Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii)

Hey all the beautiful bird lovers, today is the 3rd episode of the series I have started naming “About the bird“. Though I am two days late to my weekly schedule of the series blog post due to some sudden official tour we had to make. So I am in one of those small and unknown places of our country where google also cant finds you out. ūüėÄ So the best thing I can do here is to pack myself inside the hotel room and spend some time alone with my wordpress family. Its 38 degrees scorching heat outside and no point in going anywhere in search of wings because I am gonna get nothing here.Being staying here for already two days made me realize that what I have there in Goa,in our rented appartment, my balcony,beautiful mornings and silent nights. I miss waking up to bird chirps (especially my kingo’s alarm call and bubbly bulbul songs -I guess I have gained a beautiful habit in here).

PS- I call white throated kingfisher as my Kingo¬† (named actually by my bird enthusiast friend Leena, I stole it from her). I love calling him that. ūüėÄ

So lets get into today’s session .

[ HIGH BRIGHTNESS RECOMMENDED FOR BETTER IMAGE RESULTS ]

Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii)

Indian Pond herons , commonly known as paddybird due to its occurrence in almost all the paddy fields and wetlands in India and east Asia. Scientifically called as Ardeola grayii, Pond herons are considered to be small in heron family. Sized almost medium and can be seen near water areas and also in urban areas now a days.

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Taking a usual perch and stays for sometime on the   same perch.                                                                      Exif:  f/6.3 |exposure: 1/100 sec |ISO:800 |   @500mm

One of the most widespread herons in India, they are known to be co-existing with humans as they choose to make their habitats(nests) along with urbanization (in cities and towns) though their wide variety of habitats includes rivers, lakes, marshes, mangroves, streams and paddy fields. I have seen quite a few of them here and there everywhere like construction buildings,damp houses , nearby busy roads besides natural habitats.They prefer to live in low lands but may also be found in higher altitudes like nilgiri hills which lie more than 2000m above sea level.

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Talking of urban civilization.     Exif:  f/6.3 |exposure: 1/640 sec |ISO:200 |

They weigh around 230 grams and sized around 40-45cm when  adult and large beautiful white wide span ranges around 70-90cm. Unlike their usual grey stripes, their wings looks bright white when they fly. They have short neck, short thick bill and greyish-brown back/feathers with greenish large legs and yellow eyes.

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Beautiful feather.  Exif:  f/6.3 |exposure: 1/60 sec |ISO:800 |

Usually Pond herons are silent in nature but they have a harsh croak when they call.

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Astonished! Exif:  f/6.3 |exposure: 1/160 sec |ISO:100 |   @600mm

Indian pond herons feed on¬†small fish, frogs, crabs, aquatic insects, grasshoppers, crickets, ants, bees, fly, baby turtles, leeches and other crustaceans. They are very skilled killer. They silently stalks its prey by walking very slowly and waits for quite a while before they gets the chance to ambush. I like to call them “shatir dimag” in hindi (skilled and trained brain). Their usual feeding habitat is near the marshy wetlands. They usually feed on the edges of the pond/water body but they may sometimes swim to fish or catch fishes diving in while on a flight.

 

This guys are experts in camouflage when they are tracking a prey. They are so silent, one will easily miss one of  these being a real close. One moment you see nothing, the other moment, you see one fly away with a prey in a splash.

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Camouflage in marsh water .Exif:  f/7.1 |exposure: 1/640 sec |ISO:250 |

Their breeding season starts with the onset of monsoon mainly from may to september but they are also found to be breeding before may in southern India and sri lanka. They usually breed in small groups of same species ,sometimes with other herons too. They look admirable when breeding with white -grey plumage. Their feet changes its colour to yellow then red in some individuals.

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Indian Pond heron showing plumage colours.                       Exif:  f/6.3 |exposure: 1/800 sec |ISO:800 |   @600mm

Most nests are built at a height of about 9 to 10 m in large dense trees. The nest material is collected by the male while the female builds the nest like most other bird species.. Three to five eggs are laid that takes around 18 to 24 days to hatch. Both parents feed the young and take part in upbringing. They sometimes reuse old nests that were left untouched since last years.

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Close up of an Indian Pond heron. Exif: f/6.3  exposure: 1/640  ISO:200 @500mm

Recently talking about Indian pond heron with few of the locals I know in Goa, I came to know that few of the villagers in India used to make heron dishes like they have been used as fishes and boiler chickens to feed on. I was disheartened hearing that but was relaxed after knowing that Indian forest department is taking action against those who were hunting pond herons and other water birds.

