Slender-billed oriole   Back

 

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist mountain forests.

 

 

 

 

Spotted Dove   Back

 

The Spotted dove is found in light forests and gardens as well as in urban areas. They fly from the ground with an explosive flutter and will sometimes glide down to a perch. It is sometimes also called the mountain dove, pearl-necked dove or lace-necked dove.

 

Spotted doves move around in pairs or small groups as they forage on the ground for grass seeds, grains, fallen fruits and seeds of other plants. They may however take insects occasionally and have been recorded feeding on winged termites. The flight is quick with regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings. A display flight involves taking off at a steep angle with a loud clapping of the wing and then slowly gliding down with the tail spread out.

 

The breeding season is spread out in warm regions but tends to be in summer in the temperate ranges. In Hawaii, they breed all year round, as do all three other introduced species of doves. Males coo, bow and make aerial displays in courtship. In southern Australia, they breed mostly from September to January, and in the north in autumn. They nest mainly in low vegetation, building a flimsy cup of twigs in which two whitish eggs are laid. Nests are sometimes placed on the ground or on buildings and other structures. Both parents take part in building the nest, incubating and feeding the young. The eggs hatch after about 13 days and fledge after a fortnight. More than one brood may be raised.

 

 

 

 

Long-tailed shrike   Back

 

This bird has a characteristic upright "shrike" attitude when perched on a bush, from which it glides down at an angle to take lizards, large insects, small birds and rodents. They maintain feeding territories and are usually found single or in pairs that are well spaced out. Several members have been observed indulging in play behavior fighting over perches. The usual calls are harsh grating and scolding calls, likened to the squealing of a frog caught by a snake. They are capable of vocal mimicry and include the calls of many species including lapwings, cuckoos, puppies and squirrels in their song. This singing ability makes it a popular pet in parts of Southeast Asia.

 

Long-tailed shrikes take a wide variety of animal prey. On occasion, they have been noted capturing fish from a stream. They also take small snakes. It sometimes indulges in klepto-parasitism and takes prey from other birds. It also captures flying insects in the air. They sometimes impale prey on a thorny bush after feeding just on the head or brain. They have been reported to feed on the fruits of the neem in Kerala, even attempting to impale them on a twig.

 

The breeding season is in summer in the temperate ranges. The nest is a deep and loose cup made up of thorny twigs, rags and hair. This is placed in a thorny bush, trees such as Flacourtia and wild date palms (Phoenix). The usual clutch is about 3 to 6 eggs which are incubated by both sexes. The eggs hatch after about 13 to 16 days. Young chicks are often fed with pieces of small birds captured by the parents. A second brood may be raised in the same nest. They are sometimes parasitized by cuckoos such as the common cuckoo (Dehra Dun), common hawk-cuckoo, Jacobin cuckoo and the Asian koel in Bangladesh.

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese white-eye   Back

 

As one of the native species of the Japanese islands, it has been depicted in Japanese art on numerous occasions, and historically was kept as a cage bird.

 

This bird species is rarely found on the ground. It is a very sociable species that may form flocks with other species, in which the birds form groups to forage during flight; white-eyes only flock with birds of other species outside of the breeding season. Allopreening – the art of cleaning, grooming, and maintaining parts of the body – is extremely common. Interspecific allopreening (between different species) has been observed in captivity. While sociable, however, the white-eye typically forms monogamous relationships with mates – it has only one mate at any one time.

 

Social hierarchy in a flock is established through physical displays. Some of these displays are not sex dependent, such as wing flicks exposing the underwing, wing flutters and vibrations, as well as open beak displays and beak snaps (rapid shutting of the beak to make a snapping noise). During breeding seasons, however, males establish territories via the sex-specific activity of singing loudly. Males will fend off intruders of the same species, yet will allow other species of birds to nest inside of their territory.

 

Pairs of individuals, generally monogamous, choose a location for the nest between 1 and 30 meters above ground level. Construction of the nest lasts 7–10 days on average, and a variety of nesting material may be used (living and non-living); spider webs, moss, lichens, and mammal hair are all examples of building media that the birds employ. When building nests, they often steal material from the nests of other birds. Nests tend to be cup shaped, with a diameter of 56.2 mm and a depth of 41.7 mm. The majority of nests are only used once, but some may be used up to three times in any given season.

 

The species is omnivorous, living on a diet of fruit from several species of flowering plants, various types of insects, and nectar at all levels of foliage. It feeds on insects by searching the leaves of flowers and scouring tree bark for larvae. Consequences of its diet include regulation of local insect populations and dispersal of seeds; however, the white-eye's seed-dispersal ability does not seem to be significant in Hawaii.

 

 

 

 

Long-tailed minivet   Back

 

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist mountain forests.

 

 

 

 

Pale blue flycatcher   Back

 

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist mountain forests.

 

 

 

 

 

Oriental magpie robin   Back 

 

Occurring across most of the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia, they are common birds in urban gardens as well as forests. They are particularly well known for their songs and were once popular as cagebirds. The oriental magpie-robin is considered the national bird of Bangladesh.

 

Magpie robins breed mainly from March to July in India and January to June in south-east Asia. Males sing from high perches during courtship. The display of the male involves puffing up the feathers, raising the bill, fanning the tail and strutting. They nest in tree hollows or niches in walls or building, often adopting nest boxes. They line the cavity with grass. The female is involved in most of the nest building that happens about a week before the eggs are laid. Four or five eggs are laid in intervals of 24 hours and these are oval and usually pale blue green with brownish speckles which match the color of hay. The eggs are incubated by the female alone for 8 to 14 days. The nests are said to have a characteristic odor.

 

Females spend more effort on feeding the young than males. Males are quite aggressive in the breeding season and will defend their territory and respond to the singing of intruders and even their reflections. Males spend more time on nest defense. Studies of the bird song show dialects with neighbors varying in their songs. The calls of many other species may be imitated as part of their song. This may indicate that birds disperse and are not philopatric. They appear to use elements of the calls of other birds in their own songs. Females may sing briefly in the presence of male. Apart from their song, they use a range of calls including territorial calls, emergence and roosting calls, threat calls, submissive calls, begging calls and distress calls. The typical mobbing calls is a harsh hissing krshhh.

 

The diet of magpie robins includes mainly insects and other invertebrates. Although mainly insectivorous, they are known to occasionally take flower nectar, geckos, leeches, centipedes and even fish.

 

They are often active late at dusk. They sometimes bathe in rainwater collected on the leaves of a tree.

 

 

 

 

Eurasian tree sparrow   Back 

 

The Eurasian tree sparrow is widespread in the towns and cities of eastern Asia, but in Europe it is a bird of lightly wooded open countryside, with the house sparrow breeding in the more urban areas. The Eurasian tree sparrow's extensive range and large population ensure that it is not endangered globally, but there have been large declines in western European populations, in part due to changes in farming practices involving increased use of herbicides and loss of winter stubble fields. In eastern Asia and western Australia, this species is sometimes viewed as a pest, although it is also widely celebrated in oriental art.

 

The tree sparrow is a predominantly seed and grain eating bird which feeds on the ground in flocks, often with house sparrows, finches, or buntings. It eats weed seeds, such as chickweeds and goosefoot, spilled grain, and it may also visit feeding stations, especially for peanuts. It will also feed on invertebrates, especially during the breeding season when the young are fed mainly on animal food; it takes insects, woodlice, millipedes, centipedes, spiders and harvestmen.

 

Adults use a variety of wetlands when foraging for invertebrate prey to feed nestlings, and aquatic sites play a key role in providing adequate diversity and availability of suitable invertebrate prey to allow successful chick rearing throughout the long breeding season of this multi-brooded species. Large areas of formerly occupied farmland no longer provide these invertebrate resources due to the effects of intensive farming, and the availability of supplementary seed food within 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) of the nest-site does not influence nest-site choice, or affect the number of young raised.

 

In winter, seed resources are most likely to be a key limiting factor. At this time of year, individuals in a flock form linear dominance hierarchies, but there is no strong relation between the size of the throat patch and position in that hierarchy. This is in contrast to the house sparrow; in that species, fights to establish dominance are reduced by the display of the throat patch, the size of which acts as a signaling "badge" of fitness.

 

The risk of predation affects feeding strategies. A study showed increased distance between shelter and a food supply meant that birds visited a feeder in smaller flocks, spent less time on it and were more vigilant when far from shelter. Sparrows can feed as "producers", searching for food directly, or "scroungers", just joining other flock members who have already discovered food. Scrounging was 30% more likely at exposed feeding sites, although this is not due to increased anti-predator vigilance. A possible explanation is that riskier places are used by individuals with lower fat reserves.

 

 

 

 

 

Red-whiskered bulbul   Back

 

The red-whiskered bulbul is a passerine bird found in Asia. It is a member of the bulbul family. It is a resident frugivore found mainly in tropical Asia. It has been introduced in many tropical areas of the world where populations have established themselves. It feeds on fruits and small insects and they conspicuously perch on trees and their calls are a loud three or four note call. They are very common in hill forests and urban gardens within its range.

The red-whiskered bulbul feeds on fruits (including those of Cascabela thevetia that are toxic to mammals), nectar and insects.

 

The breeding season is spread out and peaks from December to May in southern India and March to October in northern India. Breeding may occur once or twice a year. The courtship display of the male involves head bowing, spreading the tail and drooping wings. The nest is cup-shaped, and is built on bushes, thatched walls or small trees. It is woven of fine twigs, roots, and grasses, and embellished with large objects such as bark strips, paper, or plastic bags. Clutches typically contain two to three eggs. Adults (possibly the female) may feign injury to distract potential predators away from the nest. The eggs have a pale mauve ground color with speckles becoming blotches towards the broad end. Eggs measure 21 mm and are 16 mm wide. Eggs take 12 days to hatch. Both parents take part in raising the young. Young birds are fed on caterpillars and insects which are replaced by fruits and berries as they mature. The chicks are psilopaedic (having down only in the pterylae). Eggs and chicks may be preyed on by the greater coucal, Calotes versicolor, and crows.

 

They defend territories of about 3,000 square meters (32,000 sq ft) during the breeding season. They roost communally in loose groups of hundred or more birds.

 

This species was once a popular cage bird in parts of India.

These birds are in great request among the natives, being of a fearless disposition, and easily reclaimed. They are taught to sit on the hand, and numbers may thus be seen in any Indian bazaar.

 

The species continues to be a popular cagebird in parts of Southeast Asia.

 

 

 

Bronzed drongo   Back 

 

The bronzed drongo (Dicrurus aeneus) is a small Indo-Malayan bird belonging to the drongo group. They are resident in the forests of the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. They capture insects flying in the shade of the forest canopy by making aerial sallies from their perches. They are very similar to the other drongos of the region but are somewhat smaller and compact with differences in the fork depth and the patterns of gloss on their feathers.

