The Black-winged Stilt is a widely distributed very long-legged wader in the avocet and stilt family.
Adults are 35 cm long. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. Females' backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black remiges. In the populations that have the top of the head normally white at least in winter, females tend to have less black on head and neck all year round, while males often have much black, particularly in summer. This difference is not clear-cut, however, and males usually get all-white heads in winter.
Immature birds are grey instead of black and have a markedly sandy hue on the wings, with light feather fringes appearing as a whitish line in flight.
The Jungle Bush Quail is a species of quail found in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Very different from the female, the male Jungle Bush Quail has a white moustache, heavily barred white underparts, and variegated wings. The female has a uniform, rich chestnut breast and belly. However, both the male and the female have red and white streaks on the head.The diet of the Jungle Bush Quail consists mainly of seeds. particularly of grasses, although it also takes insects. Breeding takes place after the rains and lasts until the onset of colder weather, with the precise period varying across the range; five or six eggs are produced and incubation takes between 16 and 18 days.
The Short-toed Snake Eagle a medium-sized bird of prey. Adults are 70 cm long with an 200 cm wingspan and weigh 2 kg. They can be recognized in the field by their predominantly white underside, the upper parts being greyish brown. The chin, throat and upper breast are a pale, earthy brown. The tail has 3 or 4 bars. Additional indications are an owl-like rounded head, brightly yellow eyes and lightly barred under wing.
The Short-toed Snake Eagle is an accomplished flyer and spends more time on the wing than do most members of its genus. It favors soaring over hill slopes and hilltops on updraughts, and it does much of its hunting from this position at heights of up to 500 meters. When quartering open country it frequently hovers like a Kestrel. When it soars it does so on flattish wings.
The Golden-fronted Leafbird is a species of leafbird and a common resident breeder in India, Sri Lanka, and parts of Southeast Asia.
Its habitat is forest and scrub. It builds its nest in a tree, laying 2-3 eggs. This species eats insects and berries. This is an active leaf-green arboreal bird, with golden-orange forehead. Black chin. Female plain green. Beak thinner than Barbet. Hunts among the foliage for insects, clinging upside down and in all manner of acrobatic positions.
The adult is green-bodied with a black face and throat bordered with yellow. It has an orange forehead and blue moustachial line, but lacks the blue flight feathers and tail sides of Blue-winged Leafbird. Young birds have a plain green head.
The Lesser Whitethroat is a common and widespread typical warbler which breeds in temperate Europe, except the southwest, and in western and central Asia. This small passerine bird is strongly migratory, wintering in Africa just south of the Sahara, Arabia and India.
Unlike many typical warblers, the sexes are almost identical. This is a small species with a grey back, whitish underparts, a grey head with a darker 'bandit mask' through the eyes and a white throat. It is slightly smaller than the Whitethroat, and lacks the chestnut wings and uniform head-face color of that species.
The Great Tit is a passerine bird. It is a widespread and common species throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central and Northern Asia, and parts of North Africa in any sort of woodland. It is generally resident, and most Great Tits do not migrate except in extremely harsh winters.
The Great Tit is a distinctive bird, with a black head and neck, prominent white cheeks, olive upperparts and yellow underparts, with some variation amongst the numerous subspecies. It is predominantly insectivorous in the summer, but will consume a wider range of food items in the winter months. Like all tits it is a cavity nester, usually nesting in a hole in a tree. The female lays around 12 eggs and incubates them alone, although both parents raise the chicks. In most years the pair will raise two broods. The nests may be raided by woodpeckers, squirrels and weasels and infested with fleas, and adults may be hunted by Sparrowhawks.
The Great Tit has adapted well to human changes in the environment and is a common and familiar bird in urban parks and gardens.
The Spot-billed Duck is a large duck with scaly pattern, with white and metallic green wing bars. Bright orange-red legs, yellow-tipped dark bill with 2 orange-red spots at the base (1 on either side of the forehead).
Seen in pairs or flock in or beside water-bodies. Food : Chiefly vegetable matter.
The Bay-backed Shrike is smallish shrike at 17 cm, maroon-brown above with a pale rump and long black tail with white edges. The underparts are white, but with buff flanks. The crown and nape are grey, with a typical shrike black bandit mask through the eye. There is a small white wing patch, and the bill and legs are dark grey. Sexes are similar, but young birds are washed-out versions of the adults.
The Long-tailed Shrike is a common resident breeder throughout the Indomalayan ecozone from Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indian peninsula except eastern states, to New Guinea.
Found on bushes in scrubby areas and cultivation. Winter visitor to southern areas such as southeast India and Sri Lanka. It has some resemblances to the grey shrikes, sharing the pearl grey head and mantle and black mask extending from the forehead, through the eye, to the ear coverts. An eastern race found in Bhutan to Arunachal Pradesh, has a black head extending from the eye mask to the whole crown and nape. It is small for a grey shrike, but has a very long tail with rufous edges. The underparts are white, but with rufous flanks. The bill and legs are nearly black.
This bird has a characteristic upright ''shrike'' attitude perched on a bush, from which it sallies after lizards, large insects, small birds and rodents. Prey may be impaled upon a sharp point, such as a thorn. Thus secured they can be ripped with the strong hooked bill, but its feet are not suited for tearing. Its flight is undulating, but its dash is straight and determined.