Location: Goa, India

Gears used: Canon + Sigma

So this is it for today’s bird session people. I will see you all in my next blog. Till then happy birding. Stay blessed and share love.

Much love

Riya

 

Prominently Similar- Poetry

ProminentlySimilar

The perception of viewing a thing particular
Seems so prominently similar
To the one that was owned earlier,
but now older.

 

The continuous denial of the truth
in vision of having the same eye
that mind ignores and the heart sees through

 

The sustainable trial of accepting the offer
that has been served
with love and no risk of nearby adieu

The concept of expecting equal warmth in the arms
of the person you had and now you persue
catering the same to the individual
you pray to provide your love to.

The provision of infinite supply
of the promise made
without a known fortune
to take the side by.

The understatement of the inner self
to postpone the happiness for the time being
and stay up for the pretention
towards the one and only human being.

The perception of viewing a thing particular
Seems so prominently similar
To the one who was the beholder,
but now a moulder.

                                                                                                                                             

 

Much love

Riya

Red Whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)

Hello lovelies,

First of all, a very happy and warm new year wishes to all my bengali and punjabi friends( I belong to both the communities :D) May your life gets better each year. And for me,may this year brings more and more opportunities for photographing the most beautiful creations of God i.e. birds.

In my last week’s post, I have started a series on “About the bird” with my very first post on White throated kingfisher. If you haven’t read it yet, HERE’s the LINK.

So today’s post is on yet another one of the most beautiful yet common bird in India and outside.

Before we start, I want to share a little, very little, happiness of mine. There is a non profit organization called “Wild bird Trust” who runs a blog on behalf of National Geographic and shares “Top 25 birds of the week” ever week depending on the theme of that particular week. So last week’s theme was “The birds that were saved by MBTA (Migratory birds Treaty Act-1918)” and one of my images was selected in this week’s Top 25 birds. The selected image is of ‘Little Stint‘ that I clicked in Carambolim lake in Goa on 31st of march 2018. Have a look.

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Little Stint . Exif:  f/7.1  exposure-1/320 sec   ISO-100  @484mm

Feel free to have a look at the Top 25 birds by National Geographic for the 2nd week of April 2018. -> https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2018/04/13/top-25-mbta/

By now, you all must be knowing that I use my nick name ‘Riya Roy Pahuja’ as an alias for my photographs.

NOW, lets get back to business ūüėČ Today’s lesson.

Red Whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)

Red Whiskered bulbul or crested bulbul¬† (Scientific name –¬†Pycnonotus jocosus) is a passerine bird found in Asia and one of the most common in bulbul (Pycnonotidae)¬†family in western ghats (where I live). I can say this because I meet them every morning ūüôā

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The beautiful perch.  Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/800sec   ISO-100  @600mm

Bulbul family has around 150 species ,out of which a very few are residents of India. Red whiskered bulbul sized around 20cm in length and considered as a medium sized bird. Not easily recognized from a very far distance but quite easily distinguishable from a little closer.

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 Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/640sec   ISO-320  @435mm

Unlike Yellow throated bulbul, which is the state bird of Goa, Red whiskered bulbuls have a beautiful black crown on their head and red face patch makes the beautiful cherry cheeks with white patch on lower ear-coverts bordered below by black moustachial stripe.

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 Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/500sec   ISO-500  @600mm

The upper body parts are almost brown with white under parts with a dark patch running onto the breast at shoulder level. They have not-so-curvy beaks, long tails (with terminal feather tips )and sharp feet that rolls around the tree branches making it easier for them to perch on almost everywhere and anywhere.

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The portrait.  Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/800sec   ISO-100  @600mm

They live for around 11 years. But they make sure they are heard till they die. Their very distinctive 3-4 note call “kink-a-joo”¬†can be heard almost all the time when there is a red whiskered bulbul nearby. Their call has been described as “nice to meet you” at some places and their song is called the scolding chatter.

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Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/800sec   ISO-250  @600mm

They are mostly seen in groups of 2-4 and love to sit on the top of tree branches and call loud in the mornings(sometimes with other bulbul species too). They love to fly and change perch frequently but seems like never wanting to break the bond.

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The pair .   Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/800sec   ISO-800  @484mm

Red whiskered bulbuls feed on fruits, flower nectars and insects.

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Breakfast. Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/500sec   ISO-500  @600mm

This active species resides in lightly wooded areas, open forest, gardens, orchards, bushes around villages and cultivation. This particular bulbul is known to be a famous cage bird ( ūüė• ) in south east Asia, once in India too ,but thankfully not any more.