 

They are found singly or in a group of two to three. They actively forage for insects under the forest canopy by making aerial sallies, often returning to their favorite perches. They sometimes join mixed-species foraging flocks.

 

The breeding season is February to July. Three or four pinkish to brownish eggs are laid in a cup nest in a tree. The eggs are darker on the broad end and often have cloudy spots. The nest is covered in cobwebs and often appears whitish. These are aggressive and fearless birds, 24 cm in length, and will attack much larger species if their nest or young are threatened.

 

 

 

Black bulbul   Back

 

The black bulbul, also known as the Himalayan black bulbul or Asian black bulbul, is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is found in southern Asia from India east to southern China. It is the type species of the genus Hypsipetes, established by Nicholas Aylward Vigors in the early 1830s. There are a number of subspecies across Asia, mostly varying in the shade of the body plumage (ranging from grey to black), and some also occur in white-headed morphs (as also suggested by its specific epithet leucocephalus, literally "white head"). The legs and bill are always rich orange-red.

This bulbul is found in broad-leaved forests, cultivation and gardens mainly in hilly areas, but Himalayan populations are known to sometimes descend into the adjoining plains in winter.

 

Black bulbuls feed mainly on seeds and insects, and they are often seen in small groups, either roosting or flying about in search of food. They are particularly fond of berries. They are known to feed on a wide range of berries including Celtis, Rosa, Melia and Ehretia in the Himalayas. They feed on the nectar of Salmalia, Erythrina, Rhododendron and other species. They make aerial sallies for insects. They can be quite noisy, making various loud cheeping, mewing and grating calls. The Himalayan form has been reported to make a call resembling a goat kid, throwing back its neck when calling.

 

It builds its nest in a tree or bush; the nest is a cup placed in a fork and made from grasses, dry leaves, mosses, lichens and cobwebs. The lining is made up of ferns, rootlets and other soft material. Both sexes participate in nest construction. Two or three eggs form the usual clutch.

 

 

 

 

 

Red-vented bulbul   Back 

 

This is a bird of dry scrub, open forest, plains and cultivated lands. In its native range it is rarely found in mature forests. A study based on 54 localities in India concluded that vegetation is the single most important factor that determines the distribution of the species.

 

It has been introduced into Hawaii, Fiji and New Zealand. They were introduced to Samoa in 1943 and became common on Upolu by 1957. Red-vented bulbuls were introduced to Fiji around 1903 by indentured laborers from India. They established on the Tongan islands of Tongatapu and Niuafo'ou. They were introduced into Melbourne around 1917 but were not seen after 1942. They established in Auckland in the 1950s but were exterminated and another wild population that was detected was exterminated in 2006. In 2013 more were found, and authorities offered a $1000 reward for information that led to a bird's capture. They prefer the dry lowland regions in these introduced regions. They are considered as pests because of their habit of damaging fruit crops. Methiocarb and ziram have been used to protect cultivated Dendrobium orchids in Hawaii from damage by these birds. These birds learn to avoid the repellent chemicals. They can also disperse the seeds of invasive plants like Lantana camara and Miconia calvescens.

 

Red-vented bulbuls feed on fruits, petals of flowers,[30] nectar, insects and occasionally geckos. They have also been seen feeding on the leaves of Medicago sativa.

 

Red-vented bulbuls build their nests in bushes at a height of around 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft) two or three eggs is a typical clutch. Nests are occasionally built inside houses or in a hole in a mud bank. In one instance, a nest was found on a floating mat of Water hyacinth leaves and another observer noted a pair nesting inside a regularly used bus. Nests in tree cavities have also been noted.

 

They breed from June to September. The eggs are pale-pinkish with spots of darker red more dense at the broad end. They are capable of having multiple clutches in a year. Nests are small flat cups made of small twigs but sometimes making use of metal wires. The eggs hatch after about 14 days. Both parents feed the chicks and on feeding trips wait for the young to excrete, swallowing the fecal sacs produced. The pied crested cuckoo is a brood parasite of this species. Fires, heavy rains and predators are the main causes of fledgling mortality in scrub habitats in southern India.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Black-naped oriole   Back

 

Black-naped orioles have been recorded to feed on a range of berries including Trema orientalis, Ficus and others apart from insects. It has been suggested that they may have aided in the dispersal of Ficus species into the island of Krakatoa where they were also among the early pioneer species.

 

In India it has been noted to take nectar from large flowers such as those of Salmalia and Erythrina. They can sometimes be nest predators on smaller birds. The breeding season is April to June (January–March in the Nicobars) and the nest is a deep cup in a fork of a tree. The eggs, two to three, are salmon pink with reddish spots and darker blotches. The nests are often built in the vicinity of the nest of a black drongo. Two or three nests may be built by the female and one is finally chosen for laying eggs. Males may sometimes sit beside the unused nests. Incubation is by the female alone and the eggs hatch after 14 to 16 days and the chicks fledge after another two weeks. Females stay closer to the nest, taking part in nest sanitation by removal of fecal sacs, driving away predators and feeding the young. The males take a more active role in feeding and guarding. Eurasian tree sparrows and black bulbuls may sometimes use abandoned nests. Nest predators include crows, treepies and hawks. In many parts of Southeast Asia, they are trapped and sold in the bird trade.

 

 

 

 

Black-collared Starling   Back

 

The black-collared starling (Gracupica nigricollis) is a species of starling in the family Sturnidae. It is found in Brunei, Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests.

 

 

 

 

 

Coppersmith Barbet   Back

 

The coppersmith barbet, crimson-breasted barbet or coppersmith (Megalaima haemacephala), is a bird with crimson forehead and throat which is best known for its metronomic call that has been likened to a coppersmith striking metal with a hammer. It is a resident found in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Like other barbets, they chisel out a hole inside a tree to build their nest. They are mainly fruit eating but will take sometimes insects, especially winged termites.

 

 

 

 

 

Short-billed Minivet   Back

 

The short-billed minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) is a species of bird in the Campephagidae family. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

 

 

 

 

 

Sooty-headed Bulbul   Back

 

The sooty-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster) is a species of songbird in the Pycnonotidae family. It is found in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chestnut-flanked White-eye   Back

 

The chestnut-flanked white-eye (Zosterops erythropleurus) is a species of bird in the Zosteropidae family. It is found in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The species is migratory, breeding in northern China and migrating to Southeast Asia in the winter. It is the most migratory species of white-eye. It breeds in poplar, alder and willow forests, thickets and groves, and winters in deciduous and evergreen forests, usually above 1000 m.

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Buzzard   Back

The Eastern buzzard or Japanese buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is a medium to large bird of prey that is sometimes considered a subspecies of the widespread common buzzard (Buteo buteo). It is native to Mongolia, China, Japan and some offshore islands.

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow-browed Warbler   Back

 

The yellow-browed warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) is a leaf warbler (family Phylloscopidae) which breeds in temperate Asia. This warbler is strongly migratory and winters mainly in tropical Southeast Asia, but also in small numbers in western Europe.

This is one of the smaller Old World warblers, at 9.5–11 cm long and weighing 4–9 g distinctly smaller than a chiffchaff but slightly larger than Pallas's leaf warbler.

 

It is not shy, but its arboreal life style makes it difficult to observe. It is almost constantly in motion. Its song is a high pitched medley of whistles; the call is piercing, often disyllabic "tseeweest", strikingly loud for the bird's small size.

 

Like most warblers, it is insectivorous. The nest is built in dense vegetation often at the base of a tree or old stump; two to four (occasionally more) eggs are laid, hatching after 11–14 days, with the chicks fledging when 12–13 days old.

 

This is an abundant bird of lowland and montane forests and woodlands; particularly in winter it may also be found in more open woods. Its breeding range extends from just west of the Ural Mountains eastwards to eastern Siberia, Mongolia and northeastern China. Its winte rhabitat is lowland broadleaf or coniferous forest, from West Bengal and Assam in northeastern India east through southern China toTaiwan, and south to the Malay Peninsula. In summer, it occurs at altitudes of up to 2,440 m, and in winter, up to 1,525 m

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashy Drongo   Back

 

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) is a species of bird in the drongo family Dicruridae. It is found widely distributed across South and Southeast Asia with several populations that vary in the shade of grey, migration patterns and in the size or presence of a white patch around the eye

 

The ashy drongo has short legs and sits very upright while perched prominently, often high on a tree. It is insectivorous and forages by making aerial sallies but sometimes gleans from tree trunks. They are found singly, in pairs or small groups. During migration they fly in small flocks.

 

Foraging occurs at dusk or dawn, either singly or in large groups. The ashy drongo is primarily insectivorous, but occasionally eats some small vertebrates, including lizards and birds. Its insect prey includes locusts, dragonflies, stick-insects, moths and smaller insects such as ants. It forages near forest edges, usually perching on a high, open branch or on a telephone wire to detect its prey, before swooping down to catch the insect on the ground or in mid-flight. In agricultural areas the ashy drongo will also follow cattle to catch insects that are disturbed as the animal walks.

 

The ashy drongo largely breeds between May and June, but regional variations result in some populations breeding as early as April. Nesting material is collected by the male while the female constructs the nest itself, which is often suspended from, or embedded in, a tree fork. The nest is frequently built overhanging a riverbank at a height of 3 to 15 meters above the ground. The ashy drongo’s nest is a shallow, fragile-looking cup of approximately 10 centimeters in diameter and 2.5 centimeters in depth, constructed from bits of small, leafy creeper and felted on the outside with cobwebs and camouflaged with lichen and other greenery.

 

The smooth eggs are a pale, matt pink, with sparse brown speckles and larger flecks of brown, purple-brown and purple-grey. Both the male and the female incubate the clutch of one to four eggs and tend to the chicks. The ashy drongo is very territorial, being highly aggressive to potential predators, and it viciously defends its brood.

 

 

 

Asian Barred Owlet   Back

 

The Asian Barred Owlet is generally a diurnal bird, often found perched on bare branches or dead tree stumps in the full sunlight, or hunting during the day. While it may be vocal at any time of the day, it is most vocally active at dawn and for a couple of hours after sunrise. Flight is undulating; a series of rapid flaps followed by a pause with the wings closed.

 

This owl feeds on beetles, grasshoppers, cicadas and other large insects. Lizards, mice and small birds are also taken. Has been observed seizing Common Quail in the air like a hawk.

