The beautiful birds of Puttaparthi - 2

Nature never ceases to amaze. And ‘naturally’ so for it is a limb of the Lord. As Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba put it, “Man is a part of the society. Society is a part of nature. Nature is a limb of the Lord. So love all, serve all. “ This limb of the Lord reflects the beauty of God. Little wonder that it has been said, “Creation is Divine.” Being human, all we can do is to try to imitate and recapture that glory. And that is exactly the attempt here. After having met twenty feathered friends in a hub that won the HubPages Patron of Arts Contest, it is an opportunity to meet a few more beauties. Just to recap very quickly, Puttaparthi has its fair share of birds, thanks to the river Chitravati that flows through it and a host of lakes that have water for almost 9-10 months of every year.

The Tricolored Munia looks dainty and beautiful as it skilfully perches on thin reeds, looking out for  seeds among the grasses and reeds. (Chitravati river bed reeds)
The Tricolored Munia looks dainty and beautiful as it skilfully perches on thin reeds, looking out for seeds among the grasses and reeds. (Chitravati river bed reeds) | Source

The little ones always occupy the front rows! The Tricoloured Munia is so beautiful because of its distinctly separated colours. The Munias are also called as Finches. They stay in groups of five or six, hopping about the grass or fluttering in the reeds, always feeding. Another little bird that is seen very easily in the gardens and among the many flowering plants of Puttaparthi is the Sunbird. There are more than six varieties at least but all the females look alike with a yellow belly and brownish back.

The female Sunbird enjoys a sunbath after the early morning dew gave it a water bath! (the lower reaches of the Chitravati river)
The female Sunbird enjoys a sunbath after the early morning dew gave it a water bath! (the lower reaches of the Chitravati river) | Source

Another little bird (compared to other birds of its nature) is the Black Shouldered Kite. This predator plays a waiting game before putting in a burst of terrific energy to grab its meal of the day! And when it turns to look at you, you get a feeling of being watched over by a powerful Red-Indian Spirit. Its an amazing sensation.

Who could have conceived the unique colour combination of the Black Shouldered Kite?(on electricity wire near Sahebcheruvu)
Who could have conceived the unique colour combination of the Black Shouldered Kite?(on electricity wire near Sahebcheruvu) | Source

Another bird in black is the Asian Koel which belongs to the Cuckoo species. Infamous as a parasite that lays eggs only in the crow’s and other bird’s nests, the Koel is the most vocal bird of the lot. You will hear it more than you see it. The male has a sweet cooing call while th female chooses to use hurried and high pitched coos.

The female Koel feeding on berries chooses only to be heard rather seen. This was a surprise encounter. (Berry tree along the Chitravati river banks)
The female Koel feeding on berries chooses only to be heard rather seen. This was a surprise encounter. (Berry tree along the Chitravati river banks) | Source

The female of the Pied Bushchat is a real cutie! She has a little chirp and as she sits on her perch, you cannot help but fall in love with her. She looks so cherubic and cute.

The Pied Bushchat female calls out softly from her perch in the meadows. (Meadows beyond the river Chitravati)
The Pied Bushchat female calls out softly from her perch in the meadows. (Meadows beyond the river Chitravati) | Source

Well, talking of females, there is often a misconception that just as the female is more beautiful in the humans, the male is more beautiful among the animals and birds. I cannot say that I subscribe to this view completely. The male Red Munia had made his appearance in the previous post. The female Red Munia is equally exquisite if not more! She looks like she has draped herself in traditional Kanjeevaram silk saree!

With her large eyes, the female Red Munia looks like an inspiration for many fashion show models on how beauty could be displayed even when completely draped!(reeds along Chitravati river)
With her large eyes, the female Red Munia looks like an inspiration for many fashion show models on how beauty could be displayed even when completely draped!(reeds along Chitravati river) | Source

As the seasons change and the summer begins to set in, the river starts drying up. There is very little flowing water but a large number of small and shallow pools and puddles. The Greater Painted Snipe is a master of camouflage. There will be at least half a dozen along the shores, feeding in pairs and still it becomes hard to notice one. And when you see one, keep your eyes trained on it. One moment of concentration lapse, and its again lost from sight!

The Greater Painted Snipes are great blenders and their body colour is almost the same as the terrain colours. (Chitravati river)
The Greater Painted Snipes are great blenders and their body colour is almost the same as the terrain colours. (Chitravati river) | Source

Another bird that has been blessed with camouflage is the Brainfever bird, a member of the Cuckoo family. There is a difference however. Instead of blending into the background, the bird looks exactly like the predatory Shikra in its features and colors. (whom we met in the Part 1)Only the beak gives it away!

