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 rock bush quail is found in parts of peninsular India. They are found in small coveys and are often detected only suddenly, when they burst out into flight en masse from under vegetation. It is 7.25 in in length and weighs 85 g.
The Grey junglefowl, also known as Sonnerat's junglefowl, is one of the wild ancestors of domestic fowl together with the red junglefowl and other junglefowls. The Grey junglefowl is responsible for the yellow pigment in the legs and different body parts of all the domesticated chicken.
This species is endemic to India, and even today it is found mainly in peninsular India and towards the northern boundary. It sometimes hybridize in the wild with red junglefowl. They also hybridize readily in captivity and sometimes with free-range domestic fowl kept in habitations close to forests.
The male has a black cape with ochre spots and the body plumage on a grey ground colour is finely patterned. The elongated neck feathers are dark and end in a small, hard, yellowish plate. The male has red wattles and combs but not as strongly developed as in the red junglefowl. Legs of males are red and have spurs while the yellow legs of females usually lack spurs. The central tail feathers are long and sickle shaped. Males have an eclipse plumage in which they moult their colourful neck feathers in summer during or after the breeding season. The female is duller and has black and white streaking on the underparts and yellow legs.
The Lesser Whistling Duck is a species of whistling duck that breeds in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. They are nocturnal feeders and during the day may be found in flocks around lakes and wet paddy fields. They can perch on trees and sometimes build their nest in the hollow of a tree. This brown and long-necked duck has broad wings that are visible in flight and produces a loud two-note wheezy call. It has a chestnut rump.
The Mute Swan is a species of swan, and thus a member of the duck, goose and swan family. It is native to much of Europe and Asia, and (as a rare winter visitor) the far north of Africa. It is also an introduced species in North America, Australasia and southern Africa. The name 'mute' derives from it being less vocal than other swan species. Measuring 170 cm in length, this large swan is wholly white in plumage with an orange bill bordered with black. It is recognizable by its pronounced knob atop the bill.
Adults of this large swan range from 170 cm long with a 240 cm wingspan. They may stand over 120 cm tall on land. Males are larger than females and have a larger knob on their bill.
The Mute Swan is one of the heaviest flying birds, with males (known as cobs) averaging about 12 kg and the slightly smaller females (known as pens) weighing about 9 kg. Its size, orange-reddish bill and white plumage make this swan almost unmistakable at close quarters. Compared to the other Northern white swans, the Mute Swan can easily be distinguished by its curved neck and orange, black-knobbed bill. Unlike most other Northern swan species (who usually inhabit only pristine wetlands without regular human interference), the Mute Swan has, in some parts of the world, become habituated and nearly fearless towards humans. Such swans are often seen at close range in urban areas with bodies of water.
Young birds, called cygnets, are not the bright white of mature adults, and their bill is dull grayish-black, not orange, for the first year. The down may range from pure white to grey to buff, with grey/buff the most common. The white cygnets have a leucistic gene. All Mute Swans are white at maturity, though the feathers (particularly on the head and neck) are often stained orange-brown by iron and tannins in the water.
The Ruddy Shelduck is a bird of open country, and it will breed on cliffs, in burrows, tree holes or crevices distant from water, laying 6-16 creamy-white eggs, incubated for 30 days.
It is usually found in pairs or small groups and rarely forms large flocks. However, moulting and wintering gatherings on chosen lakes or slow rivers can be very large.
It is a distinctive species, 70 cm long with a 135 cm wingspan. It has orange-brown body plumage and a paler head. The wings are white with black flight feathers.
It swims well, and in flight looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck. The male has a black ring at the bottom of the neck in the breeding season summer, and the female often has a white face patch.
The Cotton Pygmy Goose is a small perching duck which breeds in India, Pakistan, southeast Asia and south to northern Australia. Found on all still freshwater lakes, rain-filled ditches, inundated paddy fields, irrigation tanks, etc. Becomes very tame on village tanks wherever it is unmolested and has become inured to human proximity. Swift on the wing, and can dive creditably on occasion.
The Gadwall is 56 cm long with a 90 cm wingspan. The male is slightly larger than the female, weighing on average 990 g against her 850 g. The breeding male is patterned grey, with a black rear end, light chestnut wings, and a brilliant white speculum, obvious in flight or at rest. In non-breeding plumage, the male looks more like the female, but retains the male wing pattern, and is usually greyer above and has less orange on the bill.
The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female Mallard. It can be distinguished from that species by the dark orange-edged bill, smaller size, the white speculum, and white belly. Both male and female go through two moults annually, following a juvenile moult.