The House Crow is a common bird of the Crow family that is of Asian origin. The forehead, crown, throat and upper breast are a richly glossed black, whilst the neck and breast are a lighter grey-brown in colour. The wings, tail and legs are black. There are regional variations in the thickness of the bill and the depth of colour in areas of the plumage.
It feeds largely on refuse around human habitations, small reptiles and other animals such as insects and other small invertebrates, eggs, nestlings, grain and fruits. 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. It is a highly opportunistic bird and given its omnivorous diet, it can survive on nearly anything that is edible. These birds can be seen near marketplaces and garbage dumps, foraging for scraps.
At least some trees in the local environment seem to be necessary for its successful breeding although they occasionally nest on telephone towers. It lays 3-6 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 was from April to July. Large trees with big crowns are preferred for nesting.
The Black-hooded Oriole is a member of the oriole family of passerine birds and is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia.
It is a bird of open woodland and cultivation. The food is insects and fruit, especially figs, found in the tree canopies where the orioles spend much of their time.
The male is striking, with the typical oriole black and yellow coloration. The plumage is predominantly yellow, with a solid black hood, and black also in the wings and tail centre.
The female Black-hooded Oriole is a drabber bird with greenish underparts, but still has the black hood. Young birds are like the female, but have dark streaking on the underparts, and their hood is not solidly black, especially on the throat.
The Black-hooded Oriole's flight is somewhat like a thrush, strong and direct with some shallow dips over longer distances.
The black-headed cuckooshrike is a species of cuckooshrike found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
The Small Minivet is a small passerine bird. This minivet is found in tropical southern Asia from the Indian subcontinent east to Indonesia.
The Small Minivet is a widespread and common resident breeding bird in thorn jungle and scrub. The nest is a cup-like structure into which two to four spotted eggs are laid and incubated by the female.
The Small Minivet is 20 cm long with a strong dark beak and long wings. The male differs from most other common minivets by having grey, not glossy black, upperparts and head, and orange underparts, fading to yellow on the belly, orange tail edges, rump and wing patches.
The female is grey above, with yellow underparts, tail edges, rump and wing patches. This minivet catches insects in trees by flycatching or while perched. The Small Minivet will form small flocks.
It is found in southeast India and Sri Lanka. Its natural habitats are temperate forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the Scarlet Minivet.
It is a large minivet with isolated orange (male) or yellow (female) patch on tertials. Male has deep orange underparts. Female has colder grey-brown underparts than Scarlet Minivet, with less yellow on forehead and darker grey ear coverts.
The White-bellied Drongo is a species of drongo found only on the Indian Subcontinent in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Like other members of the family they are insectivorous and is mainly black in colour but with a white belly and vent. Young birds are however all black and can be confused with the Black Drongo although smaller and more compact in appearance and the subspecies found in Sri Lanka has white restricted to the vent.
The Coppersmith Barbet is brightly coloured, with a black-bordered yellow face with black eye stripes, red forecrown and throat patch. Bill stout and dark. Upper parts are grass green and underparts yellowish-green, diffusely streaked with darker green.
Juveniles are duller and lack the red patches. The sexes are alike. Somewhat larger than a sparrow, it is a relatively small barbet at 17 cm. It is a plump bird, with a short neck and large head. The short, truncated tail is distinctively triangular in flight. Keeps solitary, pairs, or small groups; larger parties occasionally on abundantly fruiting Ficus trees. Fond of sunning themselves in the morning on bare top branches of tall trees, often flitting about to sit next to each other. The flight is straight, with rapid flaps.
The Malabar Pied Hornbill is species of hornbill which are a family of tropical near-passerine birds. The Malabar Pied Hornbill is a common resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Borneo. Its habitat is open woodland and cultivation, often close to habitation.
During incubation, the female lays two or three white eggs in a tree hole, which is blocked off with a cement made of mud, droppings and fruit pulp. There is only one narrow aperture, just big enough for the male to transfer food to the mother and the chicks.
When the chicks and the female are too big to fit in the nest, the mother breaks out and rebuilds the wall, then both parents feed the chicks.
The Malabar Pied Hornbill is a large hornbill, at 65 cm in length. It has mainly black plumage apart from its white belly, throat patch, tail sides and trailing edge to the wings. The bill is yellow with a large, mainly black casque. Male and female are similar, but immatures have a smaller casque. This species is omnivorous, taking fruit, fish and small mammals. Figs form an important part of their diet.
The Common Hoopoe is a colorful bird that is found across Afro-Eurasia. It is notable for its distinctive crown of feathers.
The Common Hoopoe is a medium sized bird, 35 cm long, with a 50 cm wingspan weighing 90 gm. The species is highly distinctive, with a long, thin tapering bill that is black with a fawn base. The strengthened musculature of the head allows the bill to be opened when probing inside the soil. The hoopoe has broad and rounded wings capable of strong flight; these are larger in the northern migratory subspecies. The Hoopoe has a characteristic undulating flight, which is like that of a giant butterfly, caused by the wings half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats.
In the Himalayas, the calls can be confused with that of the Himalayan Cuckoo, although the cuckoo typically produces four notes.