The Brainfever bird is so named since its call sounds like its announcing, "Brain fever, brain fever".  (on electricity wire at foothills)
The Brainfever bird is so named since its call sounds like its announcing, "Brain fever, brain fever". (on electricity wire at foothills) | Source

Another bird along the same shores as the Greater Painted Snipe is very conspicuous to both - the eyes and the ears. The Red Wattled Lapwing takes upon itself the role of a sentry. The minute it sees an approaching human, it flies excitedly in the skies with hurried calls of “Did-Did-Did-you-do-it” and it is also popularly known as the “Did You Do It Bird”.

Though a conspicuous bird, please ensure that you are not conspicuous to the Red Wattled Lapwing. It will warn away all birds and within moments you will be standing on bird-free lands! (Near rice fields)
Though a conspicuous bird, please ensure that you are not conspicuous to the Red Wattled Lapwing. It will warn away all birds and within moments you will be standing on bird-free lands! (Near rice fields) | Source

Back to the little ones that we missed out. There are many varieties of Prinias in Puttaparthi and they are bold birds, easy to photograph. They will easily win the 'most approachable' award! The loser of that award will be the Red Whiskered Bulbul. This bird has been known for its gait and beauty in Indian mythology and in the songs of many Bollywood movies too. The Indian Bush Lark is a singer who seems to be content doing just that for the whole day. The most distinct feature of this bird is the way it takes off vertically and then drops to a new perch, parachuting on its stretched and canopied wings.

The Franklins Prinia is waking up to the golden rays of the sun. (Bushes in rice fields along the river Chitravati)
The Franklins Prinia is waking up to the golden rays of the sun. (Bushes in rice fields along the river Chitravati) | Source
The Red Whiskered Bulbul was a rare find and delighted the heart of the photographer.
The Red Whiskered Bulbul was a rare find and delighted the heart of the photographer. | Source
The Indian Bush Lark's songs come in at least a dozen variants. (bushes along the river Chitravati)
The Indian Bush Lark's songs come in at least a dozen variants. (bushes along the river Chitravati) | Source

In seeing all these birds, we have entirely forgotten one category - those that rule the night times! The Indian Flying Fox has been so named after its uncanny resemblance to a fox. Though it has been wrongly glorified in Dracula movies, this bat is a complete frugivore. This fruit-eating bat actively feeds on figs and berries in the night. They use their front claws for moving amongst the branches to reach the fruits. By the way, the bat is not a bird - it is a flying mammal that gives birth to its young alive, without laying eggs.

Munching merrily on berries is the impressive Indian Flying Fox. (tree inside the premises of the Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music)
Munching merrily on berries is the impressive Indian Flying Fox. (tree inside the premises of the Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music) | Source

Some of the noisiest among the Puttaparthi birds is the Rose-ringed Parakeet. The pink coloured collar develops at maturity. This is obviously a juvenile. And as they feed, they look like children eating lollipops!

The Rose-ringed Parakeet feeds in an uncanny human fashion - using its feet as hands to hold the fruit. (Mango fields near Puttaparthi)
The Rose-ringed Parakeet feeds in an uncanny human fashion - using its feet as hands to hold the fruit. (Mango fields near Puttaparthi) | Source

Talking about noise making, we just cannot omit the Large Grey Babbler. In fact, I feel it would be better named as the Grey Large 'Babbler'! These birds always, always, always, travel in groups of 5-6 and they create a flutter wherever they go. Their noisy "Jee Jee Jee Jee" can almost make the deaf hear too!

A magnificent Large Grey Babbler strutting on a high branch. (Fields along the Chitravati)
A magnificent Large Grey Babbler strutting on a high branch. (Fields along the Chitravati) | Source

That brings us to the last entry for this hub - the Spotted Dove - easy to spot and easy to photograph. Such a variety exists even among doves. And unless you study them, you cannot make out the difference. The Spotted Dove can be distinguished from the chess-pattern patch on the neck.

The Spotted Dove looks like another ready candidate for the post of the ambassador for peace and love! (wire along the main road)
The Spotted Dove looks like another ready candidate for the post of the ambassador for peace and love! (wire along the main road) | Source

Did you like this photo-gallery?

If you liked it, then you will surely love the other gallery on the same topic. In fact, the beautiful birds of Puttaparthi -1 won an award too in HubPages! :)

Hope you have a look at it too...

Want to post this article somewhere?

Since HubPages is very strict about plagiarism, if you use this article, or its part thereof, anywhere on any site, please also post the source link along. Thank you. :)

And if you want to subscribe to such articles, please "Like" the following Facebook page.

More by this Author


Comments 30 comments

Gundappa Srinivas 6 months ago

Sairam, too Good and beautiful, let the ecology be preserved and improved


Pomy 6 months ago

Beautiful photographs :-)...Thank you so much for sharing


Vidya Todankar 2 years ago

Hi, such a delight to see the pictures u clicked. I have just recently started studying birds, though have been liking them since my childhood. Today while my morning jog session, saw a bird and came back home to check in The Book of Indian birds by Dr. Salim Ali. However was confused since the bird matched so many other birds in description. Finally saw the Ashy Wren Warbler's picture u clicked and I was so happy that I could identify the bird. Thankyou Aravind !


