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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Eurasian Eagle-Owl

The Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle owl resident in much of Eurasia. It is also one of the largest species of owls.
The great size, ear tufts and orange eyes make this a distinctive species. The ear tufts of males are more upright than those of females. The upperparts are brown-black and tawny-buff, showing as dense freckling on the forehead and crown, stripes on the nape, sides and back of the neck, and dark splotches on the pale ground colour of the back, mantle and scapulars. A narrow buff band, freckled with brown buff, runs up from the base of the bill, above the inner part of the eye and along the inner edge of the black-brown ear tufts. The rump and upper tail-coverts are delicately patterned with dark vermiculations and fine wavy barring. The facial disc is tawny-buff, speckled with black-brown, so densely on the outer edge of the disc as to form a "frame" around the face. The chin and throat are white continuing down the center of the upper breast. The whole of the underparts except for chin, throat and centre of upper breast is covered with fine dark wavy barring, on a tawny-buff ground colour. Legs and feet are likewise marked on a buff ground colour but more faintly. The tail is tawny-buff, mottled dark grey-brown with about six black-brown bars. This plumage may vary slightly in different subspecies but is consistently distinctive. Bill and claws are black, the iris is orange (yellow in some subspecies).

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

The Blue-tailed Bee-eaterMerops philippinus is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in southeastern Asia. It is strongly migratory, seen seasonally in much of peninsular India.
This species is sometimes considered to be conspecific with the Blue-cheeked Bee-eaterM. persicus.
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It is predominantly green; its face has a narrow blue patch with a black eye stripe, and a yellow and brown throat; the tail is blue and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 23-26 cm, including the two elongated central tail feathers. Sexes are alike.
This is a bird which breeds in sub-tropical open country, such as farmland, parks or ricefields. It is most often seen near large waterbodies. Like other bee-eaters it predominantly eats insects, especially beeswasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.This species probably takes bees and dragonflies in roughly equal numbers. The insect that are caught are beaten on the perch to kill and break the exoskeleton. This habit is seen in many other members of the coraciiformes order.
These bee-eaters are gregarious, nesting colonially in sandy banks or open flat areas. They make a relatively long tunnel in which the 5 to 7 spherical white eggs are laid. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs. These birds also feed and roost communally. The call is similar to that of the European Bee-eater.

Red-rumped Swallow

Dhauj - 25 May 2012

The Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It breeds in open hilly country of temperate southern Europe and Asia from Portugal and Spain to JapanIndia and tropical Africa. The Indian and African birds are resident, but European and other Asian birds are migratory. They winter in Africa or India and are vagrants to Christmas Island and northern Australia.
Red-rumped Swallows are somewhat similar in habits and appearance to the other aerial insectivores, such as the related swallows and the unrelated swifts (order Apodiformes). They have blue upperparts and dusky underparts.
They resemble Barn Swallows, but are darker below and have pale or reddish rumps, face and neck collar. They lack a breast band, but have black undertails. They are fast fliers and they swoop on insects while airborne. They have broad but pointed wings.
Red-rumped Swallows build quarter-sphere nests with a tunnel entrance lined with mud collected in their beaks, and lay 3 to 6 eggs. They normally nest under cliff overhangs in their mountain homes, but will readily adapt to buildings such as mosques and bridges.
They do not normally form large breeding colonies, but are gregarious outside the breeding season. Many hundreds can be seen at a time on the plains of India.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wood Sandpiper

The Wood SandpiperTringa glareola, is a small wader

It resembles a longer-legged and more delicate Green (T. ochropus) or Solitary Sandpiper (T. solitaria) with a short fine bill, brown back and longer yellowish legs. It differs from the first of those species in a smaller and less contrasting white rump patch, while the Solitary Sandpiper nas no white rump patch at all.
However, it is not very closely related to these two species. Rather, its closest relative is the Common Redshank (T. totanus), and these two share a sister relationship with the Marsh Sandpiper (T. stagnatilis). These three species are a group of smallish shanks with red or yellowish legs, a breeding plumage that is generally subdued light brown above with some darker mottling and with a pattern of somewhat diffuse small brownish spots on the breast and neck.
The Wood Sandpiper is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Indian Silverbill

Sultanpur Village

Bharatpur - Jan 2012
The Indian Silverbill or White-throated Munia (Euodice malabarica) is a small passerine bird found in South Asia that was formerly considered to include the closely related African Silverbill (Euodice cantans). This estrildid finch is a common resident breeding bird in the dry regions of the Middle East and South Asia. It has also been introduced into many other parts of the world and has become established in some areas. They forage in small flocks in grassland and scrub habitats.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mountain Chiffchaff

The Mountain Chiffchaff or Eastern Chiffchaff(Phylloscopus sindianus) is a species of leaf warbler found in the Caucasus (P. s. lorenzii) and Himalayas (P. s. sindianus), and is an altitudinal migrant, moving to lower levels in winter. The nominate subspecies is similar to the Siberian Chiffchaff, but with a finer darker bill, browner upperparts and buff flanks; its song is almost identical to the Common Chiffchaff, but the call is a weak psew. P. s. lorenzii is warmer and darker brown than the nominate race; it is sympatric with Common Chiffchaff in a small area in the Western Caucasus, but interbreeding occurs rarely, if ever. The Mountain Chiffchaff differs from tristis in vocalisations, external morphology and mtDNA sequences. Its two subspecies appear to be distinct vocally, and also show some difference in mtDNA sequences.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rock Pegion (Manipuri Name - Khunu)

The Rock Dove[3] (Columba livia) or Rock Pigeon, is a member of the bird family Columbidae (doves and pigeons).[4] In common usage, this bird is often simply referred to as the "pigeon". The species includes the domestic pigeon (including the fancy pigeon), and escaped domestic pigeons have given rise to feral populationsaround the world.[5]
Wild Rock Doves are pale grey with two black bars on each wing, although domestic and feral pigeons are very variable in colour and pattern. There are few visible differences between males and females.[6] The species is generally monogamous, with two squeakers (young) per brood. Both parents care for the young for a time.[7]
Habitats include vari