The Blue Rock Thrush is a species of chat. This species breeds in southern Europe and northwest Africa, and from central Asia to northern China and Malaysia.
The European, north African and southeast Asian birds are mainly resident, apart from altitudinal movements. Other Asian populations are more migratory, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa, India and southeast Asia. This bird is a very uncommon visitor to northern and western Europe.
Blue Rock Thrush breeds in open mountainous areas, usually higher than the breeding zone of the related Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush. It nests in rock cavities and walls, and usually lays 3-5 eggs. An omnivore, the Blue Rock Thrush eats a wide variety of insects and small reptiles in addition to berries and seeds.
This is a starling-sized bird, 25 cm in length with a long slim bill. The summer male is unmistakable, with all blue-grey plumage apart from its darker wings. Females and immatures are much less striking, with dark brown upperparts, and paler brown scaly underparts. Both male and female lack the reddish outer tail feathers of Rock Thrush.
The Pied Bushchat is a small passerine bird found ranging from West and Central Asia to South 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, and were, like other chats, placed in the thrush family.
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.
The Pied Bushchat is slightly smaller than the Siberian Stonechat; although it has a similar dumpy structure and upright stance. The male is black except for a white rump, wing patch and lower belly. The iris is dark brown, the bill and legs black. The female is drab brown and slightly streaked. Juveniles have a scaly appearance on the underside but dark above like the females.
The Asian Koel is a member of the cuckoo order of birds. Asian Koel is found in South Asia, China, and Southeast Asia. It forms a superspecies with the closely related Black-billed and Pacific Koels. The Asian Koel is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of crows and other hosts, who raise its young. They are unusual among the cuckoos in being largely frugivorous as adults. The name koel is echoic in origin and the bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry.
The Asian Koel is a large, long-tailed, cuckoo, 45 cm in length. The male is glossy bluish-black, with a pale greenish grey bill, the iris is crimson, and it has grey legs and feet. The female is brownish on the crown and has rufous streaks on the head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The underparts are whitish, but is heavily striped. The upper plumage of young birds is more like that of the male and they have a black beak.
Asian Koel are very vocal; with a range of different calls during the breeding season which starts in March and ends in August.
They are used as reference in various myth, folklore and poetry being familiar for its loud call. The song of the bird is heard on Traditional New year celebration of Sri Lankans since they believe that it has a strong association with their upcoming year.
The Alexandrine Parakeet is named after Alexander the Great, who is credited with the exporting of numerous specimens of this bird from Punjab into various European and Mediterranean countries and regions, where they were considered prized possessions for the nobles and royalty.
It is a large Parakeet species, mainly green with a blue-grey sheen on its cheeks and nape, particularly in males. The abdomen is yellowish-green, the upper-side of the middle tail feathers is blueish-green, the upper side of the external tail feathers is green while the underside of the tail feathers are all yellow. All Alexandrine Parakeets boldly display a reddish-brown patch at the top of their wing coverts. The shoulder patch is seen in parakeets at their first feathering before fledging. The lower and upper mandibles are red with yellow tips. The adult's irises are yellowish-white and the periopthalmic rings are light grey.
The Rose-ringed Parakeet is a gregarious tropical parakeet species that has an extremely large range.
Rose-ringed parakeets are popular as pets. This non-migrating species is one of few parrot species that have successfully adapted to living in disturbed habitats, and in that way withstood the onslaught of urbanisation and deforestation. In the wild, this is a noisy species with an unmistakable squawking call.
Rose-ringed parakeets measure 40 cm in length including the tail feathers. The tail accounts for a large portion of their total length. The adult male sports a black neck-ring and pink nape-band while the female and immature birds either show no neck rings, or display shadow-like pale to dark grey neck-rings, and nape-bands that are lighter coloured than the surroundings.
The Plum-headed Parakeet is a parrot which is a resident breeder in northeast India eastwards into Southeast Asia. It undergoes local movements, driven mainly by the availability of the fruit and blossoms which make up its diet.
Plum-headed Parakeet is a bird of forest and open woodland. It nests in holes in trees, laying 4-5 white eggs. This is a green parrot, 30 cm long with a tail up to 18 cm. The male's head is pink becoming pale blue on the back of the crown, nape and cheeks. There is a narrow black neck collar and a black chin stripe.
There is a red shoulder patch and the rump and tail are bluish-green, the latter tipped yellow. The upper mandible is yellow, and the lower mandible is dark.
The Rosy Starling is a passerine bird in the starling family. The breeding range of this bird is from easternmost Europe across temperate southern Asia. It is a strong migrant, and winters in India and tropical Asia. In India in winter, it often appears to outnumber the local starlings and mynas.
The adult of this species is highly distinctive, with its pink body, pale orange legs and bill, and glossy black head, wings and tail. Males in the breeding season have elongated head feathers which form a wispy crest that is fluffed and more prominent when the bird gets excited; the crest is shorter in winter and the black areas have paler feather edges, which get worn away as well as the black becoming more glossy in the breeding season. Winter plumage in males is rather dull.
Females have a short crest and are duller overall, especially without the sharp separation between pink and black. The juvenile can be distinguished from Common Starling by its obviously paler plumage and short yellow bill. Young birds molt into a subdued version of the adult plumage, lacking the crest, in autumn and acquire the adult plumage when they are nearly one year old in females, and nearly two years in males. The latter in their second year wear a plumage similar to adult females but with longer crests and noticeably pale feather edges.