The Eurasian wigeon is one of three species of wigeons. It is common and widespread within its range. It is 20 in long with a 31 in wingspan, and a weight of 1 kg. The breeding male has grey flanks and back, with a black rear end, a dark green speculum and a brilliant white patch on upper wings, obvious in flight or at rest. It has a pink breast, white belly, and a chestnut head with a creamy crown. In non-breeding plumage, the drake looks more like the female. The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female American wigeon. It can be distinguished from most other ducks, apart from American wigeon, on shape. However, that species has a paler head and white axillaries on its underwing. The female can be a rufous morph with a redder head, and a gray morph with a more gray head.
The Northern Shoveler is a common and widespread duck. It breeds in northern areas of Europe and Asia and across most of North America, wintering in southern Europe, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Central and northern South America. It is a rare vagrant to Australia. In North America, it breeds along the southern edge of Hudson Bay and west of this body of water, and as far south as the Great Lakes west to Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon.
This species is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill. The breeding drake has an iridescent dark green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In flight, pale blue forewing feathers are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding plumage, the drake resembles the female.The female is a drab mottled brown like other dabblers, with plumage much like a female Mallard, but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge and lower mandible.
The Garganey is a small dabbling duck. It breeds in much of Europe and western Asia, but is strictly migratory, with the entire population moving to southern Africa, India (in particular) Santragachi and Australasia in winter, where large flocks can occur.
Like other small ducks such as the Common Teal, this species rises easily from the water with a fast twisting wader-like flight. Their breeding habitat is grassland adjacent to shallow marshes and steppe lakes.
The adult male is unmistakable, with its brown head and breast with a broad white crescent over the eye. The rest of the plumage is grey, with loose grey scapular feathers It has a grey bill and legs. In flight it shows a pale blue speculum with a white border. When swimming it will show prominent white edges on its tertials. His crown is dark and face is reddish-brown.
The Common Pochard is a medium-sized diving duck.
The adult male has a long dark bill with a grey band, a red head and neck, a black breast, red eyes and a grey back. The adult female has a brown head and body and a narrower grey bill band. The triangular head shape is distinctive. Pochards are superficially similar to the closely related North American Redhead and Canvasback.
Their breeding habitat is marshes and lakes with a metre or more water depth. Pochards breed in much of temperate and northern Europe into Asia. They are migratory, and winter in the southern and west of Europe.
These are gregarious birds, forming large flocks in winter, often mixed with other diving ducks, such as Tufted Duck, which they are known to hybridise with.
These birds feed mainly by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic plants with some molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish. They often feed at night, and will upend for food as well as the more characteristic diving.
In the British Isles, birds breed in eastern England and lowland Scotland, and in small numbers in Northern Ireland, with numbers increasing gradually. Large numbers overwinter in Great Britain, after retreating from Russia and Scandinavia.
The Tufted Duck is a medium-sized diving duck with a population of close to one million birds. The adult male is all black except for white flanks and a blue-grey bill. It has an obvious head tuft that gives the species its name. The adult female is brown with paler flanks, and is more easily confused with other diving ducks.
It ranges across the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, primarily the lower-to-middle altitudes of the Himalayas. It is found in Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan.
Its natural habitats are temperate forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
A medium-sized, pied woodpecker with yellow in crown. White-barred (rather than spotted) black. Underparts, prominent black moustache extending to breast and black-streaked white underparts. Vent deep pink. In male forecrown brown, centre yellow, rear red with black rear neck.
The Yellow-crowned Woodpecker is a species of small pied woodpecker found in South Asia.
It is Medium-sized, pale-headed, pied woodpecker. Upperparts black, heavily spotted and barred white. Underparts dark, steaked dingywithe with red belly patch. Irregular brown cheek and neck patches. Female has yellowish crown and nape. In male nape scarlet and fore-crown yellow.
The brown-headed barbet is a resident breeder in the Indian subcontinent, widespread in India and also seen in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is an arboreal species of gardens and wooded country which eats fruit and insects. Nonetheless, it is fairly tolerant of humans and is often seen in cities, in greenery. It nests in a tree hole, laying 2-4 eggs. The bird is largely frugivorous on mangos, ripe jack, papaya, banana, figs and similar cultivated fruit trees. Its habitat includes urban and country gardens though it tends to eschew heavy forest. It nests in a suitable hole in a tree that it will often excavate out, not unlike a woodpecker. A pair will take it in turns to incubate the eggs and they often communicate with each other.
This is a relatively large barbet at 27 cm. It is a plump bird, with a short neck, large head and short tail. The adult has a streaked brown head, neck and breast, with a yellow eye patch. The rest of the plumage is green. The bill is thick and red. Sexes are similar.
The White-cheeked Barbet is very similar to the Brown-headed Barbet, but this species is endemic to the forest areas of southern India and has distinctive supercilium and a broad white cheek stripe below the eye.
They lack the orange eye-ring of the other species which is mainly found in drier habitats although the ranges of the two species partly overlap.