 

Breeding season is from April to June in Nepal, April and May elsewhere. Fledglings have been found in early July. The nest is an unlined natural hole in a tree trunk or a suitable abandoned barbet or woodpecker hole. The owl may kill woodpeckers or barbets before taking over their nest-hole. Normally four eggs are laid, which are white and rounded, averaging 35.8 x 30.4mm.

 

Open submontane or montane forest of pine, oak, rhododendron etc. Also inhabits subtropical and tropical evergreen jungle at lower elevations. Sometimes near or in human habitations such as gardens, parks etc.

 

 

 

 

Great Barbet   Back

 

The great barbet (Megalaima virens) is an Asian barbet. Barbets are a group of near passerine birds with a worldwide tropical distribution. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills.

 

The great barbet is a resident breeder in the lower-to-middle altitudes of the Himalayas, ranging across northern India, Nepal and Bhutan, Bangladesh and some parts of Southeast Asia, as far away as Laos.

The nesting season is from April to July. This species typically builds nests in tree holes. The male and female birds share the parental duties.

 

The diet of this species is mainly fruits and insects.

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet Minivet   Back

 

The scarlet minivet (Pericrocotus speciosus) is a small passerine bird. This minivet is found in tropical southern Asia from the Indian subcontinent east to southern China, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They are common resident breeding birds in forests and other well-wooded habitats including gardens, especially in hilly country.

 

This minivet catches insects in trees by fly-catching or while perched. It flushes insects out of foliage by beating its wings hard. Scarlet minivet will form small flocks. Its song is a pleasant whistling.

 

This bird nests high up in the treetops. The nest is a cup-like structure woven with small twigs and spiders' webs to increase the strength of the nest. Two or three spotted pale green eggs are laid. Incubation is mainly by the female, but both birds help to raise the offspring.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Blue-throated Barbet   Back

 

The blue-throated barbet (Megalaima asiatica) is an Asian barbet having bright green, blue & red plumage, seen across the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Barbets and toucansare a group of near passerine birds with a worldwide tropical distribution. The barbets get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills; this species eats fruits and insects. They frequent evergreen forests, deciduous forests, gardens, orchards, teak forests and cities with fruiting trees.

 

They are typically seen foraging in the forest canopy, but will visit lower shrubs to feed.

Their staple diet consists of fruits (particularly figs), some flowers, figs and insects, such as grubs, crickets, mantises, ants, cicadas, dragonflies, locusts, beetles and moths.

 

Their breeding season usually starts in March and goes on until July. Courtship behavior consists of mutual feeding, and paired birds will ‘duet’ and display.

Both parents usually excavate a nest hole about 1.5 m to more than 8 m above the ground, often on the underside of a dead branch. They line their nest with grasses, wool or plant materials. 

 

The average clutch consists of 2 to 5 white, oval, slightly glossed and thin-shelled eggs, which are incubated by both parents for about 14 days. Both parents also share in raising the chicks once they have hatched. The young are believed to fledge when they are about 30 to 40 days old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Crow   Back

 

The house crow (Corvus splendens), also known as the Indian, grey-necked, Ceylon or Colombo crow, is a common bird of the crow family that is of Asian origin but now found in many parts of the world, where they arrived assisted by shipping.

 

House crows feed largely on refuse around human habitations, small reptiles, and other animals such as insects and other small invertebrates, eggs, nestlings, grain and fruits. House crows have also been observed swooping down from the air and snatching baby squirrels. Most food is taken from the ground, but also from trees as opportunity arises. They are highly opportunistic birds and given their omnivorous diet, they can survive on nearly anything that is edible. These birds can be seen near marketplaces and garbage dumps, foraging for scraps. They have also been observed to eat sand after feeding on carcass.

 

At least some trees in the local environment seem to be necessary for successful breeding although house crows occasionally nest on telephone towers. It lays 3–5 eggs in a typical stick nest, and occasionally there are several nests in the same tree. In South Asia they are parasitized by the Asian koel. Peak breeding in India as well as Peninsular Malaysia is from April to July. Large trees with big crowns are preferred for nesting.

 

House crows roost communally near human habitations and often over busy streets. A study in Singapore found that the preferred roost sites were in well-lit areas with a lot of human activity, close to food sources and in tall trees with dense crowns that were separated from other trees. The roost sites were often enclosed by tall buildings.

 

A very intelligent species, the house crow is always alert and wary, walking or hopping along the ground with its wings flicking nervously. It is a social, non-migratory species which gathers in noisy flocks throughout the year and forms massive roosts. Such flocks may number hundreds or thousands of individuals, and the house crow is known to gather together with groups of parakeets (Psittacidae) and mynahs (Sturnidae) in mangroves or plantations. The house crow flies back to its foraging grounds just before dawn breaks.

 

An omnivorous scavenger, the house crow has a varied diet, feeding on everything from carrion, seeds and nectar to invertebrates and small vertebrates. This species tends to take advantage of rubbish tips, markets, farms, fisheries and abattoirs, scavenging for scraps and offal, and even sometimes feeds on human corpses.

 

The house crow raids crops, damaging them by pulling seedlings up by the roots, and it is known to steal grain, rice and other food from buildings. This species also feeds on the eggs and nestlings of many bird species, such as those of herons and egrets, and its agility enables the house crow to enter weaver bird colonies. Aerial sallies are undertaken to pluck flying ants from the air, and fish and aquatic insects are snatched from the water following plunge-dive type movements. A bold and aggressive species, the house crow rides on the backs of large mammals to pick off ticks and other parasites, and it has also been reported to peck at any open sores within its reach.

 

The house crow forms long-term pair bonds and is generally considered to be a monogamous species, but many individuals are reported to be rather promiscuous.

The house crow is usually a solitary nester, and typically nests close to human habitation. The untidy nests of the house crow are often built in trees, but are also found on building ledges, electricity pylons and streetlamps. Nests may be made of sticks and twigs, or from man-made materials such as metal and wire gathered from rubbish tips, and are usually lined with soft materials. A wire nest can weigh up to an impressive 25 kilograms. Although both sexes collect the nest material, it is usually the female that builds the nest.

 

The female house crow lays three to five eggs per clutch, with an average of four, and the eggs are extremely variable both in shape and color. Incubation lasts 16 to 17 days, and is thought to be carried out by the female alone, although the male may relieve her for short periods. House crow chicks are fed by both parents, and remain in the nest for three to four weeks. The house crow may produce two clutches of eggs per breeding season.

 

In its native range, the house crow is known to be predated by other corvids, birds of prey, snakes and monkeys. However, it has few predators in many areas where it has been introduced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eurasian Great Tit   Back

 

The great tit (Parus major) is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. It is a widespread and common species throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central and Northern Asia, and parts of North Africa where it is generally resident in any sort of woodland; most great tits do not migrate except in extremely harsh winters.

 

The great tit occupies a range of habitats. It is most commonly found in open deciduous woodland, mixed forests and forest edges. In dense forests, including conifer forests it is usually found in forest clearings. In northern Siberia it is found in boreal taiga. In North Africa it prefers oak forests as well as stands of Atlas cedar and even palm groves. In the east of its range in Siberia, Mongolia and China it favors riverine willow and birch forest. Riverine woodlands of willows, poplars are among the habitats of the Turkestan group in central Asia, as well as low scrubland, oases; at higher altitudes it occupies habitats ranging from dense deciduous and coniferous forests to open areas with scattered trees.

 

Great tits are primarily insectivorous in the summer, feeding on insects and spiders which they capture by foliage gleaning. Invertebrate prey that are taken include cockroaches, grasshoppers and crickets, lacewings, earwigs, bugs (Hemiptera), ants, flies (Diptera), caddis flies, beetles, scorpion flies, harvestmen, bees and wasps, snails and woodlice. During the breeding season, the tits prefer to feed protein-rich caterpillars to their young.

Large food items, such as large seeds or prey, are dealt with by "hold-hammering", where the item is held with one or both feet and then struck with the bill until it is ready to eat. Using this method, a great tit can get into a hazelnut in about twenty minutes. When feeding young, adults will hammer off the heads off large insects to make them easier to consume, and remove the gut from caterpillars so that the tannins in the gut will not retard the chick's growth.

 

Great tits combine dietary versatility with a considerable amount of intelligence and the ability to solve problems with insight learning, that is to solve a problem through insight rather than trial and error. In England, great tits learned to break the foil caps of milk bottles delivered at the doorstep of homes to obtain the cream at the top. This behavior, first noted in 1921, spread rapidly in the next two decades. In 2009, great tits were reported killing and eating pipistrelle bats. This is the first time a songbird has been seen to hunt bats. The tits only do this during winter when the bats are hibernating and other food is scarce. They have also been recorded using tools, using a conifer needle in the bill to extract larvae from a hole in a tree. In 2013, some individual great tits were noted to attack, kill and to some extent eat other small birds at wintertime feeding spots in Finland.

 

Great tits are monogamous breeders and establish breeding territories. These territories are established in late January and defence begins in late winter or early spring. Territories are usually reoccupied in successive years, even if one of the pair dies, so long as the brood is raised successfully. 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-breasted Thrush   Back

 

The black-breasted thrush (Turdus dissimilis) is a species of bird in the family Turdidae. It is found in South Asia, Southeast Asia and China. Although both male and female birds have the same color on their lower parts, the upper section of males is mostly black in color, while females are mostly grey-brown. Thus, the bird's common name refers to the color of the male bird's breast. They tend to live in forests located at high altitude.

They are typically found at relatively high elevations of between 1,220 meters (4,000 ft) to 2,500 meters (8,200 ft) high. However, they tend to descend to lower altitudes during the winter at around 200 meters (660 ft).

They consume insects, molluscs and berries. The food they gather is usually from the ground, although they occasionally fly to fruit trees. 

 

It searches for food beneath trees and shrubs, and turns over the leaves like the Common Blackbird. It is always active and usually solitary when feeding on the ground. Its favorite preys are insects, snails and slugs, and other invertebrates. It also consumes berries and ripe figs.

 

The displays are unknown, but as in all species with sexual dimorphism, the male probably enhances and exposes the bright orange underparts by several upright postures in front of the female.

The same type of displays is also used in territory defence.

 

The Black-breasted Thrush is resident in its range, but seasonal altitudinal movements occur in winter, and also some longer distance migrations are observed.

Their time of breeding differs depending on the country in which they are situated. Black-breasted thrushes in India reproduce from April to July; those in Myanmar do so from April to June; in China, these birds mate from May until June.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green-billed Malkoha   Back

 

The green-billed malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis) is a species of non-parasitic cuckoo found throughout South and Southeast Asia. The birds are waxy bluish black with a long graduated tail with white tips to the tail feathers. The bill is prominent and curved. These birds are found in dry scrub and thin forests.