The Rosy Starling is a bird of steppe and open agricultural land. In years when grasshoppers and other insects are abundant, it will erupt well beyond its core range, with significant numbers reaching France and the UK.
This is a colonial breeder, and like other starlings, is highly gregarious, forming large winter flocks. It also shares the other species' omnivorous diet, although with a preference for insects.
The Dusky Crag Martin is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It is 13cm long with a broad body and wings, and a short square tail that has small white patches near the tips of most of its feathers. This martin has sooty-brown upperparts and slightly paler underparts. The two subspecies are resident breeding birds in South Asia from the Indian subcontinent to southwestern China and the northern parts of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.
This martin nests under a cliff overhang or on a man-made structure, building a neat half-cup mud nest with a soft lining. Both adults incubate the two to four eggs and feed the chicks. This species does not form large breeding colonies, but it is more gregarious outside the breeding season. It feeds an a wide variety of insects that are caught as the martin flies near to cliff faces. It may be hunted by large bats as well as birds of prey, but its extensive and expanding range and large population mean that there are no significant conservation concerns.
The Wire-tailed Swallow is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It breeds in Africa south of the Sahara and in tropical southern Asia from the Indian subcontinent east to southeast Asia. It is mainly resident, but populations in Pakistan and northern India migrate further south in winter.
This bird is found in open country near water and human habitation. Wire-tailed Swallows are fast flyers and they generally feed on insects, especially flies, while airborne. They are typically seen low over water, with which they are more closely associated than most swallows.
The neat half-bowl nests are lined with mud collected in the swallows' beaks. They are placed on vertical surfaces near water under cliff ledges or more commonly on man-made structures such as buildings and bridges.
The clutch is up to five eggs. These birds are solitary and territorial nesters, unlike many swallows, which tend to be colonial.
This striking species is a small swallow at 15 cm in length. It has bright blue upperparts, except for a chestnut crown and white spots on the tail. The underparts are white, with darker flight feathers. There is a blue mask through the eye.
Male and female are appearances, but the female has shorter wires. Juveniles have a brown crown, back and tail.
The Red-vented Bulbul is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Burma and southwestern China. It has been introduced and has established itself in the wild in many Pacific islands including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Hawaii. It has also established itself in parts of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand.
The Red-vented Bulbul is easily identified by its short crest giving the head a squarish appearance. The body is dark brown with a scaly pattern while the head is darker or black. The rump is white while the vent is red. The black tail is tipped in white.
Male and female are similar in plumage, but young birds are duller than adults. The typical call has been transcribed as ginger beer but a number of pit like single note calls are also produced. Their alarm calls are usually responded to by many other species of bird.
The Ashy Prinia is a small warbler. This prinia is a resident breeder in the Indian subcontinent, western Myanmar and Sri Lanka. It is a common bird in urban gardens and farmland in many parts of India and its small size, distinctive colours and upright tail make it easy to identify. The northern populations have a rufous rump and back and have a distinct breeding and non-breeding plumage while other populations lack such variation.
These 15 cm long warblers have short rounded wings and longish graduated cream tail tipped with black subterminal spots. The tail is usually held upright and the strong legs are used for clambering about and hopping on the ground. They have a short black bill. The crown is grey and the underparts are rufous in most plumages. In breeding plumage, adults of the northern population are ash grey above, with a black crown and cheek with no supercilium and rufescent wings. In non-breeding season this population has a short and narrow white supercilium and the tail is longer. They are found singly or in pairs in shrubbery and will often visit the ground.
In winter, the northern subspecies has warm brown upperparts and a longer tail and has seasonal variation in plumage. The other races retain summer plumage all year round. West Bengal and Eastwards race has is darker slaty above than the nominate race of the Peninsula and deeper rufous on the flanks with a finer and shorter beak. The distinctive race in Sri Lanka has a shorter tail and has the juveniles with yellowish underparts apart from a distinct call.
The crested treeswift is a large slender bird at 23 cm (9 in) length. This species is dove grey above and white below. The long swept-back wings are a darker grey above. This treeswift has a crest and a long, deeply forked tail. The adult male has orange sides to its face. Young birds have a dark grey head and wings, but the rest of the soft plumage is much streakier than that of the adults. The call of this species is a harsh kee-kyew.
The Jungle Owlet is found in India and the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The species are usually detected by their calls at dawn and dusk. This small owlet has a rounded head and is finely barred all over. There is no clear facial disk and the wings are brownish and the tail is narrowly barred in white.
The plumage on the upper parts is dark black brown barred with white. The wing coverts have white and rufous patches. The primaries and secondaries are dark brown and barred with pale chestnut. The lower side is whitish or pale rufous barred with black. There is a whitish patch on the chin, upper breast and centre of the abdomen. The iris is yellow, the bill and tarsi are greenish with black claws.
The Spotted Owlet is a small owl which breeds in tropical Asia from India to Southeast Asia. A common resident of open habitats including farmland and human habitation, it has adapted to living in cities. They roost in small groups in the hollows of trees or in cavities in rocks or buildings. It nests in a hole in a tree or building, laying 3-5 eggs. Nests near human habitations may show higher breeding success due to increased availability of rodents for feeding young.
