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Friday, May 16, 2008

Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto

I'm on the top of the world looking down on creation
And the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I've found ever since you've been around
Your love's put me at the top of the world ......

The Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto, also called the Eurasian Collared-Dove or simply the Collared Dove, is one of the great colonisers of the avian world.
It breeds wherever there are trees for nesting, laying two white eggs in a stick nest. Incubation lasts 14-18 days, and young fledge after 15-19 days. It is not wary and is often found around human habitation.

This is a small dove, buff grey with a darker back and a blue-grey wing patch. The tail feathers are tipped white. It has a black half-collar on its nape from which it gets its name. The short legs are red and the bill is black. The iris is reddish brown, but from a distance the eyes appear to be black, as the pupil is relatively large and only a narrow rim of reddish-brown eye colour can be seen around the black pupil.

This is a gregarious species, and sizeable winter flocks will form where there are food supplies such as grain. The song is a coocoo, coo repeated many times. It is phonetically similar to the Greek decaocto ('eighteen'), to which the bird owes its name. Occasionally it also makes a harsh loud mechanical-sounding call lasting about 2 seconds, particularly when landing in the summer.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis )

The Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, family Muscicapidae. It is also known as Oriental Magpie Robin, Straits Robin and Magpie.

This magpie-robin is an insectivorous species which is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia, south China and the Philippines.

The Oriental Magpie Robin is found in open woodland, cultivated areas and around human habitation. It nests in a hole, often in a wall, laying 3-6 eggs which are incubated by both sexes.
This species is 19cm long, including the long cocked tail. It is similar in shape to the smaller European Robin, but is longer-tailed. The male has black upperparts, head and throat apart from a white shoulder patch. The underparts and the sides of the long tail are white. Females are grey above and greyish white. Young birds have scaly brown upperparts and head.

The Oriental Magpie Robin is a common and tame bird. It is terrestrial, hopping along the ground with cocked tail. The male sings loud melodic notes from the top of a perch during the breeding season
Magpie Robin is a common bird in Bangladesh. It is found all over the country. It's local name (in Bangla) is Doyel or Doel (Bengali: দোয়েল). This bird has been designated as the National Bird of Bangladesh. Picture of this bird appeares on different currency notes of Bangladesh. Doyel Chatwar (meaning: Doyel Square) named after this bird is a prominent landmark in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Purple-rumped Sunbird (female) - Leptocoma zeylonica

The Purple-rumped Sunbird, Leptocoma zeylonica (formerly placed in the genus Nectarinia), is a sunbird. The sunbirds are a group of very small Old World passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. It can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perches to feed most of the time.

Purple-rumped Sunbird is a common resident breeder in tropical southern Asia in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Two to three eggs are laid in a suspended nest in a tree. This species is found in a variety of habitats with trees, including scrub and cultivation.

Purple-rumped Sunbirds are tiny at only 10 cm long. They have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding.

The adult male has a maroon breast-band, sides of the head and back. The throat and rump are bright purple, and the underparts are yellow flanked with white. There is a bright green shoulder patch. The female and juvenile are duller with an olive-green back, brown wings and yellowish breast. Their call is ptsiee ptsit, ptsiee ptsswit

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Love Triangle

Love Triangle
Originally uploaded by Umang Dutt
The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a cosmopolitan species of heron (family Ardeidae) found in the tropics, subtropics and warm temperate zones. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Bubulcus, although some authorities regard its two subspecies as full species. Despite the similarities in plumage to the egrets of the genus Egretta, it is more closely related to the herons of Ardea. Originally native to parts of Asia, Africa and Europe, it has undergone a natural rapid expansion in its distribution and successfully colonised much of the rest of the world.

It is a stocky white bird which has buff plumes in the breeding season. It nests in colonies, usually near bodies of water and often with other wading birds. The nest is a platform of sticks in trees or shrubs. Unlike most other herons, it feeds in relatively dry grassy habitats, often accompanying cattle or other large mammals, since it catches insects and vertebrate prey disturbed by these animals. Some populations of the Cattle Egret are migratory and others show post-breeding dispersal.

The adult Cattle Egret has few predators, but birds or mammals may raid its nests, and chicks may be lost to starvation, calcium deficiency or disturbance from other large birds. This species removes ticks and flies from cattle, but it can be a safety hazard at airfields, and has been implicated in the spread of tick-borne animal diseases.

The Cattle Egret is a stocky heron, 46–56 centimetres (18–22 in) in length, with a 88–96 cm (35–38 in) wingspan. It weighs 270–512 grammes (9.5–18.1 oz).It has a relatively short thick neck, sturdy bill, and a hunched posture. The non-breeding adult has mainly white plumage, a yellow bill and greyish-yellow legs. During the breeding season, adults of the nominate western subspecies develop orange-buff plumes on the back, breast and crown, and the bill, legs and irises become bright red for a brief period prior to pairing.The sexes are similar, but the male is marginally larger and has slightly longer breeding plumes than the female; juvenile birds lack coloured plumes and have a black bill.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Milvus migrans lineatus

Milvus migrans lineatus
Originally uploaded by Umang Dutt
The Black Kite (Milvus migrans) is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers.

This kite is a widespread species throughout the temperate and tropical parts of Eurasia and parts of Australasia. Curiously, it is not found in the Indonesian archipelago between the South East Asian mainland and the Wallace Line. Vagrants, most likely of the Black-eared Kite, on occasion range far into the Pacific, out to the Hawaiian islands (AOU 2000).

European and central Asian birds (subspecies M. m. milvus and M. m. lineatus respectively) are migratory, moving to the tropics in winter, but races in warmer regions such as the Indian M. m. govinda (Pariah Kite) or the Australasian M. m. affinis (Fork-tailed Kite), are resident.

In the northern winter, it is therefore common to have a resident race and a distinguishable migrant form present together in these hotter areas.

In the United Kingdom, the Black Kite occurs only as a wanderer on migration. These birds are usually of the nominate race, but in November 2006 a juvenile of the eastern lineatus, not previously recorded in western Europe, was found in Lincolnshire.

Black Kites will take small live prey as well as fish, household refuse and carrion. They are attracted to fires and smoke where they seek escaping insect prey. They are well adapted to living in cities and are found even in densely populated areas. Large numbers may be seen soaring in thermals over cities. In some places they will readily swoop to take to food offered by humans, their habit of swooping to pick up dead rodents from roads often leads to them being hit by vehicles. They are also a major nuisance at some airports where they are considered important birdstrike hazards.

The Black Kite can be distinguished from the Red Kite by its slightly smaller size, less forked tail and generally dark plumage without any rufous.

The Black Kite nests in forest trees, often close to other kites. In winter, many kites will roost together.