 

 

 

 

 

Black Drongo   Back


The Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) is a small Asian passerine bird of the drongo family Dicruridae. It is a common resident breeder in much of tropical southern Asia from southwest Iran through India and Sri Lanka east to southern China and Indonesia. It is a wholly black bird with a distinctive forked tail and measures 28 cm (11 in) in length.

 

Feeding on insects, it is common in open agricultural areas and light forest throughout its range, perching conspicuously on a bare perch or along power or telephone lines. The species is known for its aggressive behavior towards much larger birds, such as crows, never hesitating to dive-bomb any birds of prey that invades its territory. This behavior earns it the informal name of King Crow. Smaller birds often nest in the well-guarded vicinity of a nesting Black Drongo..

They fly with strong flaps of the wing and are capable of fast manoeuvres that enable them to capture flying insects. With short legs, they sit upright on thorny bushes, bare perches or electricity wires. They may also perch on grazing animals.

 

The black drongo is found predominantly in open country and usually perches and hunts close to the ground. They are mostly aerial predators of insects but also glean from the ground or off vegetation. They are found as summer visitors to northeastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan but are residents from the Indus Valley until Bangladesh and into India and Sri Lanka. Some populations show seasonal movements that are poorly understood. The black drongo can be found in savannas, fields, and urban habitats.

 

Black drongos become active very early at dawn and roost later than many other birds. They feed mainly on insects such as grasshoppers, cicadas, termites, wasps, bees, ants, moths, beetles and dragonflies. They sometimes fly close to tree branches, attempting to disturb any insects that may be present. They congregate in fields that are being ploughed, picking up exposed caterpillars and beetle grubs. As many as 35 birds have been seen at such congregations. They are also attracted to burning grasslands where insects are disturbed. They appear to avoid flies. They associate with common mynas, cattle egrets and other birds that share a similar diet and habitat. Drongos benefit from this association and are more successful in their foraging. There is only partial overlap in the insect prey sought by mynas and drongos although in rare instances the drongos may rob prey from mynas.  It is said that they imitate the call of the Shikra so as to put mynas to flight and then to steal prey. Similar behavior, using false alarm calls, has been noted in the fork-tailed drongo.  There are some cases of the black drongo preying on small birds, reptiles, or maybe even bats. They have also been on occasion seen feeding on fish. Flowers of trees such as Erythrina and Bombax may be visited for water and nectar and they are sometimes known to feed on grains. They are only rarely known to take larger arthropods such as scorpions and centipedes. They feed on milkweed butterflies that are often avoided by other predators and are known to feed late in the evening or night, often on insects attracted to artificial lights.

 

Their habit of driving away predators from near their nests is believed to encourage other birds such as orioles, doves, pigeons, babblers, and especially bulbuls, to nest in the vicinity. In one study 18 of 40 nests had red-vented bulbuls nesting within 10 metres (33 ft). An abnormal case of a red-vented bulbul feeding the chicks of a black drongo at their nest has been recorded.

 

They are so aggressive that they may sometimes land on large birds of prey and peck them when mobbing.  It has been suggested that the Asian drongo-cuckoo (Surniculus lugubris) has evolved to mimic this species. The intensity of mobbing predators was studied in Java and observations showed that there was a significant increase in mobbing, during the nesting season, of some predators such as the Javan hawk-eagle but the black eagle, a nest predator is mobbed with equal intensity in all seasons. It has been suggested that this strategy may avoid giving away the location of nests during the breeding season.

 

Their habit of preying on bees makes them a nuisance to bee-keepers, but farmers attract them to their fields using artificial perches in fields to encourage them to feed on pest insects.

 

 

 

 

 

Common Rosefinch    Back

 

The common rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) or scarlet rosefinch is the most widespread and common rosefinch of Asia and Europe.

It has spread westward through Europe in recent decades, even breeding in England once. Common rosefinches breed from the Danube valley, Sweden, and Siberia to the Bering Sea; the Caucasus, northern Iran and Afghanistan, the western Himalayas, Tibet and China; to Japan between latitudes 25° and 68°. In winter they are found from southern Iran to south-east China India, Burma, and Indochina.

 

They are found in summer in thickets, woodland and forest edges near rivers and in winter in gardens and orchards, wetlands and locally in dry oak woods

The nest is placed low in a bush. The eggs are dark blue with coarse dark brown spots, and a typical clutch contains five eggs

 

 

 

 

Himalayan Black Bulbul    Back

 

The black bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus), also known as the Himalayan black bulbul or Asian black bulbul, is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is found in southern Asia from India east to southern China.

 

There are a number of subspecies across Asia, mostly varying in the shade of the body plumage (ranging from grey to black), and some also occur in white-headed morphs (as also suggested by its specific epithet leucocephalus, literally "white head"). The legs and bill are always rich orange-red.

This bulbul is found in broad-leaved forests, cultivation and gardens mainly in hilly areas, but Himalayan populations are known to sometimes descend into the adjoining plains in winter.

 

Black bulbuls feed mainly on seeds and insects, and they are often seen in small groups, either roosting or flying about in search of food. They are particularly fond of berries. They are known to feed on a wide range of berries including Celtis, Rosa, Melia and Ehretia in the Himalayas. They feed on the nectar of Salmalia, Erythrina, Rhododendron and other species. They make aerial sallies for insects. They can be quite noisy, making various loud cheeping, mewing and grating calls. The Himalayan form has been reported to make a call resembling a goat kid, throwing back its neck when calling.

 

It builds its nest in a tree or bush; the nest is a cup placed in a fork and made from grasses, dry leaves, mosses, lichens and cobwebs. The lining is made up of ferns, rootlets and other soft material. Both sexes participate in nest construction. Two or three eggs form the usual clutch.

 

 

 

 

 

Common Chiffchaff    Back 

 

The common chiffchaff, or simply the chiffchaff, (Phylloscopus collybita) is a common and widespread leaf warbler which breeds in open woodlands throughout northern and temperate Europe and Asia.

 

It is a migratory passerine which winters in southern and western Europe, southern Asia and north Africa. Greenish-brown above and off-white below, it is named onomatopoeically for its simple chiff-chaff song. It has a number of subspecies, some of which are now treated as full species. The female builds a domed nest on or near the ground, and assumes most of the responsibility for brooding and feeding the chicks, whilst the male has little involvement in nesting, but defends his territory against rivals, and attacks potential predators.

 

A small insectivorous bird, it is subject to predation by mammals, such as cats and mustelids, and birds, particularly hawks of the genus Accipiter. Its large range and population mean that its status is secure, although one subspecies is probably extinct.

 

 

Olive-backed Pipit    Back

 

The olive-backed pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) is a small passerine bird of the pipit (Anthus) genus, which breeds across South, northCentral and East Asia, as well as in the northeast of European Russia. It is a long-distance migrant moving in winter to southern Asia and Indonesia. Sometimes it is also called Indian pipit or Hodgson's pipit, as well as tree pipit owing to its resemblance with the tree pipit. However, its back is more olive-toned and less streaked than that species, and its head pattern is different with a better-marked supercilium.

Affects open country. Wintering in evergreen woodland, Summers in groves and wooded biotope. Seen singly or pairs. Runs about on the ground in search of food and flies up into trees when disturbed. Flight jerky and undulating.

Largely insects, but will also take seeds.

Nest: a cup of moss and grass placed on the ground under a tuft of grass or boulder. open woodland and scrub.

Eggs: 3-5, usu. 4, dark brown, spotted darker. Usually two broods are raised.

 

Common Tailorbird    Back

 

The common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) is a songbird found across tropical Asia. Popular for its nest made of leaves "sewn" together and immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in his Jungle Book, it is a common resident in urban gardens. Although shy birds that are usually hidden within vegetation, their loud calls are familiar and give away their presence. They are distinctive in having a long upright tail, greenish upper body plumage and rust colored forehead and crown. This passerine bird is typically found in open farmland, scrub, forest edges and gardens. Tailorbirds get their name from the way their nest is constructed. The edges of a large leaf are pierced and sewn together with plant fiber or spider silk to make a cradle in which the actual nest is built.

 

Like most warblers, the common tailorbird is insectivorous.

Tailorbirds are found singly or in pairs, usually low in the undergrowth or trees sometimes hopping on the ground. They forage for insects and have been known to feed on a range of beetles and bugs. They are attracted to insects at flowers and are known to favor the inflorescenses of mango. They also visit flowers such as those of Bombax, Salmalia for nectar and are sometimes covered in pollen, giving them a golden-headed appearance.

 

The birds roost alone during the non-breeding season but may roost side-by-side during the breeding season, sometimes with the newly fledged juvenile sandwiched between the adults. The roost sites chosen are thin twigs on trees with cover above them and were often close to human habitation and lights.

 

The breeding season is March to December peaking from June to August in India, coinciding with the wet season. In Sri Lanka the main breeding periods are March to May and August to September, although they can breed throughout the year.

 

Although the name is derived from their nest construction habit, the nest is not unique and is also found in many Prinia warblers. The nest is a deep cup, lined with soft materials and placed in thick foliage and the leaves holding the nest have the upper surfaces outwards making it difficult to spot. The punctures made on the edge of the leaves are minute and do not cause browning of the leaves, further aiding camouflage. The nest lining of a nest in Sri Lanka that was studied by Casey Wood was found to be lined with lint from Euphorbia, Ceiba pentandra and Bombax malabaricum species. Jerdon wrote that the bird made knots, however no knots are used. Wood classified the processes used by the tailorbird in nest as sewing, riveting, lacing and matting. In some cases the nest is made from a single large leaf, the margins of which are riveted together. Sometimes the fibers from one rivet are extended into an adjoining puncture and appearing more like sewing. The stitch is made by piercing two leaves and drawing fiber through them. The fibers fluff out on the outside and in effect they are more like rivets. There are many variations in the nest and some may altogether lack the cradle of leaves. One observer noted that the birds did not utilize cotton that was made available while another observer, Edward Hamilton Aitken, was able to induce them to use artificially supplied cotton. The usual clutch is three eggs.

 

The incubation period is about 12 days. Both male and female feed the young. Mortality of eggs and chicks is high due to predation by rodents, cats, crow-pheasants, lizards and other predators. The young birds fledge in about 14 days. The female alone incubates according to some sources, while others suggest that both sexes incubate; however, both parents take part in feeding and sanitation. The males are said to feed the incubating female. An unusual case of a pair of tailorbirds adopting chicks in an artificially translocated nest belonging to a different pair has been recorded. Nests are sometimes parasitized by the Plaintive Cuckoo 

 

Quite bold with humans, they are rapidly colonising urban areas, seen even in high-rise balconies.