The Spotted Owlet is small with overall length of 21 cm. The upperparts are grey-brown, heavily spotted with white. The underparts are white, streaked with brown. The facial disc is pale and the iris is yellow. There is a white neckband and supercilium.
The Common Woodshrike is a species in the helmetshrike family. It is found in southern Asia where it occurs in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. The subspecies in Sri Lanka is sometimes considered a separate species, the Sri Lanka Woodshrike.
It is a greyish brown bird with blackish stripe below the eye and White below. Male and female are alike. Shrikes always seen in pairs OR small parties on trees. They pearch on upright on the tress OR wires to hunt moths, beetles, caterpillars and other insects.
The Tawny-bellied Babbler is a small babbler at 15 cm including its long tail. It is dark brown above and orange-buff below, with a rufous grey crown. The babbler is a resident breeding bird in India, Sri Lanka and southwest Nepal. Its habitat is scrub and tall grassland.
The Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark breeds in southern Canada, much of the United States, Northern Mexico and Asia. It is much less common in the east, where its range is contracting.
Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark is distinctive. Adults have a typically sparrow-like dark-streaked brown back, and white underparts except for a dark central spot. The cheeks and crown sides are chestnut, with white eyebrow and crown stripes. The dark tail's corners are also white. Young Ashy-crowned Sparrow Larks are duller, and the underparts are streaked.
These birds forage on the ground or in low bushes. They mainly eat seeds, but insects, including grasshoppers are also eaten in the breeding season. They form flocks on migration or in winter.
The breeding habitat is a variety of open habitats including grasslands and cultivation. Ashy-crowned Sparrow Larks nest on the ground, laying 3-6 eggs in a grass cup nest sheltered by a clump of grass or other vegetation. The eggs are white with black scrawling.
The Rufous-tailed Lark is a ground bird found in the drier open stony habitats of India and parts of Pakistan. Like other species in the genus it has a large finch-like bill with a slightly curved edge to the upper mandible. The dull brown colour matches with soil as it forages for grass seeds, grain and insects. Males and females are indistinguishable in the field but during the breeding season, the male has a courtship display that involves flying up steeply and then nose-diving and pulling up in a series of stepped wavy dips accompanied by calling. They forage on the ground in pairs or small groups.
The Yellow-footed Green Pigeon is a common species of Green Pigeon found in South Asia. The species feeds on fruits of a large variety of fruit trees. They forage in flocks. In the early morning they are often seen sunning on the tops of emergent trees in dense forest areas.
The Grey-headed Swamphen is a chicken-sized bird, with its huge feet, bright plumage and red bill and frontal shield is unmistakable in its native range.
There are 13 or more subspecies of the Purple Swamphen which differ mainly in plumage color. European birds are overall purple-blue, African and south Asian birds have a green back, and Australasian and Indonesian birds have black backs and heads.
The Grey-headed Swamphens are generally seasonal breeders, but the season varies across their large range, correlating with peak rainfall in many places, or summer in more temperate climes. The Grey-headed Swamphen breeds in warm reed beds. The male has an elaborate courtship display, holding water weeds in his bill and bowing to the female with loud chuckles. In the western parts of the range the pattern of social behaviour tends to be monogamy, but cooperative breeding groups are more common in the eastern parts of the range. These groups may consist of multiple females and males sharing a nest or a male female pair with helpers drawn from previous clutches.
The Tickell's Blue Flycatcher is a small perching bird in the flycatcher family. This is an insectivorous species which breeds in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka 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 Tickell's Blue Flycatcher is 15 cm long. It sits upright and often forages in the undergrowth. The male has the upperparts dark blue and the throat breast and flanks are orange fading into the buffy white belly. The female is duller blue with a brighter blue brow, shoulder, rump and tail. It hybridizes with the Pale-chinned Flycatcher in the Eastern Ghats of India and these hybrids have sometimes been called the subspecies vernayi. The juvenile is streaked and has a spotted mantle.It is an upright long-tailed flycatcher. The male is a beautiful bird which has bright blue upperparts, a red throat and breast, and the rest of the underparts white.
Females are duller, and the red is reduced in intensity and extent. Juvenile birds have scaly brown upperparts, head and breast, with just the wings and tail being blue. They have sometimes been to feed even after dusk. Apart from flying insects they have been noted to occasionally glean crawling insects.
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.
This is a medium-large pipit, 16-17.5 cm long, but is an undistinguished looking species on the ground, mainly sandy grey above and whitish or pale buff below. It is very similar to the tawny pipit, but is slightly larger, has a longer tail and a longer dark bill.
The long-billed pipit's flight is strong and direct, and it gives a characteristic chupp call. Like its relatives, long-billed pipit eats seeds and insects.
The long-billed pipit's breeding habitat is dry open slopes with rocks and low vegetation. The nest is on the ground, with 2-4 eggs being laid.
The Greenish Warblers are widespread leaf-warblers throughout their 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.
This is a typical leaf-warbler in appearance, grayish-green above and off-white below. The single wing bar found in the southern and western populations distinguishes them from most similar species. It is slightly smaller than that species and has a thinner bill, without a dark tip to the lower mandible.
