birds


Watching birds and enjoying their activities is our daily doze of freshness while having our first cup of tea early in the morning..Today was special as six different species of birds landed near the bowl of water on terrace.

Summers are hot here.I daily fill this bowl with fresh water and find it half empty at the end of the day.No,birds don’t use all that water.It evaporates under scorching sun .To watch birds after birds coming and landing near the freshly filled water and quench their thirst  give an inexplicable satisfaction.How little effort does it take in our part and we experience such joy.It truly does not cost anything to make ourselves happy.

I don’t know the names of all the birds .Those of you who happen to know the name kindly let me know.

Come ,share our happiness…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

All pics by sunder Iyer

11.06.2012

 

Date–21.05.12,Lucknow.Our terrace.We have our morning tea on the steps of terrace.At the front end of terrace are two pillars on which are placed pots of water and grain.Sparrows and doves visit us daily but sometimes we are blessed with the glimpse of other birds as well.
On this particular morning, a pair of Bulbul came to our terrace at around 6 A.M.They first landed on the telephone wire running parallel and quite near to our terrace.One thing, I have noticed about Bulbuls, they always come flying in pairs. After a careful watch, they landed near the pot of grains albeit one at a time. In the mean time, the other one was, as if keeping the vigil. Today the pot has two varieties of food–one the usual millet and other Laiya.We saw that Bulbul preferred Laiya while we have observed that sparrows invariably love to feed on millets.
Today morning we had other visitors also.We were not able to click the pics of all the varieties of birds but the morning was filled with different kinds of notes and was musically vibrant.
There was this tiny dark chocolate coloured bird. Midst the crisscross running mesh of electric and telephone wires, this little one would have been almost invisible if not for it’s shrill yet sweet call. She came late, around 7.30 A.M. In fact I was not even out on the terrace but was reading newspaper inside. Her call made me come out. At first I was not able to locate it but later on was able to track it near the electric pole midst the wires. She sat there for few minutes as if calling and waiting for someone then flew away spreading it’s tiny feathers. At a distance she was just like a dot but her voice reverberated through the area for quite a long time.
Early in the morning also came the birds with white and black feathers. I feel they have made their nest inside the tin box installed on the pole by T.V. cable suppliers. Mynas and these white and black birds have some issue of proprietorship over this box or the birds have their little ones in the box and Mynas try to harm them ,is not very clear to us but we often see them fighting near that box. Today also, as a pair of Mynas came and sat on the wire near the box, these birds came flying and tried to attack  them in an effort to move them away from the place.We did not have our camera ready at that time hence could not shoot the scene. The surprising part is that neither that bird nor Mynas regularly come to that place. May be they have some other issues to settle or the birds have zeroed in on that box as their nesting place.We have observed that these birds choose box kind of structure for laying their eggs.Once earlier also, last year when the ground floor of our home was not occupied, a pair of this bird made their home for laying the eggs in the main electric meter box. On other occasions also we have observed these birds frequenting in and out of the boxes of cables on the electric poles.
I have to search for the names of these birds. Today almost every variety which we see in our locality was seen near our home. These winged creatures fill our days with melodies and colours and what an inexplicable joy is to watch them engaged in different activities.They too have their own world full of all kinds of emotions, actions, needs and responsibilities.

White Browed Wagtail…..this perhaps is the name of the bird I refer here as black and white bird .While searching on net I found one picture of the bird similar to the bird I talked about and the blog writer referred it by this name. But we shall try to click the bird and then confirm it’s name.

All the pics by Sunder Iyer. ImageImageImageImage

I feel, I have already talked about the permanent nest of doves above the entrance of my home but there is another nest in my home .This one is in the small open space in front of my kitchen.The nest belongs exclusively to sparrows and is also a permanent one. Many  residents have flown in and out from here for last almost thirteen years.

Every time the nest is to be occupied we know it in advance as a male sparrow starts frequenting it. First he will examine the strength of the nest then ponder on the security and safety issues by visiting it a number of times. Sometimes he sits in the nest  or perched on the grill above he will keep a watch over it. Once fully satisfied, the process to woo a partner starts.While working in the kitchen I am his constant companion sharing his efforts and anxieties. He calls with shrill voices. Sometimes he flies in with a partner on the toe. Lots of discussions go on and oh, on many occasions I am so disappointed as the female flies away perhaps not attracted enough by his arrangements or the ambience. He starts afresh. The day we find a female sparrow sitting at a stretch in the nest we heave a sigh of relief and start waiting expectantly for the new borns.