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 3 years ago from Puttaparthi, India Author

@Pamela - Thank you for dropping by... There are many rose-ringed parakeets in the wild here... But they are also 'domestic' in the sense that they bravely wander near human dwellings and habitats in search of food. People at times put out chillies and fruits for them to eat.


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

It's so nice to see the Rose-ringed Parakeet in the wild in this photo of yours. I have only seen them caged up in pet stores in the United States. All of your photos of the birds are wonderful!


Karessa 3 years ago

Wow thank you for these stunning pictures, they re breathtaking.

Awesome learing about nature, so thank you again!!!


Prashanth 4 years ago

As a Brindavan student, I remember the innumerable parrots that made the ashram their home. Also the kites majestically circling above.


ashok shetty 4 years ago

great collection of photos of birds.


kavita dantala 4 years ago

awesome really fantastic nice collection. Thank u for sharing with us.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"Their noisy "Jee Jee Jee Jee" can almost make the deaf hear too!" - lol That is quite the funny statement.

I really like your Indian Flying Fox - it's a cute bat, a better looking one in my opinion (than the ones I have seen back home in Romania or here in Canada).

Thanks for sharing this Mr. Aravind! You take some beautiful photographs. Cheers!


Sreenidhi 4 years ago

I'm spell bound.....Can't take my eyes of the pictures....my favourite is the Tricoloured Munia :)


Hemanth 4 years ago

This was spellbinding Aravind. No amount of appreciation or comments can do justice to the diligence and effort that you must have put to post this splendid hub. We should be grateful to you for showing us the true beauty of nature.


Shruti 4 years ago

My favorite is the Black Shouldered Kite!


Shruti 4 years ago

Beautiful… :)


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

What a gorgeous collection of birds and glimpses into their habitats as well. Very nicely done. You have obviously spent a good deal of time surrounded by and appreciating nature, which is to appreciate God's awesome creation! Thank you for such a beautiful Hub! Voted Up, awesome and beautiful.


RAVI GOPAL 5 years ago

You have captured the Sundaram aspect of the Omnipresent Sai with devotion.No wonder viewers are immersed in Bliss watching this beautiful presentation.


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 5 years ago from Puttaparthi, India Author

Thank you Aarthi, Ravi Bhaiya and Raju Iyer. The beauty truly belongs to the birds!

@Beata Stasak, vasantha T K, and Srikanth - Thank you. Hope to have many more hubs like this.

@Timorous - Yes! I have a 600mm lens!

@tobusiness - Felt so happy to have given you that relaxed feeling


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Simply beautiful, a feast for the eyes,and so relaxing, voted up and following you.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

Love birds, great hub...thank you:)


timorous profile image

timorous 5 years ago from Me to You

Absolutely gorgeous bird pictures. You must have a telephoto lens and lots of patience to capture such clear pictures of these lovely birds. Thank you for sharing these.


vasantha  T k profile image

vasantha T k 5 years ago from Bangalore

It's simply another beautiful ,beautiful hub of feathered beauties. The content, the pictures are just great. Two , three pictures didn't open completely to view i missed it. Best wishes.


Srikanth 5 years ago

Vow.. Another great collection aravind..


Raju Iyer 5 years ago

Very beautiful photography and fantastic descriptions......Hats off to you..... As it is from Divine Puttaparthi an added beauty. (Including the photographer) Sairam:););)


Ravi 5 years ago

Wow ... another set of fantastic pics from our surroundings. It's so beautiful if only we 'stand and stare'. Thanks for showing it to us again .. :-)


Aarthi 5 years ago

Beauty at its best! What a variety among the birds! You are so gifted, bro, that you are able to capture the birds with such clarity! :) Keep going!


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 5 years ago from Puttaparthi, India Author

Thank you everyone for your appreciation. I feel very humble. Let me say that the subjects are so beautiful that it makes my job easy.

@PoornimaSrinath - Believe it or not, I approach them with great stealth - like a liopn stalking the prey. Only that instead of preying, am always praying! Of course there are some technicalities involved, but approaching the birds with love and reverence make them give you good pictures! :)


poornimasrinath profile image

poornimasrinath 5 years ago from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA

Wow again!.. How did you get to go closer to them? Very well done. The use of DOF and ISO's are amazing. The birds move so quickly if they notice ppl around..The clarity in your picture shows how proficient you are in using the camera..Wish you all the very best for all your future endeavors. I can't wait to watch these birds in Parthi during my kind of first trip starting this sunday..Cheers!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 5 years ago from North Texas

You have some great photos of birds here, and they are beautiful birds. . .

Voting you UP and interesting!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Fantastic photography and great descriptions. The female Red Munia is certainly showy, but so are all the others birds! Thank you very much for another great Hub!


ashwin kumar 5 years ago

Fantastic!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working