My Second post on Greater Coucal or Crow Pheasant (Centropus sinensis). These regular visitors to my garden are not much scared of my presence, as the pictures show.
Greater Coucals are as big as a crow, with reddish brown wings and unmissable red eyes. They are found in wide range of habitats from jungle to urban gardens and are residents of Indian subcontinent. These birds forage on the ground or among the foliage for insects, lizards etc.
During breeding season, they appear in pairs. Greater coucal has a deep resonant “khoomp-khoomp-khoomp…” sound. In the early mornings I can hear a pair calling out, one responding to the other.
The deep calls are associated with superstitious beliefs of spirits and ill omens, though irrational! In my State the sight of this bird is considered as a good omen!!
Groups or pairs of Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) regularly visit my garden or backyard; they can be seen foraging on the road in front and the nearby properties.
This particular one was of interest as it frequented the backyard and moved in circles. A close encounter showed the reason for this circular motion… it was blind in one eye! May be a fight between the members in a group or a disease.
I noticed the disability as it flew down from the palm tree where it was perching.
I have seen it always alone and its absence is noticed since a month.
Common myna is considered a flourishing species. The prefix ‘common’ distinguishes it from ‘Jungle myna’.
This pretty Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) is a regular visitor to my garden.
During breeding seasons a pair of them fly around my terrace garden, unmindful of my presence, drink water and bathe in the shallow pan I have provided for the birds. They take turns and cool off!
Red- whiskered bulbuls are beautiful with brown upper-parts and whitish underparts with buff flanks and a dark spur running onto the breast at shoulder level. It has a tall pointed black crest and red face patch. The tail is long ; the vent area is red.
They feed on fruits and insects.
Their shrill sound reverberates in the morning and evening hours and needless to say, I enjoy it.
A bird that is highly adapted to life in cities and towns all over the world, the rock dove or rock pigeon (Columba livia) is a member of the bird family of Columbidae. This bird is often referred to as simply the “pigeon”.
They are seen in large numbers near my dwelling, roosting and breeding in the niches of the tall apartment buildings.
Without fear the pigeons land on my terrace to have a drink and oblige for a photo shoot. They come in pairs or alone, mostly taking turns to drink. This is not the norm always, as you can see in the picture 🙂
The oriental magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis) is a small song bird and one of my regular visitors. These black and white birds forage on the ground or perch conspicuously with the long tail that is held upright.
Here I am presenting a series of pictures clicked on my terrace. This handsome male bird was friendly and never perturbed by my presence.
After the bath he sang beautifully; might have been calling his mate. Female birds are similar with diluted black colour or grey and white coloured plumage.
I will present the pictures of the female another time.
Ashy prinia (Prinia socialis) is a small song bird with shrill, repetitive song. Pairs of these used to frequent my garden. Agile and chirpy, they forage among the foliage for insects.
Ashy prinia is a very common bird in farmlands and urban gardens. I have seen them fighting for space with sunbirds in my garden.
I was lucky to have them build nests in my garden. Nests were built on low shrubs and ferns. They are round and cup shaped, made of plant materials and soft cottony hairs of seeds and cobweb. The eggs are dark reddish brown
It was a pleasure to see the parent birds training their fledglings to fly!
These cute little birdies are my companions in the garden; twittering and feeding on the nectar of Hibiscus flowers, flowers of Moringa tree and others.
The purple-rumped sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica) is endemic to the Indian Subcontinent. They feed mainly on nectar but sometimes take insects, particularly when feeding young. These sunbirds build a hanging nest with cobwebs, lichens and plant materials.
Males are brightly coloured but females are olive grey above and yellow to buff below. I see them always in pairs and the couple has built a nest on a tree next to my home. They are very agile and keep moving all the while!
Jungle crow (Corvus macrorhynchos ) or Indian jungle crow can be distinguished from the House crow by the absence of grey neck. The glossy plumage and large bill are other characteristics. Irrespective of the name, they are seen all over cities and towns.
A lovely pair of the Jungle crow has built a nest on a tree next to my house and the couple is going steady since a few years!
I have seen them raising chicks of the Asian koel, which is a brood parasite.
The crow family is not much afraid to have a drink on my terrace and they sit and chat, never minding my presence 😊
This cute little bird couple is a regular visitor to my garden. They have made a nearby shrub their home.
Its long bill distinguishes Loten’s sunbird (Cinnyris lotenius) from the similar purple sunbird. More over the males have a reddish maroon breast band. I feel, for a layman the easy way to identify a female is when they appear as couple.
Like other sunbirds, it feeds on nectar and small insects. They build characteristic nests using cobwebs and delicate twigs.
The male bird sings beautifully and the pair keeps on ‘chatting’ while moving around. They are too active and capturing their pictures needs patience.