By Chandana Chandrappa*
For most of us, being out in nature makes us feel happier and more relaxed. We all like to travel, going to forests, hills, and being out in nature. But for everyone experiencing these places is different.
2020 was a year of new normals; for me, it’s when I discovered a fascination towards birds and birding. On one of my ritualistic evening strolls on the terrace, shadow of a Brahminy kite on the floor pulled my eyes skyward. These Brahminy kites and Black kites regularly fly before they go to their habitat. On that particular day, sunset – the golden hour moment, with their spectacular display of courage, magnetized me towards nature more, and soon I found myself capturing those moments. Eventually, these led to new endeavours of visiting the nearby forest and other green spaces more often.
These birds of prey are widespread all through tropical Asia. The Brahminy kite is particular and contrastingly coloured, with chestnut plumage but for the white head and breast and dark wing tips. The adolescents are browner, but can be recognized from both the inhabitant and transitory races of dark kites in Asia by the paler appearance, shorter wings, and adjusted tail.
Birdwatching Takes You Places
Recently, I visited ‘K Gudi wildlife sanctuary’, which is a haven for various wildlife animals and birds. This place has magic in immersing people in their own journey. This visit completely changed my perspective of bird watching. Bird watching is not just the recipient’s visual connection with birds. But it is also about the acoustics of their singing, which is pleasant and gives you a sense of peace. The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear. As a bird fanatic, I would say, watching and observing birds and their gracious singing helps me expand my viewpoint, and eventually gives me a sense of ease. Research has shown that cumulative activities like birdwatching can bring us a lot of satisfaction and pleasure.
This picture was taken in the misty daylight of the beautiful K Gudi Forest. It was the moment for me to sit back, rest my body, listen to these busy birds, the sounds of the forest, watching the trees sway, the rising of the sun, and feel the fresh aura – the only kind of life that makes sense anymore.
Orange Headed Thrush
It is common in well-wooded areas of the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. The orange-headed thrush is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms, and fruit. The orange-headed thrush usually stays alone or in pairs and is very secretive and timid by nature. It has a rapid, silent flight, but when disturbed, will often sit motionless until the threat has passed.
Do Trees Talk?
As someone new in this field, the first thought that came to my mind was “do trees talk?”. The idea of rethinking the existing birdwatching notion and bringing in a more imaginative approach to birdwatching made me more interested in exploring this field. Pause yourself in the overflow of greens and start observing the birds singing, their fast flit from branch to branch, their flashes of colours. These episodes take you to the moment, face to face with nature. This is how you start believing in making a conscious effort in birdwatching. There are so many beautiful creatures around us! It all depends on individualism and how much you drown yourself into nature.
When you’re birding, “you’re almost in a different world,” said Heather Wolf, a bird guide for NYC Audubon in New York. “All of the things that might be weighing you down in your daily life, it’s an escape. You forget about them when you’re birding,” Wolf said.
It’s an ability to optimize viewing, which pays off the birder with new perspectives.
The common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) is a songbird found across tropical Asia. Popular for its nest made of leaves ‘sewn’ together with plant fiber or spider silk to make a cradle in which the actual nest is built. Although timid birds that are usually hidden within flora, their loud calls are familiar and give away their presence. They are distinctive in having a long upright tail, greenish upper body plumage and rust coloured forehead and crown.
Here I Come As A Birdwatcher
Initial days of my birdwatching used to end up by scaring away the birds. They used to just fly away. It’s been over a year since I connected myself into the world of birdwatching.
Yes, the more we observe birds – they do observe us, see us, remember us, and can easily sense our motion. When birds trust you and are comfortable with you, that is what makes bird watching a satisfying activity. It’s not just about spotting the birds, it’s about observing their nature, behaviour, colour, texture, and their motion and eventually one realizes they are in their sphere of happiness. Considering how important birds are for our eco-system, it’s mandatory to understand its working and make conscious effort for a better harmonious future.
Being a small-town girl (Chamarajanagara district, to be specific), someone who had absolutely no knowledge about birding, yet here I am in the present, passionately understanding and learning anything and everything about birding. This didn’t come all along in a day; it took patience, time, energy, and dedication to come through this path. With this note I would like to make an effort to spread knowledge about birdwatching with my personal views.
Hope you enjoy reading!
Old World Sparrow
Old World Sparrows are a family of small passerine birds. They are also known as true sparrows. They are primarily seed-eaters, though they also consume small insects. Some species scavenge for food around cities.
Common Iora travels in pairs or small groups, hunting insects on the wings, and uttering contact calls through frequent sounds. Common Iora performs acrobatic flight displays, darting up and spiraling down to a perch.
The Purple Sunbird is a small bird in the sunbird family found mainly in South and Southeast Asia. Like other sunbirds they feed mainly on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. They have a fast and direct flight and can take nectar by hovering like hummingbird but often perch at the base of flowers.
*Author is a student of architecture and a passionate birder, who likes interacting with nature through birds.