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. 


Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) Picture and Detail (Sweet voiced Bird)

Koel, Asian, Sweet Voice
Asian Koel (male)

Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) Picture and Detail


It is common to find people who are aware of the sweet voice of Koel because during the mating season Koels give very sweet calls "koo-Ooo". We can easily hear their sweet calls of Koo-ooo-koo-ooo in the morning and evening hours. However, the numbers of people who have seen it always remain less because Asian Koel is a very shy bird and it always hide itself well in the dense trees. `

I am also aware of the sweet voice of koel from my childhood time; however, I got a chance to see it a few days back only. I followed the voice of Koel and found it on a tree. Thankfully, the tree was not very dense and I got few of pictures of Koel


Asian Koel, Bottom, Koel,
Asian Koel from Bottom 
The scientific name of Asian Koel is Eudynamys Scolopacieus and it is a bird of the Cuckoo order bird family. This bird is mainly found in Asia and China. Though, Koel is a sweet voiced bird; however, its nature is somewhat of cheater. Koel is classified as a Brood Parasite because it lays its eggs in the nest of other birds like crows and other birds take care of Koel eggs till they mature.

Koel
Koel
Due to its sweet voice, we find the reference of Koel in many old literatures and poems. The male Koel is black in color while the female koel is brown in color with white dots/spots. So far, I have only succeeded in taking pictures of male Koel only and hope to get pictures of female koel soon.

Asian Koel, Male
Asian Koel Male
Asian Koel is a resident bird and it lives near cultivation area and semi-forests. The main diet of Koel includes fruits, insects, eggs of other birds, caterpillar, The main Koel has sanskrit root and it has come of Sanskrit name of Kokila.

The main thing about this bird is its sweet voice which makes it a widely appreciated and talked about bird. I wanted to see this bird and finally, I got some of its pictures.

[Update 06/08/2016]I heard lots about the story of the Asian Koel that it lay its eggs in the crow's nest and through the eggs of crow. Recently, I got a chance to see it through my eyes. I saw few crows feeding two of Asian koel female juveniles. You can see it in the two pictures below. These pictures are clear to show that a clever bird like House crow can also be fooled.

Crow, feeding, Juvenile, Asian Keol, Female

Crow, feeding, Juvenile, Asian Keol, Female,
A Crow feeding Juvenile Asian Keol (Female) 


With this, I also got a chance to take pictures of Juvenile Asian Koel female from the close. The male Asian Koel bird is fully black while female Asian Koel have whitish dots on the wings and white lines on the lower body. These Asian Koel birds are taken care of by the crows as they believe them as their own children. Soon, when these birds will be adult then they will start life as Asian Koels forgetting the life of crows.

Asian Koel, Juvenile, Female
Asian Koel Juvenile (Female) 

Asian Koel Juvenile (Female)




Asian Koel Juvenile (Female) back



Brown Rock (Indian) Chat (Cercomela fusca) and Detail (Beautiful small Brown Bird)

Brown Roack Chat, Indian Chat, Small Brown Bird
Brown Rock (Indian) Chat 

Brown Rock (Indian) Chat Pictures and Detail


Brown Rock Chat is a one of common bird, we can observe these small brown birds even in urban areas. Brown Rock Chat is also called Indian Chat because it is mainly found in central and northern India. The scientific name of Indian chat is Cercomela fusca and it belongs to chat (Saxicolinae) subfamily of birds. 

Brown Rock Chat, Indian Chat, Brown bird, Small bird,
A small Brown Rock Chat or Indian chat 
My encounter with Brown Rock Chat is very common because a pair of this bird lives near my home and I constantly get a chance to see them. I mostly see them in pairs and they don't mind coming close to me. They also enjoy me capturing their pictures and allow me to come close to them.



Sometimes, we even find this bird making sweet calls as shown in the picture below. These small brown birds are capable of making eight different types of calls like threat call, territorial call etc.
Brown Rock Chat, Calls,
Brown Rock Chat making calls
Brown Rock Chat mainly eats insects and we can find them looking for insects on the ground or in wall holes. These birds are mainly found in the plains at a height up to 1300 meters.

Brown Rock Chat
Brown Rock Chat 

Brown Rock Chat, Close up
Brown Rock Chat Close Up
Indian chats are beautiful small brown birds living peacefully around us. If we observe, we can even listen to some of their sweet calls. In the picture, we can see a brown rock chat taking flight.

Indian chat, Brown Rock Chat, flight
Brown Roch Chat ready for flight
These birds may resemble other small bird; however, the best way recognizes them is to see the complete brown color of their body. Somewhere, we can find Brown rock chat in dark brown color and at some places, we can find them in light brown color.

