Rahul Bagal

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Grey Junglefowl

Total Photos: 2

The Grey junglefowl, also known as Sonnerat's junglefowl, is one of the wild ancestors of domestic fowl together with the red junglefowl and other junglefowls. The Grey junglefowl is responsible for the yellow pigment in the legs and different body parts of all the domesticated chicken.

This species is endemic to India, and even today it is found mainly in peninsular India and towards the northern boundary. It sometimes hybridize in the wild with red junglefowl. They also hybridize readily in captivity and sometimes with free-range domestic fowl kept in habitations close to forests.

The male has a black cape with ochre spots and the body plumage on a grey ground colour is finely patterned. The elongated neck feathers are dark and end in a small, hard, yellowish plate. The male has red wattles and combs but not as strongly developed as in the red junglefowl. Legs of males are red and have spurs while the yellow legs of females usually lack spurs. The central tail feathers are long and sickle shaped. Males have an eclipse plumage in which they moult their colourful neck feathers in summer during or after the breeding season. The female is duller and has black and white streaking on the underparts and yellow legs.

European Roller

Total Photos: 5

The European roller is a stocky bird, the size of a jackdaw at 29–32 cm in length with a 52–58 cm wingspan; it is mainly blue with an orange-brown back. Rollers often perch prominently on trees, posts or overhead wires, like giant shrikes, whilst watching for the large insects, small reptiles, rodents and frogs that they eat. This species is striking in its strong direct flight, with the brilliant blue contrasting with black flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but the juvenile is a drabber version of the adult. The display of this bird is a lapwing-like display, with the twists and turns that give this species its English name. It nests in an unlined tree or cliff hole, and lays up to six eggs. The call is a harsh crow-like sound. It gives a raucous series of calls when nervous. Some populations migrate to Africa through India.

Common Hawk-cuckoo

Total Photos: 3

The common hawk-cuckoo, popularly known as the brainfever bird, is a medium-sized cuckoo resident in the Indian subcontinent. It bears a close resemblance to the Shikra, a sparrow hawk, even in its style of flying and landing on a perch. The resemblance to hawks gives this group the generic name of hawk-cuckoo and like many other cuckoos these are brood parasites, laying their eggs in nests of babblers. During their breeding season in summer males produce loud, repetitive three note calls that are well-rendered as brain-fever, the second note being longer and higher pitched. These notes rise to a crescendo before ending abruptly and repeat after a few minutes; the calling may go on through the day, well after dusk and before dawn.

The common hawk-cuckoo is a medium- to large-sized cuckoo, about the size of a pigeon (ca. 34 cm). The plumage is ashy grey above; whitish below, cross-barred with brown. The tail is broadly barred. The sexes are alike. They have a distinctive yellow eye ring. Subadults have the breast streaked, similar to the immature shikra, and there are large brown chevron marks on the belly.

Spotted Owlet

Total Photos: 3

The Spotted Owlet is a small owl which breeds in tropical Asia from India to Southeast Asia. A common resident of open habitats including farmland and human habitation, it has adapted to living in cities. They roost in small groups in the hollows of trees or in cavities in rocks or buildings. It nests in a hole in a tree or building, laying 3-5 eggs. Nests near human habitations may show higher breeding success due to increased availability of rodents for feeding young.

The Spotted Owlet is small with overall length of 21 cm. The upperparts are grey-brown, heavily spotted with white. The underparts are white, streaked with brown. The facial disc is pale and the iris is yellow. There is a white neckband and supercilium.

Indian Courser

Total Photos: 2

Indian courser is widespread in South Asia. It is however brighter coloured than the cream-coloured courser and has a broader black eye-stripe that begins at the base of the beak. The crown is chestnut and the breast is rufous. The nape has a dark black patch where the long longer feathers forming the white stripe meet. In flight, the rump appears white and the wing tip is not as contrastingly black as in the cream-coloured courser. The sexes are alike.

The long legs are whitish and as in other coursers have only three forward pointing toes.

These birds are usually seen in small flocks. They are usually found where the grass is not taller than them, since the tall grass blocks their view.