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 Grey Hornbill is a hornbill that is endemic to the Western Ghats and associated hills of southern India. They have a large beak but lack the casque that is prominent in other species of hornbills. They are found mainly in dense forest and around rubber, arecanut or coffee plantations. They move around in small groups, feeding on figs and other forest fruits. Their loud cackling and laughing call makes them familiar to people living in the region.
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 black-capped kingfisher is a tree kingfisher which is widely distributed in tropical Asia from India east to China, Korea and Southeast Asia. It is distinctive in having a black cap that contrasts with the whitish throat, purple blue wings and the coral red bill. The species is mainly found in coastal and mangrove habitats but can sometimes be found far inland.
The adult has a purple-blue wings and back, black head and shoulders, white neck collar and throat, and rufous underparts. The large bill and legs are bright red. In flight, large white patches or 'mirrors' at the base of the primaries are visible on the blue and black wings. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are a duller version of the adult and show streaks on the throat.
Usually seen on coastal waters and especially in mangroves, it is easily disturbed, but perches conspicuously and dives to catch fish but also feeds on large insects. The flight of the black-capped kingfisher is rapid and direct, the short rounded wings whirring.
The Blue-cheeked Bee-eater breeds in Northern Africa, and the Middle East from eastern Turkey to Kazakhstan and India. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa, although some populations breed and live year round in the Sahel. This species occurs as a rare vagrant north of its breeding range, with most vagrants occurring in Italy and Greece.
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-colored, slender bird. It is predominantly green; its face has blue sides with a black eye stripe, and a yellow and brown throat; the beak is black. It can reach a length of 32 cm, with the two elongated central tail feathers adding another 7 cm. Sexes are mostly alike but the tail-streamers of the female are shorter.
The Blue-tailed Bee-eater is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family. It breeds in southeastern Asia. It is strongly migratory. This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It is predominantly green; its face has a narrow blue patch with a black eye stripe, and a yellow and brown throat; the tail is blue and the beak is black. It is 27cm long, including the two elongated central tail feathers. Male and female are alike.
Blue-tailed Bee-eater breeds in sub-tropical open country, such as farmland, parks or ricefields. It is most often seen near large waterbodies. Like other bee-eaters it predominantly eats insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.This species probably takes bees and dragonflies in roughly equal numbers. The insect that are caught are beaten on the perch to kill and break the exoskeleton.
These bee-eaters are gregarious, nesting colonially in sandy banks or open flat areas. They make a relatively long tunnel in which the 5 to 7 spherical white eggs are laid. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs. These birds also feed and roost communally.
The Pied Crested Cuckoo is a member of cuckoo order of birds that is found in Africa and Asia. It is partially migratory and in India, it has been considered a harbinger of the Monsoon rains due to the timing of its arrival.
It has been associated with a bird in Indian mythology and poetry, known as the 'chatak' and represented as a bird with a beak on its head that waits for rains to quench its thirst.
This medium sized, slim black and white cuckoo with a crest is distinctive. The white wing patch on the black wing and the pattern make it unmistakable even in flight.
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 Crow Pheasant is a large non-parasitic member of the cuckoo order of birds. A widespread resident in Asia, from India, east to south China and Indonesia. They are large, crow-like with a long tail and coppery brown wings and found in wide range of habitats from jungle to cultivation and urban gardens. They are weak fliers, and are often seen clambering about in vegetation or walking on the ground as they forage for insects, eggs and nestlings of other birds. They have a familiar deep resonant call which is associated with omens in many parts of its range.
This is a large species of cuckoo at 50 cm. The head is black, upper mantle and underside are black glossed with purple. The back and wings are chestnut brown. There are no pale shaft streaks on the coverts. The eyes are ruby red. Juveniles are duller black with spots on the crown and there are whitish bars on the underside and tail. The race of the Assam and Bangladesh region is smaller than the race found in the sub-Himalayan zone. Songs of the races are said to vary considerably. Race of southern India has a black head and the underparts glossed blue and has the forehead, face and throat more brownish. The male and female are similar in plumage but females are slightly larger.
The Crow Pheasant is a large bird which takes a wide range of insects, caterpillars and small vertebrates even snakes. They are also known to eat bird eggs, nestlings, fruits and seeds.
They sunbathe in the mornings singly OR in pairs on the top of vegetation with their wings spread out. They are most active in the warm hours of the morning and in the late afternoon.
The Indian Lorikeet is a small parrot which is a resident breeder from India, Nepal and some other areas of Southeast Asia. It undergoes local movements, driven mainly by the availability of the fruit, seeds, buds and blossoms that make up its diet. They frequently seen near the Banyan tree for the fruit and Plantain trees for the nectar from the flowers. It is a bird of dry jungle and cultivation.
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 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 barn owl is the most widely distributed species of owl, and one of the most widespread of all birds. It is also referred to as the common barn owl, to distinguish it from other species in its family. Barn owls specialise in hunting animals on the ground and nearly all of their food consists of small mammals which they locate by sound, their hearing being very acute.
