Shilpa Patil

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Chukar Partridge

Total Photos: 2

It has a light brown back, grey breast, and buff belly. The shades vary across the various populations. The face is white with a black gorget. It has rufous-streaked flanks, red legs and coral red bill. Sexes are similar, the female slightly smaller in size and lacking the spur. The tail has 14 feathers, the third primary is the longest while the first is level with the fifth and sixth primaries.

This partridge has its native range in Asia, including Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, along the inner ranges of the Western Himalayas to Nepal. The habitat in the native range is rocky open hillsides with grass or scattered scrub or cultivation. They are not found in areas of high humidity or rainfall.

Chukar will take a wide variety of seeds and some insects as food. It also ingests grit. Chukar roost on rocky slopes or under shrubs. A group may roost in a tight circle with their heads pointed outwards to conserve heat and keep a look out for predators.

Mottled Wood Owl

Total Photos: 2

The Mottled Wood Owl is a large owl, which lacks ear tufts and is mottled and vermiculated in reddish brown and white. The face disc is marked with fine concentric black and white barring. The sexes are alike. The chin is white. The eyelid is orange and the iris is dark brown. The tail is barred narrowly in brown and black. The concentric barring on the face and mottled crown separate it from the brown wood owl in southern India.

These owls roost in the day, usually in pairs. When disturbed they may fly in bright sunshine although they choose to shelter within a dense grove of trees.

They feed on palm squirrels, mice and other small mammals.

Jungle Owlet

Total Photos: 4

The Jungle Owlet is found in India and the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The species are usually detected by their calls at dawn and dusk. This small owlet has a rounded head and is finely barred all over. There is no clear facial disk and the wings are brownish and the tail is narrowly barred in white.

The plumage on the upper parts is dark black brown barred with white. The wing coverts have white and rufous patches. The primaries and secondaries are dark brown and barred with pale chestnut. The lower side is whitish or pale rufous barred with black. There is a whitish patch on the chin, upper breast and centre of the abdomen. The iris is yellow, the bill and tarsi are greenish with black claws.

Oriental Turtle Dove

Total Photos: 3

It shares the black and white striped patch on the side of its neck, but the breast is less pink, and the orange-brown wing feathers of the turtle dove are replaced with a browner hue, and darker centres. The tail is wedge shaped, like the turtle dove. The flight is more relaxed and direct than that of its relative.

Brown-headed Gull

Total Photos: 4

The Brown-headed Gull is a small gull which breeds in the high plateaus of central Asia from Tajikistan to Ordos in Inner Mongolia. It is migratory, wintering on the coasts and large inland lakes of tropical southern Asia.

This gull breeds in colonies in large reedbeds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species, and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.

This is a bold and opportunist feeder, which will scavenge in towns or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish.

The Brown-headed Gull is slightly larger than Black-headed Gull. The summer adult has a pale brown head, lighter than that of Black-headed, a pale grey body, and red bill and legs. The black tips to the primary wing feathers have conspicuous white "mirrors". The underwing is grey with black flight feathers. The brown hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark vertical streaks.

This bird takes two years to reach maturity. First year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less homogeneous hood.

Griffon Vulture

Total Photos: 1

It is hatched naked, with a very white head, very broad wings and short tail feathers. It has a white neck ruff and yellow bill. The buff body and wing coverts contrast with the dark flight feathers.

Like other vultures, it is a scavenger, feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals which it finds by soaring over open areas, often moving in flocks. It establishes nesting colonies in cliffs that are undisturbed by humans while coverage of open areas and availability of dead animals within dozens of kilometres of these cliffs is high. It grunts and hisses at roosts or when feeding on carrion.

It breeds on crags in mountains in southern Europe, north Africa, and Asia, laying one egg. Griffon vultures may form loose colonies. The population is mostly resident. Juveniles and immature individuals may migrate far or embark on long-distance movements.

Blue Whistling Thrush

Total Photos: 2

This whistling thrush found along the Himalayas in the Indian subcontinent and extending into Southeast Asia. It is known for its loud human-like whistling song at dawn and dusk. It feeds on the ground, often along streams and in damp places foraging for snails, crabs, fruits and insects.

Ultramarine Flycatcher

Total Photos: 1

Somewhat smaller than a sparrow and with a stocky build. The male is deep blue above, sides of head and neck are deep blue, and a prominent white patch runs from centre of throat, through breast to belly. The amount of white on the brow and tail show clinal variation from West to East along the Himalayan foothills.

Plumbeous Water Redstart

Total Photos: 2

Males are slate blue in colour, while females are grey. The bird's common name refers to its colour which resembles lead. They tend to live near fast-moving streams and rivers.

