An accidental birder...
written by: Nishand Venugopal
I am not an avid birder, my interest in photography opened a window to the beautiful world of birds around me. At a young age, the birds that came to my notice would be parakeets, kites, rock pigeons which used to make nests in the steps of my house, well and obviously, crows who were everywhere. As part of an Eco trail conducted by WWF, I suddenly came to know more about birds and their importance in the vibrant eco-system. This article is about the birds I managed to see during my short visit to my home in Kerala. First, the elegant Indian paradise flycatcher, both the black and white, and the rufous plumage, stunning birds as you can see them. Amazed to see that a brahminy kite has made a nest on top of one of the trees near my home, and always stays on guard to protect the young ones from other predators. The spike hairstyle of the red-whiskered bulbul amused me, while the always fierce and alert black drongo gave me a good portrait shot. Drongo's fearlessness is always a support for the little birds, who tend to build their nest around the presence of the black drongo. This time I saw a fully grown white-cheeked barbet and it reminded me of the last year's experience of hunting that I witnessed, where a shikra caught hold of a young barbet and killed it in a matter of second. The image of the predator claiming its prey is not an easy one to digest or forget. The three woolly-necked storks were also a unique opportunity for my shutterbugs. Also, this makes me wonder, how was it I missed these when I was young, how come I never noticed them. It's only in my late thirties I got to understand the value of these cohabitors near my home. I wish young minds also get to know more about the flora and fauna that surrounds them and be aware what's happening in nature, because only if you know about it, can you protect them. I Hope people open their eyes and ears to nature and learn the language of nature.... Try to find which birds and mammals visit your backyard, definitely it will be a rewarding experience.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
My call for everyone to look around you and see the beauty in nature and observe it. It is necessary to conserve and preserve it.