Birds have always fascinated mankind. They are described as “glorified reptiles” which denote their line of evolution. These warm-blooded vertebrates have a beautiful plumage and very interesting habits like courtship, nest-building, parental care and migratory flights. Their wonderful song calls make our mornings and evenings very pleasant. The branch of Zoology which deals with study of birds is called Ornithology. Dr. Salini Ali is the celebrated ornithologist of India.
Different birds and their habitat
Body with black plumage, grey around the neck. This is a scavenger inhabiting human dwelling areas and is highly useful to man (Commensal). Male and female are alike and show no sexual dimorphism. Omnivorous (Jungle crow does not have a grey neck). It builds nests and looks after its young ones.
- Cuckoo (Eudynamis sp.)
Male shining metallic black feathers with a striking yellowish green bill and blood red eyes. Females are grayish brown and spotted and barred with white. So there is a well marked sexual dimorphism. Male has an attractive song call. Female has no song. It does not build nests and lays its eggs in crow’s nest and the young ones are hatched and looked after by foster parents. Its song is not heard in winter, but becomes noisy in spring and summer.
- Pigeons (Columbia livia)
Commonly called blue-rock pigeon. Color is slaty grey with glistening metallic green, purple, and magenta sheen on neck and upper breast. Two dark bars on wings and a band across the end of the tail. No sexual dimorphism, semi-domesticated. Commensal of man.
- Mynah (Acridotherus tristis)
Deep brown in color with bright yellow bill and legs. No sexual dimorphism. Always found in groups in groups of 2 to 10. Inhabits human dwelling areas. Builds nest.
- Parrot (Psittacula krameri)
Commonly called rose-ringed parakeet. Body slender with pointed tail. Feather grass green in color. Male has a black and red collar which is absent in the females. Bill red curved adapted for nut-cracking. Builds nests in hollow tree-trunks, crevices and holes of buildings. Found often in large flocks. It is a popular cage bird and can be taught to talk.
- Owl (Bubo bubo)
Commonly called great – horned owl. Large, heavy and robust birds. Color is dark brown, streaked and mottled with tawny buff and black. Head is large and bears two conspicuous black ear-tuffs or horns. Eyes large and round, forwardly directed. Legs fully feathered. Mainly noctural but frequently seen during day time. They feed on rodents and harmful insects pests and so is helpful to agriculturalists and hence has no to be protected.
- Woodpecker (din opium benghalensis)
Commonly called Golden – backed woodpecker. Small bird with distinctive golden – yellow and black plumage above and Buffy white with black streaks below. Entire crown and crest on the head is crimson in male and only party so in the female. Bill long, stout and pointed tongue protrusive and barb- tipped. Tails stiff and wedge-shaped. Wood boring habit.
- Sparrow (passer domesticus)
Small bird with upper surface earthy-brown, streaked with black, under parts whitish. Male has a black area on the throat and breast. Feeds on seeds and grains. Unfailing Commensal of man. Nest is a collection of straw and rubbish stuffed into a hole in the wall. Useful to agriculture as it destroys several insects’ pests.
- Bulbul (Hypsipetes Ieucocephalus)
Body grey- black or ash-brown. Beak and legs red in color. Head has a crest. Builds nests.
- Kite (Milvus migrans)
Body brown in color. Tail frocked. No sexual dimorphism. Beak sharp, strong and curved. Carnivorous. Lives in the neighborhood of man. Nesting season from September to April.