Like others in their family, Common Tailorbirds are strong singers, making melodious calls which seem much louder than seems possible for such a tiny bird. Common Tailorbirds are active and restless; usually heard rather than seen. They constantly shift their perch in the understorey thickets, and make short, quick darting flights.

 

Tailorbirds eat insects: both adults and larvae, actively foraging for these in the understoreys of wooded habitats. They may also snack on small fruits, berries, sip some nectar or eat tiny seeds. They are usually found in pairs. 

In Sungei Buloh, the Tailorbirds begin breeding January, reaching a peak in February and March but continue to breed until June. They are also called Long-tailed because the male's breeding plumage features highly extended central tail feathers; up to 3cm longer!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Slaty-backed Flycatcher    Back

 

The slaty-backed flycatcher (Ficedula hodgsonii) is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae.

It is found in Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, and Thailand. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Breeds in oak-rhododendron (Quercus-Rhododendron) forest, also conifer forests. Diet largely unknown, but includes small invertebrates and small berries. Usually solitary; may gather in flocks in winter. Season mid-Apr to Jul. Nest cup-shaped, mainly of green moss, leaves, lichens, plant fibers and animal hair, placed in cleft or hollow.

Common Iora    Back 

 

The common iora (Aegithina tiphia) is a small passerine bird found across the tropical Indian subcontinent with populations showing plumage variations, some of which are designated as subspecies. A species found in scrub and forest, it is easily detected from its loud whistles and the bright colors. During the breeding season, males display by fluffing up their feathers and spiral in the air appearing like a green, black, yellow and white ball.

 

Ioras forage in trees in small groups, gleaning among the branches for insects. They sometimes join mixed species feeding flocks.

During the breeding season, mainly after the monsoons, the male performs an acrobatic courtship display, darting up into the air fluffing up all his feathers, especially those on the pale green rump, then spiraling down to the original perch. Once he lands, he spreads his tail and droops his wings. Two to four greenish white eggs are laid in a small and compact cup-shaped nest made out of grass and bound with cobwebs and placed in the fork of a tree. Both male and female incubate and eggs hatch after about 14 days. Nests predators include snakes, lizards, crow-pheasant and crows. Nests may also be brood-parasitized by the banded bay cuckoo.

 

Ioras moult twice in a year and the plumage variation makes them somewhat complicated for plumage based separation of the populations.

 

 

 

 

Grey-headed Parakeet    Back 

 

The grey-headed parakeet (Psittacula finschii) is closely related to the slaty-headed parakeet which together form a super-species. It occurs from the north-eastern states of India, into Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Found up to 2700m (8856 ft) in oak, teak, cedar and pine forest, open wooded hillsides and agricultural land with tall scattered trees.

Diet includes leaf buds, seeds, fruits and flowers.

 

Seen in flocks or family parties, with larger groups reported. Will tolerate lower and more open habitat. Resident, with some seasonal altitudinal movement in response to food availability. Gathers in large flocks at communal roost at dusk.

 

Most of the Grey-headed parakeets are mountain dwelling birds. They prefer oak, cedar and conifer forests. They are sedentary birds except those that live high in the Himalayas, they come down in the winter. Their flocks consist of family groups or small noisy communal flocks.

 

The Grey-headed parakeet is the largest of the species named after the color of it’s head. Although less coloured than the Plum-headed parakeet or the Blossom-headed parakeet it is not less charming or elegant.

 

 

 

 

White Wagtail    Back

 

The white wagtail is a small passerine bird in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. This species breeds in much of Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa. 

 

The white wagtail is an insectivorous bird of open country, often near habitation and water. It prefers bare areas for feeding, where it can see and pursue its prey. In urban areas it has adapted to foraging on paved areas such as car parks. It nests in crevices in stone walls and similar natural and man-made structures.

The white wagtail is the national bird of Latvia.

 

The most conspicuous habit of this species is a near-constant tail wagging, a trait that has given the species, and indeed the genus, its common name. In spite of the ubiquity of this behavior, the reasons for it are poorly understood. It has been suggested that it may flush prey, or signal submissiveness to other wagtails. A recent study has suggested instead that it is a signal of vigilance to potential predators.

 

The exact composition of the diet of white wagtails varies by location, but terrestrial and aquatic insects and other small invertebrates form the major part of the diet. These range from beetles, dragonflies, small snails, spiders, worms, crustaceans, to maggots found in carcasses and, most importantly, flies in the order Diptera. Small fish fry have also been recorded in the diet. The white wagtail is somewhat unusual in the parts of its range where it is non-migratory as it is an insectivorous bird that continues to feed on insects during the winter (most other insectivorous birds in temperate climates migrate or switch to more vegetable matter).

 

White wagtails are monogamous and defend breeding territories. The breeding season for most is from April to August, with the season starting later further north. Both sexes are responsible for building the nest, with the male responsible for initiating the nest building and the female for finishing the process. For second broods in the subspecies personata the female alone builds the nest, which is a rough cup assembled from twigs, grass, leaves and other plant matter, as the male is still provisioning the young. It is lined with soft materials, including animal hair. The nest is set into a crevice or hole—traditionally in a bank next to a river or ditch—but the species has also adapted to nesting in walls, bridges and buildings. One nest was found in the skull of a walrus. White wagtails will nest in association with other animals: particularly, where available, the dams of beavers and also inside the nests of golden eagles. Around three to eight eggs are laid, with the usual number being four to six. The eggs are cream-colored, often with a faint bluish-green or turquoise tint, and heavily spotted with reddish brown; they measure, on average, 21 mm × 15 mm (0.83 in × 0.59 in). Both parents incubate the eggs, although the female generally does so for longer and incubates at night. The eggs begin to hatch after 12 days (sometimes as late as 16 days). Both parents feed the chicks until they fledge at around 14 days, and the chicks are fed for another week after fledging.

 

Though it is known to be a host species for the common cuckoo, the white wagtail typically deserts its nest if it has been parasitised. Scientists theorize that this occurs because the wagtail is too small to push the intruding egg out of the nest, and too short-billed to destroy the egg by puncturing it.

 

The White Wagtail feeds on numerous small aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. It catches insects on the ground after a short pursuit, but also on the wing. It pursues the prey with rapid undulating flight, or by short hovering before to hawk it. On the ground, this bird hunts by walking and exploiting all types of surfaces, from roads to roofs and other open areas. 
It can pick at preys by running and picking to capture them. It also jumps into the air to hawk a flying insect.

But this aquatic species also forages in shallow water where it catches invertebrates from the surface or in the mud. It also hovers over water or vegetation.
On seacoasts, it forages among the seaweeds along the tide line. When foraging in cultivated areas, it follows the ploughs.

The White Wagtail can be seen alone or in pairs, but during the migration, the birds often gather in loose flocks, as at abundant food sources and at roost. 

 

They roost communally in trees or reedbeds, sometimes inside factories in urban areas.

During the breeding season, the White Wagtail is very territorial and can become very aggressive towards other birds and intruders. They can chase larger birds such as Dippers and shorebirds from the breeding territory. During these threat displays, the plumage is usually puffed up and the tail is raised. The black breast is exposed towards the intruder.

 

Aerial displays are observed with the male flying into the air and then descending with vibrating raised tail and wings, while singing.
When the male arrives in the territory, the female performs greeting displays with head and tail raised at an angle of 45 degrees. She also adopts a cringing posture and quivers her wings.

During the breeding cycle, other displays occur when the adults take turns to incubate, and the male performs courtship feeding to the female, including during the nesting period when she is on the nest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hill Myna    Back

 

The common hill myna (Gracula religiosa), sometimes spelled "mynah" and formerly simply known as hill myna, is the myna most commonly seen in aviculture, where it is often simply referred to by the latter two names. It is a member of the starling family (Sturnidae), resident in hill regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia. 

 

The common hill myna is often detected by its loud, shrill, descending whistles followed by other calls. It is most vocal at dawn and dusk, when it is found in small groups in forest clearings high in the canopy.

Both sexes can produce an extraordinarily wide range of loud calls – whistles, wails, screeches, and gurgles, sometimes melodious and often very human-like in quality. Each individual has a repertoire of three to 13 such call types, which may be shared with some near neighbors of the same sex, being learned when young. Dialects change rapidly with distance, such that birds living more than 15 km apart have no call-types in common with one another.

 

Unlike some other birds, such as the greater racket-tailed drongo, the common hill myna does not imitate other birds in the wild, although it is a widely held misconception that they do. On the other hand, in captivity, they are among the most renowned mimics, perhaps on par only with the African grey parrot. They can learn to reproduce many everyday sounds, particularly the human voice, and even whistled tunes, with astonishing accuracy and clarity.

 

This myna is almost entirely arboreal, moving in large, noisy groups of half a dozen or so, in tree-tops at the edge of the forest. It hops sideways along the branch, unlike the characteristic jaunty walk of other mynas. Like most starlings, the hill myna is fairly omnivorous, eating fruit, nectar and insects.

They build a nest in a hole in a tree. The usual clutch is two or three eggs.

 

The hill mynas are popular cage birds, renowned for their ability to imitate speech. The widely distributed common hill myna is the one most frequently seen in aviculture. Demand outstrips captive breeding capacity, so they are rarely found in pet stores and usually purchased directly from breeders or importers who can certify the birds are traded legally.

 

This species is widely distributed and locally common, and if adult stocks are safeguarded, it is able to multiply quickly.

Elsewhere, such as on the Philippines and in Laos, the decline has been more localized. It is also becoming increasingly rare in regions of northeastern India due to capture of fledged birds for the illegal pet trade. In the Garo Hills region, however, the locals make artificial nests of a split-bamboo framework covered with grass, and put them up in accessible positions in tall trees in a forest clearing or at the edge of a small village to entice the mynas to breed there. The villagers are thus able to extract the young at the proper time for easy hand-rearing, making common hill myna farming a profitable, small-scale cottage industry. It helps to preserve the environment, because the breeding birds are not removed from the population, while habitat destruction is curtailed because the mynas will desert areas of extensive logging and prefer more natural forest to plantations. As the mynas can be something of a pest of fruit trees when too numerous, an additional benefit to the locals is the inexpensive means of controlling the myna population: failing stocks can be bolstered by putting out more nests than can be harvested, while the maximum proportion of nestlings are taken when the population becomes too large.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scaly-breasted Munia    Back 

 

The scaly-breasted munia or spotted munia (Lonchura punctulata), known in the pet trade as nutmeg mannikin or spice finch, is a sparrow-sized estrildid finch native to tropical Asia. The species been introduced to other parts of the world due to its popularity as a cage bird and populations have established in the wild.

 

This munia eats mainly grass seeds apart from berries and small insects. They forage in flocks and communicate with soft calls and whistles. The species is highly social and may sometimes roost with other species of munias. This species is found in tropical plains and grasslands. Breeding pairs construct dome-shaped nests using grass or bamboo leaves.

 

Scaly-breasted munias form flocks of as many as 100 birds. They sometimes flick their tails and wings vertically or horizontally while hopping about. The tail flicking motion may have evolved from a locomotory intention movement. The exaggerated version of the tail flicking movement may have undergone ritualization. As a social signal, tail flicking in several other species acts as a signal indicating the intent to fly and helps keep flocks together.

When roosting communally, scaly-breasted munia sit side-by-side in close contact with each other. The outermost bird often jostles towards the center. Birds in a flock sometimes preen each other, with the soliciting bird usually showing its chin. Allopreening is usually limited to the face and neck. The scaly-breasted munia is rarely hostile but birds will sometimes quarrel without any ritualized posturing.

 

Scaly-breasted munia clutch usually contain 4 to 6 eggs, but can contain up to 10. Both sexes build the nest and incubate the eggs, which hatch in 10 to 16 days. Juveniles typically fledge in three weeks. Both sexes may reach sexual maturity as early as 7 months after birth in captivity. In the wild, however, since maturation may be impacted by variable daylight and humidity, both sexes can take between 12 and 18 months to reach sexual maturity depending on the time of year. Scaly-breasted munias have a typical life expectancy of 6 to 8 years.

 

The scaly-breasted munia feeds mainly on seeds but also eats small berries such as those of Lantana. Although the bill is suited for crushing small grains, they do not show lateral movements of the lower mandible which help European greenfinches in dehusking seeds. Like some other munias, they may also feed on algae, a rich protein source, prior to the breeding season.

 

The ease of maintaining these birds in captivity has made them popular for studying behavior and physiology.

Scaly-breasted munias are found in a range of habitats but are usually close to water and grassland. In India, they are especially common in paddy fields where they are considered a minor pest on account of their feeding on grain. They are found mainly on the plains, but can be observed in the foothills of the Himalayas, in which they may be present at altitudes near 2,500 m (1.6 mi), and in the Nilgiris, where they are found at altitudes up to 2,100 m (6,900 ft) during the summer.

 

Outside their native range, escaped birds frequently establish themselves in areas with a suitable climate and can then colonize new areas nearby.

 

 

 

Chestnut-tailed Starling    Back

 

The chestnut-tailed starling or grey-headed myna is a member of the starling family of perching birds. It is a resident or partially migratory species found in wooded habitats in India and Southeast Asia.

 

The chestnut-tailed starling's nest is typically found in open woodland and cultivation. The chestnut-tailed starling builds a nest in hole. The normal clutch is 3-5 eggs.

Like most starlings, the chestnut-tailed starling is fairly omnivorous, eating fruit, nectar and insects. They fly in tight flocks and often rapidly change directions with great synchrony.

 

 

 

Greenish Warbler    Back 

 

The greenish warbler is a widespread leaf warbler with a breeding range in northeastern Europe and temperate to subtropical continental Asia. This warbler is strongly migratory and winters in India. It is not uncommon as a spring or early autumn vagrant in Western Europe and is annually seen in Great Britain. In Central Europe large numbers of vagrant birds are encountered in some years; some of these may stay to breed, as a handful of pairs does each year in Germany.

 

It breeds in lowland deciduous or mixed forest; non-breeding birds in the warmer parts of its range may move to montane habitat in summer. Individuals from southeast of the Himalayas are for example quite often seen in Bhutan during the hot months, typically in humid Bhutan Fir forest up to about 3,800 meters. The nest is on the ground in low shrub.

 

Like its relatives, this small passerine is insectivorous.

 

 

 

 

Pied Bushchat    Back

 

The pied bushchat is a small passerine bird found ranging from West Asia and Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. About sixteen subspecies are recognized through its wide range with many island forms. It is a familiar bird of countryside and open scrub or grassland where it is found perched at the top of short thorn trees or other shrubs, looking out for insect prey. They pick up insects mainly from the ground.

 

They nest in cavities in stone walls or in holes in an embankment, lining the nest with grass and animal hair. The males are black with white shoulder and vent patches whose extent varies among populations. Females are predominantly brownish while juveniles are speckled.

 

Some populations are partially migratory. A ringed individual of subspecies rossorum has been recovered from Israel. The populations in India also appear to show seasonal movements but the patterns are unclear.

 

The breeding season is mainly February to August with a peak in March to June. Males sing from prominent perches. Paired males did not reduce their dawn singing behavior when their mates were trapped and temporarily excluded from the territory. This study suggests that males use dawn chorus to mediate social relationships with neighboring males to proclaim an established territory. 

The eggs are small and broadly oval with pale bluish-white or pinkish ground color and speckles and blotches towards the broad end. They measure about 0.67 by 0.55 inches. Eggs are incubated chiefly by the female for 12 to 13 days.

Brood parasitism by the common cuckoo has been noted to be common in the Shan State of Burma, with the cuckoo visiting the nest at dusk and removing an egg before quickly laying its own. 

 

Males display during the breeding season by splaying the tail, fluttering and puffing up the white scapular feathers.

This species is insectivorous, and like other chats hunts from a prominent low perch. They have been noted to feed on Pyralid moths and whitefly.

Adult birds have few predators although bats and wintering Asio flammeus have been noted to prey on them.

 

Yellow-footed Green-Pigeon    Back

 

The yellow-footed green pigeon, also known as yellow-legged green pigeon, is a common species of green pigeon found in the Indian subcontinent. The species feeds on fruit, including many species of Ficus. They forage in flocks. In the early morning they are often seen sunning on the tops of emergent trees in dense forest areas. They especially are found sitting in couples on tree branches.

Rock Pigeon    Back

The rock dove or rock pigeon is a member of the bird family Columbidae (doves and pigeons). In common usage, this bird is often simply referred to as the "pigeon".The species includes the domestic pigeon (including the fancy pigeon), and escaped domestic pigeons have given rise to feral populations around the world.

Wild rock doves are pale grey with two black bars on each wing, while domestic and feral pigeons are very variable in color and pattern. There are few visible differences between males and females. The species is generally monogamous, with two squabs (young) per brood. Both parents care for the young for a time.

 

Habitats include various open and semi-open environments. Cliffs and rock ledges are used for roosting and breeding in the wild. Originally found wild in Europe, North Africa, and western Asia, pigeons have become established in cities around the world. The species is abundant, with an estimated population of 17 to 28 million feral and wild birds in Europe.

 

The rock dove breeds at any time of the year, but peak times are spring and summer, in India they breed in February. Nesting sites are along coastal cliff faces, as well as the artificial cliff faces created by apartment buildings with accessible ledges or roof spaces.

The nest is a flimsy platform of straw and sticks, laid on a ledge, under cover, often on the window ledges of buildings. Two white eggs are laid; incubation is shared by both parents lasting from seventeen to nineteen days. The newly hatched squab (nestling) has pale yellow down and a flesh-colored bill with a dark band. For the first few days, the baby squab is tended and fed (through regurgitation) exclusively on "crop milk" (also called "pigeon milk" or "pigeon's milk"). The pigeon milk is produced in the crops of both parents in all species of pigeons and doves. The fledging period is about 30 days.

 

With only its flying abilities protecting it from predation, rock pigeons are a favorite almost around the world for a wide range of raptorial birds. In fact, with feral pigeons existing in almost every city in the world, they may form the majority of prey for several raptor species who live in urban areas. Peregrine falcons and Eurasian sparrowhawks are natural predators of pigeons that are quite adept at catching and feeding upon this species. Up to 80% of the diet of peregrine falcons in several cities that have breeding falcons is composed of feral pigeons. Some common predators of feral pigeons in North America are opossums, raccoons, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, eastern screech owls and Accipiters. The birds that predate pigeons in North America can range in size from American kestrels to golden eagles and can even include gulls, crows, and ravens. On the ground the adults, their young and their eggs are at risk from feral and domestic cats. Doves and pigeons are considered to be game birds as many species have been hunted and used for food in many of the countries in which they are native.

Eurasian Jay    Back

 

The Eurasian jay is a species of bird occurring over a vast region from Western Europe and north-west Africa to the Indian Subcontinent and further to the eastern seaboard of Asia and down into south-east Asia. Across its vast range, several very distinct racial forms have evolved to look very different from each other, especially when forms at the extremes of its range are compared.

 

The bird is called jay, without any epithets, by English speakers in Great Britain and Ireland. It is the original 'jay' after which all others are named.

Before humans began planting the trees commercially on a wide scale, Eurasian jays were the main source of movement and propagation for the English oak.

 

Its usual call is the alarm call which is a harsh, rasping screech and is used upon sighting various predatory animals, but the jay is well known for its mimicry, often sounding so like a different species that it is virtually impossible to distinguish its true identity unless the jay is seen. It will even imitate the sound of the bird it is attacking, such as a tawny owl, which it does mercilessly if attacking during the day. However, the jay is a potential prey item for owls at night and other birds of prey such as goshawks and peregrines during the day.

 

Feeding in both trees and on the ground, it takes a wide range of invertebrates including many pest insects, acorns (oak seeds, which it buries for use during winter), beech mast and other seeds, fruits such as blackberries and rowan berries, young birds and eggs, bats, and small rodents.

It nests in trees or large shrubs laying usually 4–6 eggs that hatch after 16–19 days and are fledged generally after 21–23 days. Both sexes typically feed the young.

 

In order to keep its plumage free from parasites, it lies on top of anthills with spread wings and lets its feathers be sprayed with formic acid.

These birds, like most corvids, are talented mimics, a talent they share with the mynahs and starlings and many parrot species.

 

 

 

 

 

Plaintive Cuckoo    Back

 

The plaintive cuckoo is a species of bird belonging to the genus Cacomantis in the cuckoo family Cuculidae. It is native to Asia, from India and China to Indonesia.

 

It is a brood parasite, laying its eggs in the nests of cisticolas, prinias and tailorbirds. The eggs are similar to those of the host species but are larger. Small birds often mob the cuckoo to drive it away from their nests.

The Plaintive Cuckoo frequents a fairly wide variety of habitats such as open woodlands and secondary forest, scrub and brush, cultivated fields and gardens in both rural and urban areas. It may be found in grassland and swamps too. 
This species is visible from lowlands up to 1400-2000 meters of elevation according to the range.


The Plaintive Cuckoo feeds on insects, and primarily hairy caterpillars, but sometimes also hairless ones. Insects include beetles, bugs, termite soldiers and other soft-bodied species. It may take some fruits too.

It forages in the foliage at canopy-level. It is often very active when searching for food. It also forages in scrub and brush where it moves about restlessly.

 

The courtship displays are poorly known, but several cuckoo species spread and raise the tail, in order to expose the plumage pattern. 
This species lays its eggs into the nests of other birds, named hosts. These birds become the foster parents of the young cuckoo. But the hosts often mob the cuckoos and drive them away from the nest-site.

 

This species is mainly resident in its range, but seasonal movements are observed.

 

Usually, the female cuckoo watches the future hosts from a concealed perch. She even visits the nest when the owners are away feeding, and lays her egg into this nest. The laying occurs before the beginning of the incubation. Then, the female cuckoo flies away from the host nest, often with an egg in the bill, and she consumes it later. 
But sometimes, she remains perched on the rim and consumes egg after egg. This additional food provides her minerals, and helps her to form her own eggs. Later, the female cuckoo lays her eggs while crouched in the nest, or on the rim, or perched above the cup too. But when the host’s nest is situated in holes or closed, she lays without entering completely the nest.

Once hatched, the chick cuckoo often pushes the other eggs or chicks from the nest. The foster parents give all the parental care to the cuckoo, and the young grows rapidly, fed with the food normally delivered to a complete brood.

The female Plaintive Cuckoo often chooses the nests of Common Ioras, Ashy prinias, Common Tailorbirds, Zitting Cisticolas and other members of these families, according to the location. 
Her eggs are light buff to green with pale olive markings. They usually are very similar to the host’s eggs.

 

Daurian Redstart    Back 

 

This species has an extremely large range. It is a fairly common bird in East Asia, ranging eastwards from Mongolia and the Himalayas.

Common Myna    Back 

 

The common myna, sometimes spelled mynah, also sometimes known as "Indian myna", is a member of the family Sturnidae (starlings and mynas) native to Asia. An omnivorous open woodland bird with a strong territorial instinct, the myna has adapted extremely well to urban environments.

 

The calls includes croaks, squawks, chirps, clicks, whistles and 'growls', and the bird often fluffs its feathers and bobs its head in singing. The common myna screeches warnings to its mate or other birds in cases of predators in proximity or when it is about to take off flying. Common mynas are popular as cage birds for their singing and "speaking" abilities. Before sleeping in communal roosts, mynas vocalize in unison, which is known as "communal noise".

 

Common mynas are believed to pair for life. They breed through much of the year depending on the location, building their nest in a hole in a tree or wall. They breed from sea-level to 3000 m in the Himalayas.

The normal clutch size is 4–6 eggs. The average size of the egg is 30.8 x 21.99 mm. The incubation period is 17 to 18 days and fledging period is 22 to 24 days. The Asian koel is sometimes brood parasitic on this species. Nesting materials used by mynas include twigs, roots, tow and rubbish. Mynas have been known to use tissue paper, tin foil and sloughed off snake-skin.

The common myna uses the nests of woodpeckers, parakeets, etc. and easily takes to nest boxes; it has been recorded evicting the chicks of previously nesting pairs by holding them in the beak and later sometimes not even using the emptied nest boxes. This aggressive behavior contributes to its success as an invasive species.

 

Like most starlings, the common myna is omnivorous. It feeds on insects, arachnids, crustaceans, reptiles, small mammals, seeds, grain and fruits and discarded waste from human habitation. It forages on the ground among grass for insects, and especially for grasshoppers, from which it gets the generic name Acridotheres, "grasshopper hunter". It however feeds on a wide range of insects, mostly picked from the ground. It is a cross-pollinator of flowers such as Salmalia and Erythrina. It walks on the ground with occasional hops and is an opportunistic feeder on the insects disturbed by grazing cattle as well as fired grass fields.

 

Common mynas roost communally throughout the year, either in pure or mixed flocks with jungle mynas, rosy starlings, house crows, jungle crows, cattle egrets and rose-ringed parakeets and other birds. The roost population can range from less than one hundred to thousands. The time of arrival of mynas at the roost starts before and ends just after sunset. The mynas depart before sunrise. The function of communal roosting is to synchronize various social activities, avoid predators, exchange information about food sources.

Communal displays (pre-roosting and post-roosting) consist of aerial maneuvers which are exhibited in the pre-breeding season (November to March). It is assumed that this behavior is related to pair formation.

 

The common myna thrives in urban and suburban environments; in Canberra, for instance, 110 common mynas were released between 1968 and 1971. By 1991, common myna population density in Canberra averaged 15 birds per square kilometer. Only three years later, a second study found an average population density of 75 birds per square kilometer in the same area.

The bird likely owes its success in the urban and suburban settings of Sydney and Canberra to its evolutionary origins; having evolved in the open woodlands of India, the common myna is pre-adapted to habitats with tall vertical structures and little to no vegetative ground cover, features characteristic of city streets and urban nature preserves.

 

The common myna (along with European starlings, house sparrows, and feral rock pigeons) is a nuisance to city buildings; its nests block gutters and drainpipes, causing water damage to building exteriors.

In Australia, the common myna is an invasive pest. They are now often the predominant bird in urban areas all along the East coast. In a 2008 popular vote, the bird was named "The Most Important Pest/Problem" in Australia, also earning the nickname "flying rats" due to their scavenging resembling that of rats.

 

The common myna is a hollow-nesting species; that is, it nests and breeds in protected hollows found either naturally in trees or artificially on buildings (for example, recessed windowsills or low eaves). Compared to native hollow-nesting species, the common myna is extremely aggressive, and breeding males will actively defend areas ranging up to 0.83 hectares in size (though males in densely populated urban settings tend to only defend the area immediately surrounding their nests).

This aggressiveness has enabled the common myna to displace many breeding pairs of native hollow-nesters, thereby reducing their reproductive success. In Australia, their aggressiveness has enabled them to chase native birds as large as galahs out of their nests.

The common myna is also known to maintain up to two roosts simultaneously; a temporary summer roost close to a breeding site (where the entire local male community sleeps during the summer, the period of highest aggression), and a permanent all-year roost where the female broods and incubates overnight. Both male and female common mynas will fiercely protect both roosts at all times, leading to further exclusion of native birds.

 

 

Dark-breasted Rosefinch    Back

 

The dark-breasted rosefinch is a true finch species.It is found in Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are boreal forests and subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland.Diet poorly known, mostly small seeds and berries; also takes blossom, pollen and nectar from rhododendron flowerheads.Partial or altitudinal migrant. Descends to lower levels in non-breeding season.

 

Grey-backed Shrike    Back 

 

The grey-backed shrike is a species of bird in the Laniidae family. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia,China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

 

Among the shrikes, they breed at the highest altitude. They are partial migrants, with some populations moving south in winter. They breed in summer from late May to early July. The nest is built in a bush and about 3 to 5 eggs are laid. The eggs are incubated by the female alone and incubation is begun even before the complete clutch is laid. The chicks hatch after 15–18 days and are taken care of by both the parents until they fledge after about two weeks.

 

 

 

 

Vinous-breasted Starling    Back 

 

The vinous-breasted starling is a species of starling in the family Sturnidae.

It is found in Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam. In the early 2000s it has become an invasive species in Israel, alongside the common myna that invaded a few years earlier.

 

 

 

White-throated Kingfisher    Back

 

The white-throated kingfisher also known as the white-breasted kingfisher or Smyrna kingfisher, is a tree kingfisher, widely distributed in Asia from Turkey east through the Indian subcontinent to the Philippines. This kingfisher is a resident over much of its range, although some populations may make short distance movements. It can often be found well away from water where it feeds on a wide range of prey that includes small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, small rodents and even birds. During the breeding season they call loudly in the mornings from prominent perches including the tops of buildings in urban areas or on wires.

 

It perches conspicuously on wires or other exposed perches within its territory, and is a frequent sight in south Asia. White-throated Kingfishers as a group eat a wide range of food, but each bird may specialise in a particular prey. They take fish (particularly during the wet season), but other prey make up the bulk of their diet. These include tadpoles, grasshoppers, lizards, insects. They basically take any small creature that they can catch and kill.

 

While hunting along the water, they prey on crabs, amphibians (frogs) and reptiles (skinks, lizards). On land, they hunt large insects and arthropods (grasshoppers, beetles, termites, scorpions, centipedes). They beat these against their perch to kill and remove venomous stings. They even take small mammals (rats, mice, voles), snakes up to 65cm long, and nestling birds.       

White-throated Kingfishers dive to catch aquatic prey; in shallow water, entering feet-first, in deeper waters, head-first. They can also hover for a short while before plunging in. They also dive into grass and vegetation to catch their prey. Their huge bills come in handy to hammer their prey to death. Swarming termites may also be caught in flight.

Their hunts appear to be more successful in wetlands than on dry land. White-throated Kingfishers hunt alone, but where hunting is good, they may perch as close as 100 m apart without showing much hostility.

 

The white-throated kingfisher begins breeding at the onset of the Monsoons. Males perch on prominent high posts in their territory and call in the early morning. The tail may be flicked now and in its courtship display the wings are stiffly flicked open for a second or two exposing the white wing mirrors. They also raise their bill high and display the white throat and front. The female in invitation makes a rapid and prolonged kit-kit-kit... call. The nest is a tunnel (50 cm long, but a nest with a 3-foot tunnel has been noted in an earth bank. The nest building begins with both birds flying into a suitable mud wall until an indentation is made where they can find a perch hold. They subsequently perch and continue digging the nest with their bills. Nest tunnels in a haystack have also been recorded. A single clutch of 4-7 round white eggs is typical. The eggs take 20–22 days to hatch while the chicks fledge in 19 days.

 

Birds have sometimes been seen attracted to lights at night, especially during the monsoon season, suggesting that they are partly migratory.

 

With a powerful bill and rapid flight, these kingfishers have few predators when healthy and rare cases of predation by a black kite and a jungle crow may be of sick or injured birds. An individual found dead with its beak embedded into the wood of a tree has been suggested as an accident during rapid pursuit of prey, possibly an Oriental white-eye.

Blyth's Pipit    Back

 

The Blyth's pipit is a medium-sized passerine bird which breeds in Mongolia and neighboring areas. It is a long distance migrant moving to open lowlands in southern Asia. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.

In south Asia, in winter some care must be taken to distinguish this from other large pipits which winter or are resident in the area, including Richard's. This species is insectivorous.

 

This bird was named after the English zoologist Edward Blyth, a well-known contemporary of the eminent Charles Darwin

 

 

 

 

 

Crested Goshawk    Back 

 

The crested goshawk is a bird of prey from tropical Asia.

The crested goshawk breeds in southern Asia, from India and Sri Lanka to southern China, Indonesia and the Philippines. It is primarily a lowland bird, and an all-year resident. Even in upland habitat it is resident in winter, for example in the Himalayas foothills of Bhutan. In these lands at the northern end of its range, it is generally very rare however. Essentially it is limited to tropical and warm subtropical areas.

 

Like its relatives, this secretive forest bird hunts birds, mammals and reptiles in woodland, relying on surprise as it flies from a perch to catch its prey unaware. It builds a stick nest in a tree and lays two or three eggs.

 

The Crested Goshawk breeds in southern India, Sri Langka, Southern China and the Sundas and Philippines. It is 43 cm in length. This birds has short broad wings and a long tail, designed to maneuvering through trees. Noting that the female is much larger than the male.

The Goshawk, when seen from afar may appear as a big bird,  but look at its size. It is actually a relatively small Hawk. Even its call, the shrill scream is considered soft for a bird of this size. This is a bird of the forest edge.

This bird sometimes chose bare branches at canopy level to perch but more often on a branch with lots of foliages. The bird is able to weave through forest trees and narrow openings among branches. During mating and breeding period both male and female stay together.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Japanese Sparrowhawk    Back

 

The Japanese sparrowhawk is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards and harriers.

It breeds in China, Japan, Korea and Siberia; winters in Indonesia and Philippines, passing through the rest of South-east Asia. It is a bird of open and wooded areas.

Diet consists of mainly small birds, sometimes medium-sized birds like magpies or pigeons. Next to this rodents, bats and reptiles are taken. Hunts in wooded areas, usually in clearings. It is a ferocious hunter.

Japanese Sparrowhawks generally use the ambush type of hunting. They are perched in trees at the forest edge, dashing fiercely out of the hide to capture the prey that happens to be passing. During the breeding season, the species sometimes capture large birds, such as Bamboo Partridges and pigeons

 

They nest in coniferous trees, such as red pines Pinus densiflora and cryptomeria and deciduous trees, such as oaks, cherries and evergreen oaks. Among them, the most preferred nesting tree is the red pine. The mean size and height of nest trees are 38.3 cm and 18.6 m, respectively. Nest-building period is from early to mid April. Both male and female carry nest materials, but the work sharing between the pair varies significantly from one pair to the other.

 

 

 

Eurasian Hoopoe    Back

 

The hoopoe is a colorful bird found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for its distinctive "crown" of feathers. 

 

The call is typically a trisyllabic oop-oop-oop, which may give rise to its English and scientific names.

The hoopoe is widespread in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Most European and north Asian birds migrate to the tropics in winter. In contrast, the African populations are sedentary all year.

 

The hoopoe has two basic requirements of its habitat: bare or lightly vegetated ground on which to forage and vertical surfaces with cavities (such as trees, cliffs or even walls, nestboxes, haystacks, and abandoned burrows) in which to nest. These requirements can be provided in a wide range of ecosystems, and as a consequence the hoopoe inhabits a wide range of habitats such as wooded steppes, savannas and grasslands, as well as forest glades.

 

The diet of the hoopoe is mostly composed of insects, although small reptiles, frogs and plant matter such as seeds and berries are sometimes taken as well. It is a solitary forager which typically feeds on the ground. More rarely they will feed in the air, where their strong and rounded wings make them fast and maneuverable, in pursuit of numerous swarming insects. More commonly their foraging style is to stride over relatively open ground and periodically pause to probe the ground with the full length of their bill. Insect larvae, pupae and mole crickets are detected by the bill and either extracted or dug out with the strong feet. Hoopoes will also feed on insects on the surface, probe into piles of leaves, and even use the bill to lever large stones and flake off bark. Common diet items include crickets, locusts, beetles, earwigs, cicadas, ant lions, bugs and ants. These can range from 10 to 150 mm in length, with a preferred prey size of around 20–30 mm. Larger prey items are beaten against the ground or a preferred stone to kill them and remove indigestible body parts such as wings and legs.

 

Hoopoes are monogamous, although the pair bond apparently only lasts for a single season, and territorial. The male calls frequently to advertise his ownership of the territory. Chases and fights between rival males (and sometimes females) are common and can be brutal.Birds will try to stab rivals with their bills, and individuals are occasionally blinded in fights. The nest is in a hole in a tree or wall, and has a narrow entrance. It may be unlined, or various scraps may be collected. The female alone is responsible for incubating the eggs. Clutch size varies with location: Northern Hemisphere birds lay more eggs than those in the Southern Hemisphere, and birds at higher latitudes have larger clutches than those closer to the equator. In central and northern Europe and Asia the clutch size is around 12, whereas it is around four in the tropics and seven in the subtropics. The eggs are round and milky blue when laid, but quickly discolor in the increasingly dirty nest. They weigh 4.5 grams. A replacement clutch is possible.

 

Hoopoes have well-developed anti-predator defenses in the nest. The uropygial gland of the incubating and brooding female is quickly modified to produce a foul-smelling liquid, and the glands of nestlings do so as well. These secretions are rubbed into the plumage. The secretion, which smells like rotting meat, is thought to help deter predators, as well as deter parasites and possibly act as an antibacterial agent. The secretions stop soon before the young leave the nest. From the age of six days, nestlings can also direct streams of feces at intruders, and will hiss at them in a snake-like fashion. The young also strike with their bill or with one wing.

 

The incubation period for the species is between 15 and 18 days, during which time the male feeds the female. Incubation begins as soon as the first egg is laid, so the chicks are born asynchronously. The chicks hatch with a covering of downy feathers. By around day three to five, feather quills emerge which will become the adult feathers. The chicks are brooded by the female for between 9 to 14 days. The female later joins the male in the task of bringing food. The young fledge in 26 to 29 days and remain with the parents for about a week more.

 

The diet of the hoopoe includes many species considered by humans to be pests, such as the pupae of the processionary moth, a damaging forest pest. For this reason the species is afforded protection under the law in many countries.

Hoopoes are distinctive birds and have made a cultural impact over much of their range. They were considered sacred in Ancient Egypt, and were "depicted on the walls of tombs and temples". At the Old Kingdom, the hoopoe was used in the iconography as a symbolic code to indicate the child was the heir and successor of his father. They achieved a similar standing in Minoan Crete.

Hoopoes were thought of as thieves across much of Europe, and harbingers of war in Scandinavia. In Estonian tradition, hoopoes are strongly connected with death and the underworld; their song is believed to foreshadow death for many people or cattle.

 

 

 

White-browed Scimitar-Babbler    Back

 

The white-browed scimitar babbler is a species of bird in the Timaliidae family. It is found in Bangladesh,Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

 

These are skulkers of the tropical forest. Always on the move and quite vocal.

 

 

 

Hodgson's Redstart    Back

 

The Hodgson's redstart is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae. It is found in Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, and Nepal. Its natural habitat is temperate forests. It is a winter visitor in the Himalayas.

 

 

 

 

 

Verditer Flycatcher    Back

 

The verditer flycatcher is an Old World flycatcher widespread in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, especially in the Lower Himalaya. It is named after its distinctive shade of copper-sulphate blue and has a dark patch between the eyes and above the bill base. The adult males are intense blue on all areas of the body, except for the black eye-patch and grey vent. Adult females and sub-adults are lighter blue.

 

They are also interesting among the flycatchers in that they forage above the canopy level and perching on electric wires or exposed tree top branches.

 

Open lowland and lower montane forest, including edges, clearings and bushes along streams, edges

Food not well known; recorded items are small invertebrates, including sweatbees (Trigona), also ripe berries of Macaranga

 

 

 

 

 

Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo    Back

 

The square-tailed drongo-cuckoo is a species of cuckoo that resembles a black drongo. It is found in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia and is a summer visitor to the Himalayas from Kashmir to eastern Bangladesh. The calls are series of piercing sharp whistles rising in pitch but shrill and choppily delivered.

 

It is a brood parasite on small babblers. It is not known how or whether the drongo-like appearance benefits this species but it is suspected that it aids in brood-parasitism just as hawk-cuckoos appear like hawks.

 

Forests, including semi-evergreen, swamp and riparian forests

Insects, caterpillars (hairy and hairless: Pieridae, Lasiocampidae, Limadodidae), other soft insects, beetles, swarming termits, spiders

 

 
 
 

Wedge-tailed Green-Pigeon    Back

 

The wedge-tailed green pigeon or Kokla green pigeon is a species of bird in the family Columbidae.

It is greenish yellow with wedge shaped tail. The crown is tinged with orange-rufous with variable amount of maroon on back and scapulars in male but absent in female.

It is found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It ranges across Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia,India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

 

 

 

Siberian Blue Robin    Back

 

The Siberian blue robin is a small passerine bird that was formerly classified as a member of the thrush family,Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to belong to the Old World flycatcher family, Muscicapidae. It and similar small European species are often called chats. Recent research suggests that this species and some other East Asian members of Luscinia should be classified in a new genus, together with the Japanese and Ryūkyū robins.[2]

 

This bird is a migratory insectivorous species breeding in eastern Asia across to Japan. It winters in southeast Asia and Indonesia.

The breeding habitat is coniferous forest with dense undergrowth, often beside rivers or at woodland edges. It feeds on the ground but is very 'skulking'. In winter, this bird also tends to stay in dense vegetation.

 

This species is larger than the European robin. The breeding male is unmistakable with blue upperparts and white underparts. The female is much drabber, with brown upperparts and whitish underparts. Her dark eye stands out against the paler brown face.

This species is a very rare vagrant to Europe, and has vagrant status even as far east as Pakistan.

 

 

 

Tickell's Blue-Flycatcher    Back

 

Tickell's blue flycatcher is a small passerine bird in the flycatcher family. This is an insectivorous species which breeds in tropical Asia, from the Indian Subcontinent eastwards to Southeast Asia. Its range stretches across all the countries from India to Indonesia. They are blue on the upperparts and the throat and breast are rufous. They are found in dense scrub to forest habitats.

The name commemorates the British ornithologist Samuel Tickell who collected in India and Burma.

 

The widespread species shows regional variations in plumage and size and several of these populations have been designated with subspecies names. The nominate form is found in India, Nepal and Myanmar. 

 

It is a wary bird and not always easily observed. It is a forest-loving species which is found in thick cover and shade, and particularly haunts the banks of wooded streams.

They feed mainly by capturing insects in flight but their prey include other insects such as termites and earwigs that may be gleaned or picked from the ground. They have sometimes been known to feed even after dusk. Apart from flying insects they have been noted to occasionally glean crawling insects.

 

Tickell's blue flycatcher breeds in dry forest, scrub, bamboo and gardens.

The breeding season is April to August (March to June in Sri Lanka). It nests in a hole in a tree or amongst rocks that is lined with fine grass and fibers and lay 3–5 eggs.