Blue-throated Barbet (Megalaima Asiatica) Picture and Detail (A Beautiful Tiny Colorful Bird)

Barbet, Blue Throated Barbet
Blue-throated Barbet 

Blue Throated Barbet (Megalaima asiatica) Picture and Detail

Last time, I introduced you to Brown-headed Barbet which I found in Punjab (India). This time, I meet with beautiful Blue-throated Barbet in Himachal Pradesh. This bird is more colorful than earlier Barbet. The Blue-throated Barbet is a slighter smaller Barbet than the Brown-headed Barbet; though, we can hear its calls from a distance.

Also Check Great Hill Barbet  (New) 

Barbet, Blue-throated Barbet, tree
Blue-throated Barbet
I found good numbers of Blue-throated Barbets on the tree which shows their sound population. These birds are shy in nature and mostly remain hidden behind the leaves. The scientific name of this bird is Megalaima Asiatica and it is an Asian Barbet bird with prominent color green on his body.

Head, Blue-headed Barbet
Head of Blue-headed Barbet

We can find the red color on the top (head) and blue color on the throat (which gives it name of Blue-throated Barbet). We can also see the black lines on the head of Blue-throated Barbet. You can also see the bristles around the strong bills on blue-throated Barbets. The male and female Blue-throated Barbet are alike. Their breeding season is from March to July.

This bird makes me follow it at many places to get some of its pictures. The blue-throated Barbet gets easily noticed when we look at his face and see the blue color. The best way to find this bird is to follow its calls.
Blue Throated Barbet,
Blue-throated Barbet Side
As a bird photographer, It was a nice experience for me to discover this bird and take its pictures. Blue-throated Barbet is a very innocent and calm bird and we mostly find it sitting at a single place only; though, they fear humans and may hide if felt threatened.
Blue-throated Barbet
Blue-Throated Barbet on Tree
They hide so well in trees that you may not know that one of the Barbet is above you. Like the Brown-headed Barbet they do eat fruits, seeds and insects. Blue-throated Barbet is a resident Himalayan bird and we can find it in countries like Pakistan, India, Nepal, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos.

They are mostly found in the forest who they may venture into cities in search of fruit trees. Blue-throated Barbets are very beautiful birds and It was nice experince to spend time with them. 

Plum-headed Parakeet Pictures and Detail (Psittacula cyanocephala) Very Friendly Parrots

Plum-headed Parakeet, Parrot,
Plum-headed Parakeet Pair

Plum-headed Parakeet Pictures and Detail (Psittacula cyanocephala)

Plum-headed Parakeet are third parakeets after Rose-ringed Parakeet (Indian Parrot)  and Slaty-headed Parakeet (Himalayan Parrot) which I am going to share with you. Recently, I discovered that a parrot was trying to get my attention. At first look, I thought that it may be a slaty-headed parakeet; however, on closer inspection, I noticed that this parrot has a pinkish head.

On some search, I found that it is a Plum-headed Parakeet which is mostly found from the foothills of Himalaya to Srilanka. In Plum-headed Parakeet, the male Parakeet has a pinkish head while female parakeet has a gray head. 

Plum-headed Parakeet
These Parakeets are very good in flying and they can make quick twists and turns. The male Plum-headed Parakeets are bigger in size and are more colorful than female Plum-headed parakeets.
Plum-headed Parakeet, Parakeet,
Plum-headed parakeet

The Plum-headed Parakeet has a red head with shades of Purple and blue while female plum-headed parakeet has a blueish-gray head. Like the rose ringed parrots, we can find a thin black collar on male plum-headed parakeet which is missing in female parakeets while we can see a light yellow collar in female plum-headed parakeets. We can also notice a small red patch on the wings of male Plum-headed Parakeet and this is the best way to recognize them. Their tail is blue in color and it is around 22 cm long.
Love making Plum-headed Prakeet

Plum-headed parakeets are found in most of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka except the dry places. We can find these birds in forests, woodlands and sometimes, we may find them near urban areas. These parakeets may show some movement in the search of fruits and blossoms. Like the other parakeets, they also eat grains, seeds, fruits, berries, flower petals.
Plum-headed parakeet
Plum-headed Parakeet
These parakeets are very friendly in nature; therefore, many people keep them as pets. Due to decreasing natural habits, the numbers of these birds are decreasing; though, they are still not under the list of threatened birds. These parakeets are mostly found in flocks or groups, however, during mating season, we can find them in pairs.
Plum-headed parakeet
Pair of Plum-headed prakeet

Plum-headed Parakeets are capable of talking when trained; however, some of them may not learn to talk. If they become successful in talking then we can hear a clear and loud sound.