[ My personal view : I don’t support caging of birds as they belong to wild and had been created by nature in such a way that they can adjust with the wildness of their habitat. Human interference only disturbs them. ]

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Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/800sec   ISO-320  @361mm

They breed once or twice in a year. Season includes december to may in southern India and march to october in northern India. Males usually bow their head, spread the tail and droop their wings as courtship display.

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Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/200sec   ISO-100  @600mm

I often get chance to photograph these little beauties and I call them my friends/sisters as I see them having their breakfast and singing. My husband has started calling me ‘bulbul ‘ so you may understand the relationship between bulbuls and I ūüėÄ

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Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/500sec   ISO-500  @600mm

While they fly, they display their white under parts and shades of brown and white through their wings. Currently they are my alarm clock. I love to wake up with their songs ūüôā

 

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Exif:  f/6.3     exposure-1/320sec   ISO-500  @600mm

My gear- CANON + SIGMA

Location-Goa,India

So this is it for today’s birding session nature loving people. I hope you have gained some knowledge as I did while documenting all about Red Whiskered bulbul. I will see you all on next birding session. Till then happy birding. Be blessed.

Much Love,

Riya

 

White throated kingfisher (Halcyon pileata)

Hello everyone. First of all a very beautiful sunday to all the nature lovers out there. Its been a while I had posted anything in my “Through my lenses” page. That is because I had indulge myself in learning all the important aspects of photography. The process of learning never ends. It just enhances your ability to learn more and more. And I pray that my passion for learning and gaining knowledge never dies.

Recently, I have been very glad to own a new set of telephoto lens for wildlife photography which is my genre, and hence made myself busy in trying my hands on the new combo. I cant express my excitement in words I had, when I first click a bird that close which almost filled the frame. And there they says, “Finish what you have started” so to finish, I have to first begin and here my friend, is a new beginning for me. I don’t know where I will reach in near or far future or will I even reach my destination ever! But this is my journey and I absolutely love it.

My very second post in my blog was on a bird species “Egret” (Link to the post – Egret ) which I am going to continue now. I have had blogs on my birding activities :

Feel free to have a look .Now I am starting a new series on About the bird”. This series will have a detailed post on ONE bird at a time with beautiful explanatory pictures. All the pictures are obviously clicked by me and the knowledge that I have gained about them by observing them,reading about them,shared by seniors/friends will be discussed here. So lets get to the very first post in my “About the bird” series.

WHITE THROATED KINGFISHER (Halcyon smyrnensis)

One of the most common in Kingfisher family (Alcedinidae), this small to medium sized birds has large heads and short legs. They size around 27-28cm (10.6-11 inch).

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This was shot in Agonda backwater while on boat in Automatic mode.

Their other features include chocolate-brown head, shoulders, flanks and lower belly, white throat/breast, large red bill and beautiful turquoise-blue feathers and tail.

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The prominent look showing off beautiful white breast.
Exif: f/6.3 exposure-1/320sec ISO-800 @435mm

They are most easily spotted for their distinctive blue color that can be easily identified in any green or plain land. The details of the feathers are just so breathtaking. They look stunning when they fly (mostly alone).

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My personal favorite perch.
Exif: f/6.3 exposure-1/400sec ISO-125 @562mm

A very widespread resident throughout India and very common in western ghats, they choose their high perches and usually comes back to the same perch every day.

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One fine morning. EXIF : f/6.3 exposure:1/500sec ISO-800 @435mm

Their call is loud,rattling laugh and sings their musical whistle when in search of prey. They will sit on their favorite perch (an exposed tree branch or wire) , sings out loud and looks downwards in search of prey exquisitely and continuously.

 

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Looking for prey.      EXIF- f/6.3       exposure-1/50sec ISO-200 @600mm

Not caring about water bodies, they feed on insects, fishes, small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, small rodents and even birds and choose to live in forest edges,gardens, coastal wetlands and even in urban society.

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With lizard kill. EXIF- f/6.3 exposure-1/200sec      ISO-640 435mm

The white-throated kingfisher begins breeding at the onset of the monsoons. Males perch on prominent high posts in their territory and call in the early morning.

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High perch call in the early morning.
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The wallpaper. Exif: f/6.3 exposure-1/60sec ISO-800 @600mm

The details of the bill which is duller in juveniles.

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The beak. Exif- f/6.3 exposure-1/250sec ISO-500mm @600mm

It is one of the first birds that caught my attention towards birding and always been by my side since then. One of the male is a regular visitor to my backyard birding sessions.

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I love photographing this beauty whenever I get a chance.

My gears = Canon + Sigma

Location- Goa, India

This is it for todays lesson. Hope you like my work and if you did, come back regularly for similar updates. I will see you all next time. Happy birding. Stay blessed. Keep sharing love.

Much love

Riya.