Spotted Forktail

Total Photos: 1

It is found in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. Features: 25 cm with long tail. Sexes alike. White forehead, fore crown; black crown,nape;black back spotted white; broad, white wing-bar, rump; deeply forked, graduated black and white tail; black till breast, white below. The white spotted back easily identifies this species from other similar sized fork-tails in the Himalaya. Solitary or in scattered pairs; active bird, moving on mossy boulders at water's edge or in mid- stream; long, forked tail gracefully swayed, almost always kept horizontal; flies low over streams, calling; sometimes rests in shade of forest; commonly seen bird of the Himalaya. Voice: shrill, screechy KREE call, mostly in flight; also some shrill, squeaky notes on perch.

Grey Bushchat

Total Photos: 4

It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Grey-hooded Warbler

Total Photos: 2

The grey-hooded warbler is a species of leaf warbler. It is most famous for the way it warbles.

It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Its natural habitat is temperate forests.

Whiskered Yuhina

Total Photos: 1

Its range extends across the Himalayan forests in northern India to northeast Indian states, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and in the east to Indochina including Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. The whiskered yuhina is sometimes found in mixed hunting parties with other yuhina and fulvetta species, but it has also been reported to not associate with mixed hunting parties in some areas. It is described as one of the commonest yuhinas in the Himalayas, although it is relatively uncommon to rare at low elevations. It prefers relatively undisturbed closed canopy cover.

Horned Lark

Total Photos: 1

Unlike most other larks, this is a distinctive-looking species on the ground, mainly brown-grey above and pale below, with a striking black and yellow face pattern. Except for the central feathers, the tail is mostly black, contrasting with the paler body; this contrast is especially noticeable when the bird is in flight.

The nest is on the ground, with two to five eggs being laid. Food is seeds supplemented with insects in the breeding season. The nest may be near corn or soybeans for a source of food, and the female chooses the site.

Indian Scops Owl

Total Photos: 3

The Collared Scops Owl is an owl which is a resident breeder in south Asia from northern Pakistan, northern India and the Himalayas east to south China. It is partially migratory, with some birds wintering in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

The Collared Scops Owl is a common breeding bird in forests and other well-wooded areas. It nests in a hole in a tree, laying 3-5 eggs. It is a small owl with 25cm length, although it is the largest of the scops owls. Like other scops owls, it has small head tufts, or ears. The upper-parts are grey or brown, depending on the subspecies, with faint buff spotting. The underparts are buff with fine darker streaking.

The facial disc is whitish or buff, and the eyes are orange or brown. There is a buff neckband. Sexes are similar. The flight is deeply undulating. This species is nocturnal but it can often be located by the small birds that mob it while it is roosting in a tree. It feeds mainly on insects. The call is a quiet goog gook.

Eurasian Magpie

Total Photos: 2

The Eurasian magpie is a resident breeding bird throughout Europe, much of Asia and northwest Africa.

The head, neck and breast are glossy black with a metallic green and violet sheen; the belly and scapulars (shoulder feathers) are pure white; the wings are black glossed with green or purple, and the primaries have white inner webs, conspicuous when the wing is open. The graduated tail is black, glossed with green and reddish purple. The legs and bill are black; the iris is dark brown. The plumage of the sexes is similar but females are slightly smaller.

The magpie is omnivorous, eating young birds and eggs, small mammals, insects, scraps and carrion, acorns, grain, and other vegetable substances.

Black Bulbul

Total Photos: 2

The black bulbul is 24-25 cm in length, with a long tail. The body plumage ranges from slate grey to shimmering black, depending on the race. The beak, legs, and feet are all red and the head has a black fluffy crest. Sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds lack the crest, have whitish underparts with a grey breast band, and have a brown tint to the upperparts. They have a black streak behind the eye and on the ear coverts.

Black-throated Bushtit

Total Photos: 0

The black-throated bushtit is a small passerine, around 10.5 cm long and weighing 4-9 g. There is considerable racial variation in the plumage, but all subspecies have a medium length tail, a black throat and a black 'bandit mask' around the eye. The nominate race has a chestnut cap, breast band and flanks and dark grey back, wings and tail, and a white belly. The other subspecies have generally the same pattern (minus the chest band) but with grey caps or all grey bellies and flanks. Both sexes are alike.

Russet Sparrow

Total Photos: 2

Its plumage is mainly warm rufous above and grey below. It exhibits sexual dimorphism, with the plumage of both sexes patterned similarly to that of the corresponding sex of House Sparrow. This sparrow feeds mainly on the seeds of herbs and grains, but it also eats berries and insects, particularly during the breeding season.

Streaked Laughingthrush

Total Photos: 3

It is commonly found in the northern regions of the Indian Subcontinent and some adjoining areas, ranging across Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, and Tajikistan.