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 or more, but they do not breed there and return again to the adjacent subtropical lowlands in winter.
The nest is on the ground in low shrub. Like its relatives, this small passerine is insectivorous.
The Purple Sunbird is a small sunbird. Like other sunbirds they feed mainly on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. They have a fast and direct flight and can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird but often perch at the base of flowers. The males appear all black except in some lighting when the purple iridescence becomes visible. Females are olive above and yellowish below.
The Purple Sunbird has a relatively short bill, a dark and short square ended tail. Less than 10 cm long they have a down-curve bill with brush-tipped tubular tongues that aid in nectar feeding. The male is glossy metallic purplish black on the upper parts with the wings appearing dark brown. The breeding male has the underparts also of the same purplish black, but non-breeding males may show a central streak of black on yellow underparts. In the breeding plumage, the male can be confused with the syntopic Loten's Sunbird which has a long bill and distinctive broad maroon band on the breast. Breeding males will sometimes show their yellow pectoral tufts in displays. There is a patch of bright blue on the shoulder of breeding males. The maroon shine on the feathers of the collar around the neck is visible mainly during the breeding seasons.
Females are olive brown above with yellowish underside. There is a pale supercilium beyond the eye. There is a darkish eye stripe. The throat and breast are yellow becoming pale towards the vent. The outer tail feathers are tipped in white both in the male and female.
They are seen in pairs or small groups and aggregations may be found in gardens with suitable flowers. They feed mainly on nectar but also take fruits and insects.
The White-browed Wagtail is a resident breeder in India and is endemic to the Indian subcontinent. It is found in open freshwater wetland habitats.
It is one of the few Motacilla Wagtails that has adapted well to urban habitats and is often found perched on overhead water storages in residential buildings. The White-browed Wagtail is the largest species of wagtail at 21 cm length. It is a slender bird, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. It has black upperparts, head and breast, with a white supercilium and large white wingbar. The rest of the underparts are white. The female has the black coloration less glossy than in the male. Juveniles are brown-grey where the adult is black.
The Baya Weaver is a weaver found across South and Southeast Asia. They inhabit grassland, cultivated areas, scrub and secondary growths usually near fresh or brackish water. They are widespread and common within their distribution area but are prone to local seasonal movements.
The Red Avadavat is a sparrow-sized bird of the Munia family. It is found in the open fields and grasslands of tropical Asia and is popular as a cage bird due to the colourful plumage of the males in their breeding season. It breeds in South Asia during the Monsoon season.
This small finch is easily identified by the rounded black tail and the bill that is red in all seasons. The rump is red and the breeding male is red on most of the upper parts except for a black eye-stripe, lower belly and wings. There are white spots on the red body and wing feathers. The non-breeding male is duller but has the red-rump while the female is duller with less of the white spotting on the feathers.
The Black-tailed Godwit is a large wader with long bill (which is 12 cm long), neck and legs. During the breeding season, the bill has a yellowish or orange-pink base and dark tip; the base is pink in winter. The legs are dark grey, brown or black.
In flight, its bold black and white wingbar and white rump can be seen readily. When on the ground it can be difficult to separate from the similar Bar-tailed Godwit, but the Black-tailed Godwit's longer, straighter bill and longer legs are diagnostic. Black-tailed Godwits are similar in body size and shape to Bar-taileds, but stand taller.
It measures 42 cm from bill to tail with a wingspan of 82 cm. Males weigh around 280 g and females 340 g. The female is larger than the male.
The adult Common Sandpiper has grayish brown upper parts, white underparts, short yellowish legs and a bill with a pale base and dark tip. Juveniles are barred above and have buff edges to the wing feathers.
This species is very similar to its closely related American counterpart, the slightly larger Spotted Sandpiper, in its non-breeding plumage, but its darker, olive legs and feet and the crisper wing pattern in flight tend to give it away; non-breeding Common Sandpipers also have some barring on the wings visible at close range.
Like that species, it has a distinctive stiff-winged flight low over the water. The Common Sandpiper breeds across most of Europe and Asia. It nests on the ground near fresh water.
The Common Sandpiper forages by sight on the ground or in shallow water, picking up small food items such as insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates. It may also catch insects in flight.
The Little Ringed Plover is a small plover. Adults have a grey-brown back and wings, a white belly, and a white breast with one black neckband. They have a brown cap, a white forehead, a black mask around the eyes with white above and a short dark bill. The legs are flesh-colored and the toes are all webbed.
This species differs from the larger Ringed Plover in leg color, the head pattern, and the presence of a clear yellow eye-ring.Their breeding habitat is open gravel areas near freshwater, including gravel pits, islands and river edges in Europe and western Asia. They nest on the ground on stones with little or no plant growth. Both male and female take turn to incubate the eggs.
They are migratory and winter in Africa. These birds forage for food on muddy areas, usually by sight. They eat insects and worms.
The Red-wattled Lapwing is a long legged bird with light brown body, red fleshy wattle in front of each eye. The beak is red, with black point. Seen singly or in pairs on ground or sometimes distributed in more numbers in open areas, edge of ponds & tanks. Can fly well, but prefers to be on ground. Diet mainly includes Insects, grubs, mollusks.