[update 20/4/2015] In the picture below, You can see the open tail wings of the a Brown Chat Bird and in the other picture, you can also notice that one foot of this bird is injured.
Tail wings, Brown Rock Chat
Open Tail Wings Brown Rock Chat

Brown rock chat
Injured Brown Rock Chat

Eurasian Common Moorhen Pictures and Detail

Eurasian Common Moorhen, Moorhen, Duck
Two Eurasian Common Moorhen

Eurasian Common Moorhen Pictures and Detail 


During my visit to the Kandi forest in Punjab in search of Peacock pictures, I came across a small water reservoir which was a sand dam to collect following water. Here I found a few black birds floating on the water. Later, I found that these are Eurasian Common Moorhens. 
Common Moorhen, Swimming,
Common Moorhen Swimming 

There were dozen of Common Moorhen present in this small artificial water lake. I visited this place three times and everytime, I found these birds. The scientific name of these birds is Gallinula Chloropus and they are also called Swamp Chicken. Indian Common Morrhen belong to the Rallidae family of birds.


Eurasian Common Moorhen, Common Moorhen,
Eurasian Common Moorhen
These birds looked shy in nature and they were moving away from me as I was approaching near them. Common Moorhens are omnivorous. It eats seeds, water-vegetation, algae, small fishes, aquatic plants, tadpoles, insects, berries, grass and many more.

Common Moorhens, Group,
Group of Common Moorhens

Eurasian Common Moorhens are very good swimmers and then walk like hen on the ground. Some species of this bird are reported to migrate long distances. We can commonly found them in the small lake, fresh water reservoirs, canals, ponds etc.

Eurasian Common Moorhen
Eurasian Common Moorhen

Eurasian Common Moorhens either make their nests few feet away from the water or on floating plants in water. They lay 4 to 10 eggs and these eggs hatch in around 20 days time.

Common Moorhen,
Common Moorhen 
It is really nice experience to take some pictures of Common Moorhens and I hope to get closer pictures of them in the next meeting with these birds.

Common Moorhen, Moorhen,
Common Moorhen 


The Eurasian stone-curlew Pictures and Detail (Burhinus oedicnemus)

Eurasian stone-curlew, male
The Eurasian stone-curlew

The Eurasian stone-curlew Pictures and Detail (Burhinus oedicnemus)

While moving in the search of Peafowls, I came across a pair of these birds. My wife, pointed out that there is a bird on the ground on her side. Soon, we noticed that it is the pair of birds. Later, I searched for this bird and found that it's name is Eurasian Stone-curlew. It is also known as stone curlew and Eurasian thick-knee. Its scientific name is Burhinus Oedicnemus and it belongs to Burhinidae (Stone-curlew) bird family.

Stone-curlew, female,
Stone-curlew (female)
I saw Eurasian stone-curlew for the first time and I was lucky enough to get some of their pictures. The best way to recognize these birds is to look for yellow bleak with black tip. These birds are mainly noctarnal in nature; therefore, we don't find them much in day.

Pair, Eurasian Stone-Curlew,
Pair of Eurasian Stone-Curlew
These birds are found in Europe, north Africa and many parts of Asia. Eurasian Thick-Knee mainly eat insects, small reptiles, rodents and frogs. These birds migrate in summers and winters to the suitable locations.

The Eurarian stone-curlew is highly vocal during the spring and summer season. These birds are shy in nature and don't like human presence or disturbance.
Eurasian Thick-Nee
Eurasian Thick-knee
Eurasian stone-cirlew creates their nests on the ground and even fight with dogs and other big animals to save their eggs. I found the pair of these birds and because of their cryptic plumage, it is hard to find them on the ground.



In future, I will like to take more pictures of shy bird Eurasian stone-curlew or Eurasian Thick-Knee. I want to thanks my wife for showing this bird to me.

Indian (Blue) Peafowl (Peacock) Pictures and Detail (The most beautiful big Bird I ever saw)

Peacock, Peafowl, Feathers,
Peacock and Its Feathers

Peacock, Peafowl
Indian Blue Peacock

Indian (Blue) Peafowl Peacock Pictures and Detail (Click to Tweet)


I spent last few days in the search of Peacocks in Kandi Forest of Punjab near Ropar Town. I got the chance to see two dozen of these birds in this forest; however, they disappear in a few seconds so I got only a few pictures of peafowl.

Peahen,
Peahen
Peahens
Peahens 


The ears of Peacock are so sharp that they are able to hear the click of a camera from a distance. The best thing about Peacocks is their beautiful voice which makes you stress free.


