Butterflies of Bangalore

My Nature Nook

tailed jay, butterflies of bangalore

Get out your nature notebooks – Its time to discover some Indian wildlife. There is some amazing wildlife on the Indian Subcontinent, and today we will meet some of the beautiful, colourful butterflies I found in Bangalore.

Butterflies of Bangalore

Hello! As my stay in India draws to a close, I thought it would be fun to introduce you to some of the absolutely amazingly beautiful butterflies I found living here in Bangalore. 

These are of course, just a small selection of the many butterflies and abundant wildlife living in this part of the world. Also, as usual, there are many butterflies I see flying, which, I have not yet been able to identify, besides many which I have not yet seen. Today, however, I shall show you a few of the most common butterflies I have come across during my stay in Bangalore. 

So, close your eyes and imagine… neon, tetra colours, stained-glass windows, trailing tails and giant wings… Then, get ready to meet the butterflies of Bangalore! 

common jay, butterflies of Bangalore

Common Jay

Graphium doson

This spectacular butterfly is a flying work of art. Brilliant, turquoise blue markings flash and blind on a background of velvet black, reminding me of a leaded stained-glass window. It is hard to miss this butterfly as it sails and glides beside you, and is a very restless soul, rarely resting, and fluttering its wings even while feeding.

crimson roe, butterflies of bangalore

Crimson Rose

Pachliopta hector

One of the tailed butterflies, the crimson rose is easy to confuse with the Common Mormon – and at first glance, they do appear almost identical… but, I promise, they are not. For, the Crimson Rose as a soft, stunning, red, crushed-velvet like body, whereas the Common Mormon’s is a dull, boring black. It also has a very particular flight pattern, gliding along like a paper plane without fluttering, then lifting back up with a little whoosh! 

As an interesting fact, the Crimson Rose is legally protected in India.

tailed jay, butterflies of bangalore

Tailed Jay

Graphium agamemnon

This beautiful butterfly, like the Common Jay, is another flying work of art resembling a stained-glass window, and just like the latter, is also incredibly difficult to miss, as it glides along at eye level, bobbing and fluttering just above eye-level among its favorite flowers. 

As an interesting fact, the Tailed Jay, for all its beauty, has a very short lifespan – it lives only for a month!

red pierrot, butterflies of bangalore

Red Pierrot

Talicada nyseus

One of my favorite butterflies, I actually first met this butterfly in Italy, of all places, although it is usually found in South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent!

I decided to show this butterfly with its wings closed, as it is most noticeable in this pose, resting among the flowers – it’s upper surface being a dull, dark grey, with flashes of orange on its hind wings.

common tiger, butterflies of bangalore

Common Tiger

Danaus genutia

The Common Tiger butterfly, also known as the Striped Tiger, may look remarkably familiar to some you in the US, as indeed it might, since, this butterfly is very similar to the Monarch butterfly – famous for its migration. 

As an interesting fact, this butterfly loves eating poisonous plants, which it stores in its body, making it an unpleasant morsel for unwitting predators!

common mormon, butterflies of bangalore

Common Mormon

Papilio polytes

As mentioned earlier, the Common Mormon is easily confused with the Crimson Rose, and well is that the case. For this butterfly is renowned for its mimicry of the latter, in a bid to deter predators who may have unwittingly sampled the Crimson Rose. However, it is easy to distinguish by its dull, grey or black body – as opposed to the beautiful red velvet body of the Crimson Rose. 

Well folks… there you go. My low down on the most common butterflies I found in Bangalore. I hope you enjoyed them,  and thank you for reading!

Leila x

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Birds of Bangalore

My Nature Nook

bulbul, birds of bangalore

Get out your nature notebooks – Its time to learn about some Indian birds. Today we will discover the common birds of Bangalore.

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! 

black kite, birds of bangalore

Black Kite

Milvus migrans

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!

Kieeeeeee! Kieeeeeeeee! See them soaring!

asian koel, birds of bangalore

Koel

Eudynamys scolopaceus

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.

Koooo-oyl! Koooo-oyl! The mangoes are coming!

common mynah

Mynah

Acridotheres tristis

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.

Cheeeooo! Cheeeooo! Hear me chattering!

jungle crow, birds of bangalore

Jungle Crow

Corvus macrorhynchos

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.

Gharrrrr! Gharrrrr! My beak is amazing!

bulbul, birds of bangalore

Bulbul

Pycnonotus jocusus

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.

Kullooo, kullooo, chickiri, chikiri, twidil, twidil, deee!

rose-ringed parakeet

Rose-ringed Parakeet

Psittacula krameri

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!

Chick! Cheee! Come play with us and have some fun!

white-cheeked barbet, birds of bangalore

White-Cheeked Barbet

Megalaima viridis

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 🙂

Ktrooooooo! Ktrooooooo! Hear us battling!

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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Copyright Leila Bassir 2019 All Rights Reserved.