The small pratincole is a resident breeder in India, Western Pakistan and southeast Asia. It breeds from December to March on gravel or sand banks in rivers, laying 2-4 eggs in a ground scrape. Breeding areas include small areas in northern Karnataka and northern Kerala near Kannur.
This species is only 18.5 cm in length, with a 16 cm wingspan. Because of its small size, the small pratincole can be briefly confused in flight with swifts or swallows.
This bird has short legs, long pointed wings and a short tail. Its short bill is an adaptation to aerial feeding. On the ground, it looks mainly pale grey. The crown of the head is brown.
The wings are grey above with black primaries and black and white bars at the rear edge of the inner flight feathers. The underwings are mainly black. The tail is white with a black terminal triangle. The belly is white.
The most unusual feature of the pratincoles is that although classed as waders they typically hunt their insect prey on the wing like swallows, although they can also feed on the ground.
The small pratincole is a species of open country, and is often seen near water in the evening, hawking for insects.
The Indian River Tern is a bird in the tern family . It is a resident breeder along inland rivers from Iran east through Pakistan into India and Myanmar to Thailand, where it is uncommon. It does not occur in Sri Lanka. Unlike most Sterna terns, it is almost exclusively found on freshwater, rarely venturing even to tidal creeks. This species breeds from March to May in colonies in less accessible areas such as sandbanks in rivers. It nests in a ground scrape, often on bare rock or sand, and lays three greenish-grey to buff eggs, which are blotched and streaked with brown.
The Oriental Honey Buzzard appears long-necked with a small head [resembling that of a pigeon], and soars on flat wings. The head lacks a strong supraciliary ridge giving it a very un-raptor-like facial appearance. It has a long tail and a short head crest. It is brown above, but not as dark as Honey Buzzard, and paler below. There is a dark throat stripe. Unusually for a large bird of prey, the sexes can be distinguished. The male has a blue-grey head, while the female's head is brown. She is slightly larger and darker than the male. The male has a black tail with a white band, whilst the female resembles female Honey Buzzard.
It breeds in Asia from central Siberia east to Japan. It is a summer migrant to Siberia, wintering in tropical south east Asia. Elsewhere it is more-or-less resident. It is a specialist feeder, living mainly on the larvae and nests of wasps, although it will take other small insect prey such as cicadas.
The Brahmany Kite is a familiar sight in the skies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and southeast Asia and as far south as New South Wales, Australia, through which region it is widespread and resident.
It has a typical kite flight, with wings angled, but its tail is rounded unlike the Milvus species, Red Kite and Black Kite, which have forked tails. The Brahminy Kite is an attractive bird, with chestnut plumage except for the white head and breast and black wing tips.
The juveniles are browner, but can be distinguished from both the resident and migratory races of Black Kite in Asia by the paler appearance, shorter wings and rounded tail. This species nests in trees, often close to water. It feeds as a scavenger, particularly on dead fish and crabs, especially in wetlands and marshland. The call is a mewing keeyew. Brahmany Kite is the official mascot of Jakarta.
The White-eyed Buzzard is a medium sized hawk found in South Asia. Adults are characteristic, having a rufous tail, a distinctive white iris and a white throat with a contrasting mesial stripe and bordered by dark moustachial stripes. The head is brown and the median coverts of the upper wing are pale. They do not have typical carpal patches found on the underside of the wings of true buzzards but the wing lining appears dark in contrast with the flight feathers. They often sit upright on perches for prolonged periods and will soar on thermals in search of insect and small vertebrate prey. They are vociferous in the breeding season and several birds may be heard calling as they soar together.
The Common Kestrel is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae.
This species occurs over a large range. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as occasionally reaching the east coast of North America. The Common Kestrel is small compared with other birds of prey, but larger than most songbirds. Common Kestrels measure 34 – 38 cm from head to tail, with a wingspan of 70 – 80 cm.
The Collared Scops Owl is an owl which is a resident breeder in south Asia from northern Pakistan, northern India and the Himalayas east to south China. It is partially migratory, with some birds wintering in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
The Collared Scops Owl is a common breeding bird in forests and other well-wooded areas. It nests in a hole in a tree, laying 3-5 eggs. It is a small owl with 25cm length, although it is the largest of the scops owls. Like other scops owls, it has small head tufts, or ears. The upper-parts are grey or brown, depending on the subspecies, with faint buff spotting. The underparts are buff with fine darker streaking.
The facial disc is whitish or buff, and the eyes are orange or brown. There is a buff neckband. Sexes are similar. The flight is deeply undulating. This species is nocturnal but it can often be located by the small birds that mob it while it is roosting in a tree. It feeds mainly on insects. The call is a quiet goog gook.
The Crested Bunting is from the group of Eurasian & African Perching Birds. They are mainly seed-eating birds with stubby, conical bills. Their habits are similar to those of finches, with which they sometimes used to be grouped.
Crested Bunting is 20 cm long in size; and plumage is very much similar to Crow Pheasant. It is commonly seen around hills and mountains.
The black-headed bunting breeds in south-east Europe east to Iran and migrates in winter mainly to India, with some individuals moving further into south-east Asia. Like others in its family, it is found in open grassland habitats where they fly in flocks in search of grains and seed. Adult males are well marked with yellow underparts, chestnut back and a black head. Adult females in breeding plumage look like duller males.
