Get out your nature notebooks – Its time to learn about some Indian birds. Today we will discover the common birds of Bangalore.
Hello! As I am back in India for the next few weeks, I thought it would be fun to have a look at some of the local wildlife here. Because, it is true – there is a huge variety of wildlife in India – imagine its elephants, tigers and peacocks, for instance. But, there is also a wealth of ‘less’-exotic, but still amazing creatures living right here beside us, in the bustle of the city.
In fact, there are so many species living here among the trees, that I have only discovered the tip of the iceberg. There are many birds I hear calling – but do not know whose voices they are. There are also many birds I see flitting through the trees and flying through the skies – and I have no idea as to their identity!
So, on this visit, I am making a concerted effort to place calls and faces together. It has been tough, I admit – they are so well camouflaged against the tree canopies; but, I am making a breakthrough. In fact, I thought it would be fun to share my findings with you, and introduce you to the bird life in my vicinity.
Therefore, and without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the birds of Bangalore!
First up, may I introduce the fabulous black kite! These birds can be seen soaring gracefully across the sky all over the city; their cries of kieeee! Kieeeee! heralding their presence. But, my favourite of these, must be the pair living in a palm tree behind our house… it never crossed my mind that eagles might live in palm trees until I saw these two in their nest!
Second on my list, is the koel – an interesting bird of the cuckoo family. These birds call koooo-oyl! koooo-oyl! The locals say their calls herald the arrival of the mangoes, and mouths water in anticipation the moment their voices are heard through the trees.
The third bird I have seen here, is the myna. This clever bird has been known to copy human voices, music and the whistles of other birds. There are two varieties of myna here – one with the yellow face, and one without. However, either way, I do love seeing them flitting cheerfully from tree to tree with their white under-wings flashing. They are playful and inquisitive birdies.
The jungle crow of Asia, despite (at first glance) looking like our European crows, is pretty different from the crows we know back home. First, it has a fluffy head – it is kind of cute, actually. Then, it has a long, overhanging beak. In fact, there is a family of crows living in a tree above the house, and the lead crow has a crooked overhang at least 2 inches long! I often wonder how it has managed to survive – both in terms of its beak remaining intact, and also in terms of managing to catch food without the hook getting in its way…?! But, then, yesterday, one of them landed on our wall with a morsel of food, and I realised – it only has one leg! So, they must be pretty hardy.
The fifth bird I would like to introduce, is the Bulbul. A bird famous across both Asia and the Middle East. It is akin to the daytime nightingale, or even, the blackbird, of this continent. Their song is beautiful – melodious, cheerful and haunting all at the same time. I confess, I have not yet seen or heard a bulbul on this particular visit, but I have seen them a lot on previous trips here.
Sixth on my list, is the ring-necked parakeet. This zippy green bird can be seen darting and gliding between the trees. They are easily located by their incessant babbling, chittering and squawking. It is fun watching them in the evening, as huge flocks come together to flap to their roosts somewhere on the outskirts of the city.
Of all the birds on this list, I think, the parakeet is the most fun and playful!
Finally, last, but not least, is the white-cheeked barbet. I finally met this bird a few days ago after hearing it every time I had visited, but never being able to track it down. The barbet has a very distinctive call that jars across the traffic. Ktrooooooooo! Ktrooooooo! They are territorial, fruit-eating birds, and see their rivals off by trying to outdo them with their loudest, most echoing ktroooooos! It is quite fun to listen to them rivaling it out – there are at least three I have heard here, ,each with their with own favorite trees and perches. Ka-troooh! Ka-troooow! Ktroooooooo! They roll at each other 🙂
As you can imagine, these are just a few of the many birds living in Bangalore – never mind the total living all across India.
There are many, many birdy voices I hear singing and chattering amongst the trees. Unfortunately, they are so hard to spot, that so far, I have only put faces to voices for a handful of birds, and have yet to put voices – or identities, to others. So, these are just some of the most common birds found in Bangalore. I hope you have enjoyed meeting them!
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