[Update 14-4-2015  The other interesting thing about Peacock is to see it with a full spread of feathers. When they do so, then they look like dancing in heavenly love. Fortunately, I also got a chance to capture the dance of Peacock with a full spread of its wings. In the three pictures below, you can see yourself how beautiful a Peacock looks at this point.

Peacock, Full Spread of Wings, Wings, Feathers,
Peacock with Full spread of Feathers
Feathers, Backside, Peacock
Backside of Peacock in Full Spread of Feathers

Side view, full spread, Peacocks, Feathers,
Side View of Full Spread of Feathers of Peacock



There are two species of Peafowl, one is blue and other is green. In India, we find Blue Peacocks and in Burms (Mynmar) we find the green Peacock.


Peacock, Peafowl, Bush
Peacock on the Bush
 When you see a peacock for the first time, then the first word which comes out of your mouth is what a beautiful big bird. It appears that someone has painted this bird so beautifully. I found very peaceful chasing these birds.

[Update - 14-4-2015 Can Peacock Fly?- The most interesting thing is to see the Peacock flying. Though, Peacock can't fly long distance and high enough, So usually they have short flights and they choose a higher ground to jump so that they can cross a long distance, I have seen a Peacock jumping from 70 feet height to cover almost double distance in a single flight. Due to their large wing size, we hear a strong noise when they fly near us. However, they are not long distance and high flyers like the other birds.   Below you can see three pictures showing the flight of Peacocks. These pictures are taken from the top as I was standing on top of a hill.]

Peacock, Flying,
Peacock Flying
Peacock, Flight
Flight of Peacock

Peacock, Flying
Peocock Flying


I am seeing the Indian (Blue) Peacocks from the childhood because these birds were very common in the villages of Punjab and we could notice them in the fields. However, due to excess use of pesticides and hunting, the numbers of Peacocks decreased drastically and they started disappearing.

However, thanks to ban on killing Peafowls, we are again seeing a revival of their population.

Peacock, Hill Top
Peacock on the Hill Top
The male Peafowl is called Peacocks and while female Peafowl is called Peahen. The male Peafowl has beautiful and colorful wings, which are absent in female Peafowls, The tail of the Peacock is known as Train.

The good things about Peafowls is that they cling a hill of 400 feet in few seconds only and they are very good at hiding themselves behind the small trees and bushes. Peafowl doesn't have a good flight, but they can fly for short distances if feel threatened.
Peafowl,
Face of Peafowl

The diet of Peafowls includes a variety of things like plants, grass, seeds, insects, manuals. In the morning, it is nice to hear their loud calls in the morning time; though, we can hear these calls at any time.


Sometimes when you follow Peacocks in the jungle, then you get the chance to see such pictures where a Peafowl is standing on Tree branch like you see in the picture below.

Peacock, Tree,
Peacock on Tree

Peafowl, Peacock, Tree Branch,
Peafowl on the Tree Branch

Sometimes, we also get a chance to see Peacocks fighting for a Peahen. In the picture below, you can see a three Peacocks and one Peahen. Two Peacocks look fighting with each other.

Peacocks, Fight
Peacocks Fight 

Threat to Peafowls (Peacocks) 

Few years, It was common to read such news in the media "20 Peacocks found dead", "Indians can no longer be proud as a peacock", "Peacocks poisoned", "Peafowls (Peacocks) on the brink of extinction".

During my childhood, it was very common to see Peafowls (Peacocks) in rural area of most of India; however, as I grew, I noticed a sharp decrease in the numbers of Peacocks. Earlier in state of Punjab in India, you can commonly see Peacocks sitting silently in fields or on the rooftop.

However, due to poaching, poisoning and indiscriminate use of pesticides, the number of Peafowls decreased sharply and it's become very uncommon to see these beautiful birds. In 1991 population counting done by WWF India for Peafowls (Peacocks), it was found that Peafowls population has become half after the independence of India.

Killing Peacocks is a non-bailable offense in India and any person caught killing Peacocks can get three years of imprisonment and Rs 10000 fine. However, still these birds were hunted down due because of the huge demand of their feathers and fat.

The increased use of pesticides in fields also caused death of Peacocks because use of some of pesticides become very harmful for these birds.

However, now we are seeing some revival and there is a increase in population of Peafowls in many parts of India; though, they are still under threat and need protection. I request everyone to support Peacocks by educating others about security of Peacocks.



Peafowls (Peacocks) are great ground birds because we mostly find them on the ground moving here and there or even climbing hills because of their strong feet. Being sensitive to the slightest movement of unknown voice or things, they can fly away immediately creating a loud noise of wings.

I hope to capture more of their pictures in the future because I have fallen in love with Peafowl (Peacock) calls and sweet nature of hiding.