The Little Grebe is a member of the grebe family of water birds. At 23 to 29 cm in length it is the smallest European member of its family. It is commonly found in open bodies of water across most of its range.
The Little Grebe is a small water bird with a pointed bill. The adult is unmistakable in summer, predominantly dark above with its rich, rufous colour neck, cheeks and flanks, and bright yellow gape. The rufous is replaced by a dirty brownish grey in non-breeding and juvenile birds.
Juvenile birds have a yellow bill with a small black tip, and black and white streaks on the cheeks and sides of the neck as seen below. This yellow bill darkens as the juveniles age, eventually turning black once in adulthood
The Little Cormorant is a black duck-like water bird with longish stiff tail, slender, compressed bill, sharply hooked at tip. A small white patch on the throat. Seen in singles or flocks at water-bodies or perching upright on rock or trees near water-bodies. Food : Exclusively fish.
The Great Cormorant is a widespread member of the cormorant family of seabirds. It is a large black bird. Weight is 4 kg and length 100 cm with wingspan around 150 cm. It has a longish tail and yellow throat-patch. Adults have white thigh patches in the breeding season.
The Great Cormorant breeds mainly on coasts, nesting on cliffs OR in trees. The Great Cormorant can dive to considerable depths, but often feeds in shallow water. It frequently brings prey to the surface. A wide variety of fish are taken. Cormorants are often noticed eating eels, but this may reflect the considerable time taken to subdue an eel and position it for swallowing.
The Indian Pond Heron is an egret-like bird. Bird is earthy brown when at rest, but with white wings, tail and rump prominent in flight. Bird can be seen in singles or loose parties at water-bodies. Diet mainly contains Insects, fish, frogs and crabs.
The Glossy Ibis is athe most widespread ibis species, breeding in scattered sites in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Atlantic and Caribbean region of the Americas. It is thought to have originated in the Old World and spread naturally from Africa to northern South America in the 19th century. This species is migratory; most European birds winter in Africa, and in North America birds from north of the Carolinas winter farther south. Birds from other populations may disperse widely outside the breeding season. While generally declining in Europe it has recently established a breeding colony in Southern Spain.
The Glossy Ibis nests colonially in trees, often with herons. It is also gregarious when feeding in marshy wetlands; it preys on fish, frogs and other water creatures, as well as occasionally on insects.
It is 65cm long with an 100cm (35–41 in) wingspan. Breeding adults have reddish-brown bodies and shiny bottle-green wings. Non-breeders and juveniles have duller bodies. This species has a brownish bill, dark facial skin bordered above and below in blue-gray (non-breeding) to cobalt blue (breeding), and red-brown legs. Unlike herons, ibises fly with necks outstretched, their flight being graceful and often in V-formation.
The Eurasian Spoonbill is a wading bird, breeding in southern Eurasia from Spain to Japan, and also in North Africa. In Europe, only The Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Hungary and Greece have sizeable populations. Most birds migrate to the tropics in winter, with European breeders mainly going to Africa, but a few remaining in mild winter areas of western Europe south to the United Kingdom.
This species is almost unmistakable in most of its range. The breeding bird is all white except for its dark legs, black bill with a yellow tip, and a yellow breast patch like a pelican. It has a crest in the breeding season. Non-breeders lack the crest and breast patch, and immature birds have a pale bill and black tips to the primary flight feathers. Unlike herons, spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched.
The Black Stork is a large wading bird in the stork family. It is a widespread, but rare, species that breeds in the warmer parts of Europe, predominantly in central and eastern regions. This is a shy and wary species. It is seen in pairs or small flocks in marshy areas, rivers or inland waters. The Black Stork feeds on amphibians and insects.
Black Stork is a large bird, 100 cm in length and weighing around 3 kg. Like all storks, it has long legs, a long neck, and a long, straight, pointed beak. The plumage is all black with a purplish green sheen, except for the white lower breast, belly, axillaries and undertail coverts. The breast feathers are long and shaggy forming a ruff which is used in some courtship displays. The bare skin around its eyes is red, as are its red bill and legs. The sexes are identical in appearance, except that males are larger than females on average.
The Indian Yellow Tit is a small, mostly black-and-yellow bird with a long crest. It is 15cm long.
The male is strikingly colored with forehead, cheek patch and underparts rich yellow. The cap, crest, back, wing coverts and vent are black. Rear of crest white. Wings light blue with white outer edges. Female: Crest slightly shorter, duller with olive-green back; lacks ventral spot. Juvenile: Paler with whitish underparts. Iris, dark brown; bill, black; legs, gray. Found in ones, twos or small flocks. Forages for insects in mid-story forest canopy. May join mixed-species foraging flocks in non-breeding season. Breeds in April. Nests in a cavity of a tall tree. Clutch size 3-4 eggs.
While Yellow Tit may always have been uncommon, the population has been further reduced by felling of broadleaved forests. It is unable to occupy marginal habitats such as edge and scrub, plantations of conifers and bamboo. At one time, Yellow Tit was captured during large-scale netting of wild birds for export. Much of its habitat is now secure in national parks, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries.