Rainquail male in the bushes, Bangalore

  The rain quail or black-breasted quail (Coturnix coromandelica) is a species of quail found in the Indian subcontinent, its range including Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Grassland, cropped fields, and scrubs in the Indus valley of central Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, ranging across the Gangetic plains, and parts of peninsular continental India. Mostly seen in winter further south.The male has a black breast-patch and distinctive head pattern of black and white. the male has a very noticeable stripe on the crown and supercilium with a black and white pattern on the head and neck, a black ‘anchor’ mark on the throat and a prominent black patch on the breast. A black border highlights the white neck. The flanks are streaked with black. The female is difficult to separate from female common quail and Japanese quail, although the spots on the breast are more delicate. The call is a metallic chrink-chrink, constantly repeated mornings and evenings, and in the breeding season also during the night. The rain quail has a very large range and the population is stable. It is a common species and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated […]

Painted stork and the water droplets, Bangalore

  The painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a large wader in the stork family. It is found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia south of the Himalayas in the Indian Subcontinent and extending into Southeast Asia. Their distinctive pink tertial feathers of the adults give them their name. They forage in flocks in shallow waters along rivers or lakes. They immerse their half open beaks in water and sweep them from side to side and snap up their prey of small fish that are sensed by touch. As they wade along they also stir the water with their feet to flush hiding fish. They nest colonially in trees, often along with other waterbirds. The only sounds they produce are weak moans or bill clattering at the nest. They are not migratory and only make short distance movements in some parts of their range in response to changes in weather or food availability or for breeding. Like other storks, they are often seen soaring on thermals. This large stork has a heavy yellow beak with a down-curved tip that gives it a resemblance to an ibis. The head of the adult is bare and orange or reddish in […]

Greater spotted eagle, Bangalore

  The greater spotted eagle (Clanga clanga), occasionally just called the spotted eagle, is a large bird of prey. Like all typical eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. The scientific name clanga is from Ancient Greek meaning “scream”. This medium-sized eagle is very similar in general appearance to its closest relative the lesser spotted eagle, which shares part of its range. Head and wing coverts are very dark brown and contrast with the generally medium brown plumage; the lesser spotted eagle has a paler head and wing coverts. The head is small for an eagle. The similarities of the greater spotted to the lesser spotted often results in misidentification as being that species. This is further complicated by occasional hybrids between the two species. This is a species of wooded country. The population is entirely migratory. It breeds from northern Europe eastwards across Eurasia, and winters in south-eastern Europe, north-eastern Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. Migration to the breeding grounds takes place fairly late; in Bhutan, for example, birds can be seen with some regularity until the end of March. In its winter range, the species is more social than when breeding. Small flocks of up […]
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