I found Plum-headed Parakeets very interesting and hope to take their more pictures in future. 

The Himalayan black-lored tit (Parus xanthogenys) Pictures and Detail

Himalayan Black-lored tit, Himalayan Bird,
The Himalayan black-lored tit

The Himalayan black-lored tit (Parus xanthogenys) Pictures and Detail 

Today, I met a third bird from Tit Family, a Himalayan Black-lored tit. Earlier, I covered Great Tit and Cinerous Tit in previous posts. I had a great experience with Great Tit and Cinerous Tit. This time, I got a chance to take more pictures of all these three species of Tits. 

I discovered Himalayan Black-lored tit when I was searching for a Redstart bird in a small rocky river. I noticed that a small yellow-black bird is trying to get my attention and when I focused my lens on this bird, then I realized that it is a tiny and very beautiful Himalayan Black-lored tit. 
Himalayan, Himalayan Black-lored Tit
Himalayan Black-lored Tit

I never thought that I will find a Himalayan Black-lored tit so easily. This bird also looked very willing to get his picture clicked; however, due to sunset time, I was not able to get many good pictures. Though, I had a great experience with him and I can surely say now that some bird enjoys communicating with humans. 

Himalayan Black-lored Tit, Himalayan Bird,
Himalayan Black-lored Tit
  The scientific name of this bird is Parus Xanthogenys and it makes very sweet sounds like other tit birds. Himalayan Black-lored Tit as the name suggest is a resident Himalayan bird and is related to Yellow Tit.

Like other Tit birds, it also eats insects, spiders, fruits and seeds. Himalayan Black-lored tit may use other birds hole for nesting or it may make its own.
Himalayan Black-lored Tit, Bottom
Himalayan Black-lored Tit from Bottom

Himalayan Black-lored tit was so happy at clicking his pictures that he started taking a bath in front of my camera and also showed me other poses.

In the two pictures, below you can see Himalayan Black-lore tit taking bath and in water.
bath, Himalayan black-lored tit,
Himalayan Black-lored Tit taking bath

Himalayan black-lored tit, water
Himalayan Black-lore Tit in water
The sad thing is that we still know very less about this bird. I have decided to capture more pictures of this beautiful bird so that we can learn more about it. I have come to know about the area where I can find him and he has also become my friend so I hope I will get more his picture soon.
Himalayan black-lored tit, back,
Himalayan Black-lored tit from Back
Himalayan Black-lored Tit, Back,
Himalayan Black-lored Tit (Back) 

(Indian) River Tern (Sterna aurantia) Pictures and Detail

Indian, River Tern, Flying
Indian River Tern 

River Tern  (Sterna aurantia) Pictures and Detail 

During my last visit to the Harike wetland in Punjab, which is situated on the bank of the confluence of Satlej and Beas river, I found that a bird is flying around me like he was asking me to take his pictures.

Later, I found that it is a River tern, a bird which lives around fresh water rivers. The scientific name of this bird is Sterna Aurantia and it is also called Indian river tern. I also got encouraged by the movements of river tern around me and clicked a few of his flying action.

River Tern,
River Tern 

River Tern is a bird of tern family and it is a resident breeder. River tern as the name suggests is found near rivers and we can find this bird from Iran to Thailand. We can easily spot this bird in India; therefore it is called Indian river tern.

River Tern, Back
River Tern from Back

River Tern make their nest on bare rocks or on the sand near river banks. Their breeding season is from March to May. The best way to recognize this bird is to notice the black head and yellow bill.

River Terns mainly eat fish, tadpoles, aquatic insects and Crustaceans. They plunge dive to get their food.

River Tern, Harike Wetland,
River Tern over Harike Wetland
This time, I only succeeded in getting pictures of River tern in flying position and next I will try to get more it pictures in different positions.

I do hope that you try to notice a river tern when you visit a water body, lake or river.

River Tern,
River Tern Flying Over Harike Wetland

Laughing Dove or Palm dove and Senegal dove (Spilopelia senegalensis) Pictures and Detail

Laughing Dove, Dove,
Laughing Dove

Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis) Pictures and Detail 

I am seeing Laughing Doves from my Childhood. They have always lived around me and it is common to find a single laughing dove or a pair of them. Unlike Pigeons, they don't move in big groups. When we spread grains on the roof for Piegon, then one or two laughing doves also come to eat the grains.

dove, laughing, palm dove,

Laughing Dove is a small pigeon and it is found in Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent. The scientific name of Laughing dove is Spilopelia senegalensis and it is also known by names of Palm dove and Senegal dove. In these birds, we can notice a black colored necklace with embedded Rofous beats on it.

