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 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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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!
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!
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”.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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...
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