We have seen many young ones growing and flying away. Though there have been sad moments as well. The place is safe and secured from cats or bigger birds but  once a lizard crept up to the nest and tried to rampage the nest. One of the eggs fell down. We could not know the fate of other egg but the mother flew away the very moment not to return . After some time we found the nest inhabited once again and this time things went on smoothly for quite sometime but one day in the morning we found one of the very small sparrow chick lying on the floor under the nest. After this repeated casualty the nest was empty for quite some time. The silence in that part of house was heartbreaking.The empty nest looked desolate.However  we made a point to shoo away the lizards from that side of the wall even though the nest was unoccupied .

few days ago we were happy to note the hustle bustle of  new occupants of nest. This time the chicks hatched properly and we could hear constant chirping of different frequencies. Parents were busy keeping watch in turns and fetching the food. Our space was full of life .Then we watched mom sparrow coaxing kiddies to fly out of the nest but they appeared to be reluctant to leave the cozy security of the home.To face the harsh world, to fend for ones own chores is definitely not such an alluring temptation. The kids were  enjoying and loving indulgence of parents.They perhaps knew the scaling of heights, venturing into new pastures always demands certain sacrifices but then the course of life has to be followed. Yesterday the kids ventured out of the nest.we captured one of the kid’s moments of his first flight.you also enjoy the same…

 

It flew from nest and sat on the vertical grill. Beyond the horizontal grill at roof level was the blue sky. Is it trying to fathom the expanse, imagining about the voyages it will take. After some time mother came and sat on the grill above and tried to encourage it to take a higher flight.

 

When it did not fly mamma came down. Is she giving a piece of her mind to the little one. some serious conversation going on. parenting definitely is not an easy task.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah ….the pains and pleasures of motherhood. She coaxed, was stern, provided incentives….

 

And finally our little one took its flight to the open world.

Bon Voyage…….

 

(pics- sunder iyer)

Nov 29,2011

This afternoon I was reclining on sofa chair ,my back towards the window,which opens in the balcony facing road.Eyes closed,was not thinking anything in particular but was certainly feeling a bit sad.Today by this time I was to be in Kanpur for my friend’s daughter’s marriage but this leg infection has messed up with all my programmes.I was not exactly complaining but silence in and around was laden with a kind of heaviness.Suddenly a sweet chirp stole into my silence.I did not pay much attention to it as on their way from Amaltas tree to the pillar where their pot of grains is kept many birds halt and hop in the balcony.During winters this traffic continues whole of the day.After few notes of melodious chirps it occurred to me that it appears to be coming from much shorter distance than balcony.Opening my eyes I looked around the room .None of the doors or windows were open but there it was this tiny ,cute green colored  bird sitting on the grill of the ventilator above the door.I don’t know when and how it entered but it was there filling the stillness of room with it’s tinkling voice.I opened the door to let it go out but immediately  the partner of the bird entered the room.Both of them now started chirping with much vigour. Of course I could not interpret their conversation but the happiness of meeting was all there to feel.They flew in the room in circles two three times,sat on blades of fan ,on pelmets all the time filling the room with their musical chirping.The mist of gloom was lifted and the silvery strains kept on glistening long after the pair had flew away.

I remembered a line I read somewhere.’If I keep a green bough in my heart,a singing bird will come.’

 

 

The covered verandah running parallel to our drawing room is enclosed by the grill and just above the door leading to the drawing room is one tube light. Yes, tube light is there but it has never been switched on, the reason being on one corner of the rod is a permanent home of doves. The nest is there for almost more than ten years. This nest is kind of maternity home to dove couples. During this long period many couples have made it their home. Or is it the same couple ? they come when the mother is ready to lay eggs. Every time we see a new would be mother or father sitting there smugly incubating the eggs, we start waiting for the kids. After a long patient wait we are blessed with the soft cooing of the kids and protective reassuring voices of parents. It’s the beginning of a period full of hope and joy.

After few more days we are able to see their small unstable heads over the nest. ma and pa dove visit the nest frequently. Every time the wind blows with force, we are out on the verandah ready to do our bit to protect the nest and the kids but then dove parents have kept all the security measures in mind while building their home. Till date no wind or rain has been able to harm the nest.

It has always been two kids at a time and invariably one is smarter and stronger than the other. May be the stronger one is the elder one. One kid comes out of nest earlier than the other. They come down and start hopping in the verandah. Along with the parents we are also on a constant vigil. Once the sly cat of the back lane had crept in stealthily and in the evening when we came out few small soft feathers flowing desolately and some blood stains recounted the horrid tale of the irreparable loss.

We have been witness to one more sad incident. Once one of the little one fell down from the nest. I don’t know why but that dove parents have not repaired the nest properly before the hatching period started. They usually do that every time. The nest was too small to accommodate two growing kids. The tiny kid was hardly of the length of a finger .The body was trembling in short subdued spasm. Almost nine feet fall was too much for the small, delicate body. With the help of news paper we kept the body in the nest but next morning we found it again on the floor and this time it was lifeless.

Barring these two incidents,  we have always seen the kids grow day by day. Enjoyed the beautiful sight of parents feeding kids .The kids hopping down on the floor, taking short flights and then coming back to the nests always fills our heart with content and pride . And then one day they fly away to explore the world on their own way.

Just two days ago we have wished bon voyage to two more grown up kids and now the empty nest rests silently on the rod and we all are waiting for the new arrivals.

 

The comforting cooing, the soft hues of feathers and those round beady  eyes with tender looks ……..the doves  are a great source of reassurance and hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pictures by sunder iyer