Oriental Darter

Total Photos: 4

It has a long and slender neck with a straight, pointed bill and, like the cormorant, it hunts for fish while its body submerged is in water. It spears a fish underwater, bringing it above the surface, tossing and juggling it before swallowing the fish head first. The body remains submerged as it swims, and the slender neck alone is visible above the water, which accounts for the colloquial name of snakebird. Like the cormorants, it has wettable feathers and it is often found perched on a rock or branch with its wings held open to dry.

The adult plumage above is black and the wing coverts and tertials having silvery streaks along the shaft. The crown and neck are brown shading to black towards the back of the neck. The underparts are blackish brown. A pale line over the eye and throat and a line running along the sides of the neck gives it a striped appearance. The iris is white with a yellow ring (brighter yellow in breeding birds) around it. The tip of the upper mandible is dark while the base is pale brown bill while the lower mandible is yellowish. The legs and webbing on the foot are yellow in immatures and non-breeding birds while breeding birds have darker grey tarsi and toes with yellow webbing. The sexes are not easily distinguishable but males tend to have black speckles that coalesce on the white throat. Adult females have a shorter bill and tend to have the black at the base of neck and chest separated from the hind neck by a wide buff band that ends at the shoulder.

Bay-backed Shrike

Total Photos: 5

The Bay-backed Shrike is smallish shrike at 17 cm, maroon-brown above with a pale rump and long black tail with white edges. The underparts are white, but with buff flanks. The crown and nape are grey, with a typical shrike black bandit mask through the eye. There is a small white wing patch, and the bill and legs are dark grey. Sexes are similar, but young birds are washed-out versions of the adults.

Purple-rumped Sunbird

Total Photos: 6

The Purple-rumped Sunbird is mainly from Indian Subcontinent. Like other sunbirds, they are small in size, feeding mainly on nectar but sometimes take insects, particularly when feeding young. They can hover for short durations but usually perch to feed. They build a hanging pouch nest made up of cobwebs, lichens and plant material. Males are brightly coloured but females are olive above and yellow to buff below.

Purple-rumped Sunbirds are tiny at less than 10 cm long. They have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding. The males have a dark maroon upperside with a blue-green crown that is visible in some angles. There are violet patches on the throat and rump which are visible only in good lighting. There is also a maroon breast band. In the Western Ghats, it can overlap in some areas with the Crimson-backed Sunbird but that species has reddish upperparts. The female has a white throat followed by yellowish breast. There is a bright green shoulder patch. The upperside is olive or brownish. The uppertail coverts are black and a weak supercilium is visible. The nominate form is found in Sri Lanka and has a more bluish violet throat whereas the Indian form flaviventris has a more pinkish tinge.

Red-breasted Flycatcher

Total Photos: 5

The Red-breasted Flycatcher is a small passerine bird. It breeds in eastern Europe and across central Asia and is migratory, wintering in south Asia. It is a regular passage migrant in western Europe.

The breeding male is 12 cm and is mainly brown above and white below, with a grey head and orange throat. The bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores. As well as taking insects in flight, this species hunts caterpillars amongst the oak foliage, and will take berries. The base of the outertail feather is white and the tail is often flicked upwards as they perch looking out for insect prey which are caught on the wing or sometimes from the ground.

In most of its range in Asia, this is the largest of the drongo species and is readily identifiable by the distinctive tail rackets and the crest of curled feather that begin in front of the face above the beak and along the crown to varying extents according to the subspecies. The tail with twirled rackets is distinctive and in flight it can appear as if two large bees were chasing a black bird. In the eastern Himalayas the species can be confused with the lesser racket-tailed drongo, however the latter has flat rackets with the crest nearly absent.

Young birds are duller, and can lack a crest while moulting birds can lack the elongate tail streamers. The racket is formed by the inner web of the vane but appears to be on the outer web since the rachis has a twist just above the spatula.

Like other drongos, these feed mainly on insects but also feed on fruits and visit flowering trees for nectar. Having short legs, they sit upright and are often perched on high and exposed branches. They are aggressive and will sometimes mob larger birds especially when nesting. They are often active at dusk.

Grey-necked Bunting

Total Photos: 3

This bunting has a long pink bill and is greyish above. The male has a distinctive white eye-ring that stands out in contrast to the grey hood. The chin and throat are whitish pink and are bordered by grey malar stripes. The underparts are pinkish brown. The female is duller but the moustachial stripe can appear more noticeable. The outer tail feathers are whitish.