food more likely to scavenge. The small Indian kite is a sub species of the big black kite and slightly different from red kites. The small size raptors are well adapted to living in Indian cities, they attracted to smoke and fires for escaping prey like birds, bats and rodents.

House Sparrows:
House Sparrows never needed any special introduction in India because it was very common to see these tiny beautiful birds around the human habitats in cities and villages. However, within last five-six years, they almost disappeared from most of Indian cities and villages.

White-Tailed Kite:
These are medium-sized raptor of open grasslands and savannas, the White-tailed Kite is readily identified by its bright plumage and long, narrow, pointed wings, Long white tail, Gray back and wings, white face and underside, black spot on inner portion of wings with eyes RED :-)

Greater Coucal:
It is common to find Greater Coucal in all parts of Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka state of India. This bird is also known as Crow Pheasant and its scientific name is Centropus sinensis.
The thing I noticed about this bird is its big size and shy nature. We can find Greater Coucal both in forests and near human population

Fork Tailed Drongo:
This fantastic little bird is a common resident in and around Sabi Sabi. Its drab black coloration does not attract much interest from passers-by but when you look beyond the colour there is a world of intelligence and specialization.

The drongo will often be found following the large herbivores as they move along grazing and browsing. These smart birds have figured out that the larger animals will flush insects from their hiding places in the grass allowing the drongos to swoop in and catch their prey. It is not uncommon for us to drive off-road to get a closer view of the Big 5 and have drongos hovering inches from the Land Rover as they closely watch the turning wheels waiting for their food to come flying out in front of the tyres.

The Asian or Common Koel (Spotted):

The Asian Koel is a large, long-tailed, cuckoo at 45 cm.
The male of the nominate race is glossy bluish-black, with a pale green or grey bill, the iris is crimson, and it has grey legs and feet.
The female of the nominate race is brownish on the crown and has rufous streaks on the head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The underparts are whitish, but is heavily striped.The other subspecies differ in colouration and size.
The word koel is echoic in origin and the bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry. It has been compared with the "nightingale" due to its melodious call.

More Spotted but Unidentified:

Yellow Browed Bulbul:
The yellow-browed bulbul mainly found in the forests of southern India (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh). It is mainly yellow on the underside and olive above with a distinct yellow brow. They are easily located by their loud calls. I've often spotted them on trees camouflaged, but got the click just at the right time. 

You can always find more photos @ KhatriSuperShots & WittyTravel

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