Laughing Dove, Back,
Laughing Dove from Back
The laughing doves are very silent and peaceful birds. Mostly big pigeons try to move them away so that they can't eat grains. I have never noticed them retaliating. This is a common bird and we can notice it with some search. It is common to find them near the group of pigeons.

Laughing Dove, Front,
Laughing Dove Front
The tail of these birds is quite long as compared to other pigeons. Laughing Dove has a Pinkish brown color on the bottom and lilac around the head. Their wings are brownish with grey color at the end. These are resident birds; though, some of its species may make long movements.

laughing Dove
Laughing Dove on Tree
We also find some subspecies of these birds. They show flying characters of Piegon family-like sharp turns. Laughing Dove mainly eats seeds, grains, small fruits, vegetation, and some insects. When you follow Laughing Doves, then you can hear their calls (krroooo, okrroooo or coo, coo)

Below in the pictures, you can see two Laughing Dove finding insects together. Both sexes of Laughing dove are the same, though, females are slighting paler than males. We can easily find Laughing Doves in woodland, farmland, suburban parks, plantations, and gardens.
Laughing Dove,
Pair of Laughing Dove

pair, Laughing dove,
Pair of Laughing Dove
Laughing dove is a wonderful bird, I had a great experience with them. In the future, I will try to get more of their pictures to show more colors in their life. 

Grey Wagtail Picture and Detail (Motacilla cinerea)

Greay Wagtail, Wagtail,
Grey Wagtail 

Grey Wagtail Picture and Detail (Motacilla cinerea)

We can find many wagtail birds around us and Grey Wagtail is also one them which we sometimes see around. Recently, I became confused between a Grey Wagtail and Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail, Though after reading lots about these birds, I succeeded in identifying them. Anyone can easily confuse Grey Wagtail and Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail because of many similarities between them.

The main difference which we can find in them is a black colored throat in Grey Wagtail while Grey-headed wagtail has a yellow-whitish throat. The other method to identify the Grey Wagtail is to notice the white line crossing just above the eye, which is missing in Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail. 

Grey Wagtail is a small bird of the wagtail bird family (a family of birds which has habit of wagging their tail). The scientific name of this bird is Motacilla cinerea. This bird is found in Europe, Asia and Africa. They do migrate to a different location for breeding. 
Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail also shows characteristics like other wagtails and it is commonly found around marshy areas looking for insects. This wagtail is very slim in size. The scientists are still confused about the wagtail birds and we lack complete information about wagtails.

These birds can be seen alone or in pairs and their breeding season is between April to July. Grey Wagtail make their nests near rivers, flowing water or a marshy area between the stones or between the roots. They give 2-5 eggs.

This time, I only got a chance to take just two good pictures of Grey Wagtail and I hope to get more its pictures soon. I will try to learn more about Grey Wagtail so that we can understand his life better.

The Greater Coucal Or Crow Pheasant (Centropus sinensis) Pictures and Detail

Greater Coucal, Coucal,
The Greater Coucal

The Greater Coucal Or Crow Pheasant (Centropus sinensis) Pictures and Detail 

I first time came across this bird on the roadside when I was driving. It is common to find Greater Coucal in all parts of Punjab state of India. This bird is also known as Crow Pheasant and its scientific name is Centropus sinensis.

(Update 28/01/16 - Now, I often Greater_Coucal (Crow Pheasant) around because we can find this bird in good number. The picture below, I took a few days back when I was travelling to the fields. In this picture, I found the clear shot of Crow Pheasant with a few more pics. Though, I have lost my Greater_Coucal friend because of relocation to a new city; however, I still miss him.)
Greater Coucal, Crow Pheasant,
Greater Coucal in Outdoor

The first thing I noticed about this bird is its big size and shy nature. Later I found that few Greater Coucal (Crow Pheasant) lives near my home too and they sometimes come home to eat leftovers from the dog's food. 
Greater Coucal, Forest
Greater Coucal in Forest
We can find Greater Coucal both in forests and near human population. In the picture above, you can see a Crow Pheasant in the forest and in the picture below, you see one who often comes to my home.
Crow Pheasant, Greater Coucal, Home,
Crow Pheasant on Backwall of my Home
I am following this bird from long time and now, we have developed some trust and he comes close to me; though, he still remains alert. Moreover, it looks that Greater Coucal has developed a friendship with my dog too, because my dog allow this big bird to eat his food in his presence.

Greater Coucal
Greater Coucal

In general, Greater Coucal works very silently and we hardly get any noise because of his presence. These birds are weak fliers and we can often see them walking.

Crow Pheasant (Greater Coucal) belongs to Cuckoo family of birds and it is one of the largest in the family with 48 cm length. We can recognize this bird with big size and black long tail. The color of their head and bottom is Black with Purple shades and their top wings are Chestnut brown.

Greater Coucal, Spread of Tail
Greater Coucal with Spread of tail

Greater Coucal is a resident bird of Asia and we can find it in India, China, Indonesia and Nepal.We also find some subspecies of this bird in Asia.

Greater Coucal, Wings, Spreaded
Greater Coucal with Full Spread of Wings
The other beautiful thing to notice in Greater Coucal is their beautiful red eyes. They do make loud calls coop-coop-coops. I often get the chance to hear their calls because they live on the trees backside of my home.
Greter Coucal, Face,
Greater Coucal Face
Greater Coucals are adaptable birds and they can eat lots of food items like the crow. They mainly eat insects, eggs of other birds, fruits, seeds, caterpillars, snails etc. We can easily notice these birds taking sunbathe in the  morning especially in winters.

Greater Coucal, Back,
Greater Coucal Back
In some cultures, this bird and its calls are associated with spirits and omens. Though, I found Greater Coucal a nice and peaceful bird and I will love to take more his pictures in the future.

Greater Coucal, Walking, Crow Pheasant,
Greater Coucal Walking

A Greater Coucal in Action Video -

Grey-headed or Dark-headed Yellow Wagtail Pictures and Detail (Motacilla flava thunbergi)

Wagtail, Grey-headed, Yellow, Dark Headed
A Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail

Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail or Dark-headed Yellow Wagtail 

The most difficult thing is to find the exact name of wagtail because we can find many wagtails and their subspecies. It took me 5 hours to reach at this conclusion that this a Grey-headed or Dark-headed yellow wagtail. In Punjab, India, Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail is mentioned in a list of birds found in Punjab. 

This bird is a subspecies of Western Yellow Wagtail; therefore, many people commonly refer it as a Yellow Wagtail and its scientific name is Motocilla Flava thunbergi. In the tiny birds, we can find many varieties of birds and their subspecies make your job even tougher. 

Grey-headed Wagtail
Grey-headed Wagtail

These birds are Dark Grey or Grey headed till the cheeks. We find white color on checks in females which may be missing in male Dark-headed yellow wagtails. They have olive color above and yellow color on the bottom and in some cases we can find presence of some white color on the bottom.

These are insectivorous birds (the bird which eats insects only) and can be found in fields, open grounds, near water looking for insects. These birds are 15-16 cm long and they have a long tail. It is a common attribute of these birds to wag their tail; therefore, they got the name wagtail.

Dark-headed Wagtail

Dark-headed Yellow Wagtail give their eggs on the ground in tussocks. Some of these birds are residential in nature and some migrate from cold places to hotter places in winter.

Many bird watches and scientists believe that it is very confusing to exactly classify these birds because of so much similarity and presence of many subspecies.

Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail
Grey-headed yellow Wagtail from Back
We do not get many chances of seeing these birds because their small numbers and small size. In last one year, I saw this bird only one time. I hope to meet this bird and also love to learn more about it.

All Pictures of grey-headed yellow wagtail taken by me in Punjab (India).

Any person who has more information on this bird, then they can share it with me. 

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Pictures and Detail (A Tiny Bird which almost disappeared from India a few years back) Saving House Sparrow

House Sparrow, Female,
House Sparrow Female

House Sparrow, Male
House Sparrow Male

House Sparrow  (Passer Domesticus) Pictures and Detail 

Upto few years back, House Sparrows never needed any special introduction in India because it was very common to see these tiny beautiful birds around the human habitats in cities and villages. However, within last five-six years, they almost disappeared from most of Indian cities and villages. 

I know these birds very well because many of House Sparrows were visiting our home from my childhood. They used to come very close to my mother when she was cleaning rice or other grains so that they can catch the rice or grain which is thrown out by her. 

Group, House Sparrow,
Group of House Sparrow eating Left away Rice

We are also starting feeding these birds with rice or left over food and they become daily visitors to our home. Everything was fine till 10 years back when House sparrows were visiting our home; however, then suddenly it becomes rare to see these birds. For around 10 years, I rarely saw these birds and they even almost disappeared from remote villages in Himachal Pradesh. 

In some states of India, their population decreased by 80%, which was a big alarm for the bird watcher. Initially, the Indian government did not recognize this threat, but later the survey conducted by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research confirmed sharp decline in population of a House Sparrow. This tiny bird is almost in red list in many European Countries like the UK and Netherland. 
House Sparrow
Sparrow Female
House Sparrow is also very common is Himachal Pradesh. Here also the population of bird decreased significantly; however, now they are reappearing. Below find picture of House (Common Sparrow) from Himachal Pradesh (India)

House Sparrow, Male, Himachal Pradesh
House Sparrow Male (Himachal Pradesh)

What happened to House Sparrows who have a 10000 year old history of living with human beings. There are many reasons cited for the disappearance of House Sparrows in India like 

1) Increase use of air conditioners, 
2) Electromagnetic rays coming from Mobile Towers and Cable wires, 
3) Excess use of Mosquito Repellents,
4) Removable of Indigenous Grass with Foreign grass, 
5) Decrease in availability of seeds,
6) Decreasing Tree Cover
7) Decrease in suitable places to make nests
8) No availability of mud to take a bath. 
9) Some disease 
10) Use of unleaded Petrol

House Sparrow Male

Many Scientists believe that the disappearance of house sparrow is an alarm for humans to correct their lifestyle.  These birds are being very sensitive to any change and if they are living humans or they are disappearing, then it is a sign to change our lifestyle, otherwise, the whole of the human race may disappear in the near future. 

House Sparrow, eating, Cooked Rice

There may be many reasons cited for the disappearance of House Sparrows in India; however, I believe that one of the main reasons was high radiations coming from the Mobile Towers because as the Supreme Court of India ordered Telecom companies to decrease the radiation level of their towers, soon after that I started noticing an increase in their population in some pockets. 

Introduction to House Sparrow -

The Scientific name of the House Sparrow is (Passer domesticus)  and it is found throughout the world except the polar region. The adult sparrow is about 14-16 cm in size, and it weighs around 25-30 gram. House Sparrow is strongly associated with Humans and it prefers to live around human habitats in cities and villages.

House Sparrow commonly eats grains, seeds, weeds of grass, small insects etc. Many people keep these birds as pets and they are believed helpful in killing harmful insects. These birds have beautiful call and they make different calls as per the season.

House sparrow breed in the season of March to August. These birds are very social in nature and they love to move out in groups. They can be seen feeding their kids by putting food in their mouth. In House Sparrows males find or create the nest. Its nest is made of dried grass, feathers, paper etc.

House Sparrow, Stealing, Rice
House Sparrow stealing Rice 

The Male House Sparrow has dark brown feather with black lines. They do have a black patch on their throat, which is missing in female sparrows. Female House Sparrows have light brown feathers with black lines. Both male and female sparrows have whitish belly. These birds are believed as pests because they steal grains from fields and houses.

House Sparrows are very adaptable in nature and they love to eat human leftover like as you see House Sparrow eating cooked rice in above pictures.

Signs of Revival of House Sparrow Population -

Though, still in danger, I recently noticed some revival signs in House Sparrow population in some of the pockets in villages of Punjab. They are still missing from most of cities of India. With the reduction of radiations from Mobile Towers, decrease in use of pesticides in the fields; we can hope to see more increase in their population in coming future. 

How we can help in saving House Sparrow- 

To increase awareness about birds like House Sparrow, "World Sparrow Day" is celebrated on 20th March every year. It is the duty of every Indian to help in the  revival of the population of Hosue Sparrow. We can follow the steps written below to increase their population again. 

1) By Planting more Trees
2) Feeding House Sparrows
3) Put water pots outside the home or in the garden so that House Sparrow can rehydrate. 
3) Use less insecticide and pesticide in the Fields
4) Switching off the Wi-Fi when it is not in use
5) Making our garden sparrow friendly
6) By creating less of air or noise pollution 
7) By stopping eating chemically treated seeds or pulses
8) Preferring indigenous grass over foreign one
9) By Decreasing use of Mosquito repellents 

By Following these steps, we can help Indian House Sparrow who is fighting for survival. These are very beautiful tiny birds who have more than 10,000 years association with human.