The barn owl is a medium-sized, pale-coloured owl with long wings and a short, squarish tail. The pale face with its heart shape and black eyes give the flying bird a distinctive appearance, like a flat mask with oversized, oblique black eyeslits, the ridge of feathers above the bill somewhat resembling a nose.
Like most owls, the barn owl is nocturnal, relying on its acute sense of hearing when hunting in complete darkness. It often becomes active shortly before dusk and can sometimes be seen during the day when relocating from one roosting site to another.
This species is an all-year resident throughout most tropical and subtropical parts of the Indian Subcontinent to Southeast Asia and adjoining regions. The typical habitat of brown fish owls is forest and woodland bordering streams, lakes or rice fields. This species is a large owl, but it is intermediate in size between other fish owls. It has prominent ear tufts but as in all fish owls, their tufts hang to the side of the head and have a scraggly look. The upperparts are rufous brown and heavily streaked with black or dark brown. The underparts are buffy-fulvous to whitish, with wavy dark brown streaks and finer brown barring. The throat is white and can be conspicuously puffed, while the facial disk is indistinct. The irides are golden yellow, the feet a duller yellow, and the bill is dark. Sexes do not differ in appearance except for size.
It grabs food by gliding over the water, nearly skimming it with its feet and grabbing its prey by quickly extending its long legs. It feeds mainly on fishes, frogs and aquatic crustaceans. It usually selects the larger freshwater fish available in waterways. Compared to the tawny fish owl, which prefers flowing waters, brown fish owls frequently hunt in still or stagnant waters.
The Laughing Dove is a small pigeon which is a resident breeding bird in the tropics in Africa south of the Sahara, the Middle East and southern Asia east to India. Probably as the result of stowaways from Africa or India, the bird is also found in a localised area of Western Australia.
The Laughing Dove is a long-tailed, slim pigeon, typically 25 cm in length. Its back, wings and tail are reddish-brown with blue-grey in the wings. In flight, the underwings are rich chestnut.
The head and underparts are pinkish, shading to whitish on the lower abdomen. There is black spotting on the throat. The legs are red. Juveniles are more rufous than adults, and have reduced throat spotting.
It is a common and widespread species in scrub, dry farmland and habitation over a good deal of its range, often becoming very tame.
This species builds a stick nest in a tree and lays two white eggs. Its flight is quick, with the regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings which are characteristic of pigeons in general.
Laughing Doves eat grass, seeds, grains, other vegetation and small insects. They are fairly terrestrial, foraging on the ground in grasslands and cultivation. They are not particularly gregarious, and are usually alone, or in pairs.
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 Pied Imperial Pigeon is a relatively large, pied species of pigeon. It is found in forest, woodland, mangrove, plantations and scrub in Southeast Asia, ranging from Myanmar and Thailand south to Java and east to the Philippines and the Bird's Head Peninsula in New Guinea. It is mainly found on small islands and in coastal regions.
The widespread nominate subspecies of the pied imperial pigeon differs from all these by its plain white thighs and undertail coverts (though often with a dark spot at the very tip), and its narrowly dark-tipped bluish bill.
The Purple 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 Purple 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 Purple 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 Common Coot is a member of the rail and crake bird family. The Australian subspecies is known as the Australian Coot whereas American sub species is known as American Coot.
The Coot breeds across much of the Old World on freshwater lakes and ponds. It occurs and breeds in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. The species has recently expanded its range into New Zealand. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, but migrates further south and west from much of Asia in winter as the waters freeze.
The Coot is 42 cm long, and is largely black except for the white facial shield. As a swimming species, the Common Coot has partial webbing on its long strong toes.
The juvenile is paler than the adult, has a whitish breast, and lacks the facial shield; the adult black plumage develops when about 4 months old, but the white shield is only fully developed at about one year old.
The Coot is an omnivore, and will take a variety of small live prey including the eggs of other water birds, as well as algae, vegetation, seeds and fruit. It shows considerable variation in its feeding techniques, grazing on land or in the water. In the water it may upend in the fashion of a Mallard or dive in search of food.
The Common Snipe is a small, stocky wader. The breeding habitat is marshes, bogs, tundra and wet meadows throughout northern Europe and northern Asia. It is migratory, with European birds wintering in southern and western Europe and Africa, and Asian migrants moving to tropical southern Asia.
Adults are30 cm in length with a 50 cm wingspan and a weight of 150 g. They have short greenish-grey legs and a very long straight dark bill. The body is mottled brown with straw-yellow stripes on top and pale underneath. They have a dark stripe through the eye, with light stripes above and below it. The wings are pointed. It is the most widespread of several similar snipes.
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 bar-tailed godwit is a relatively short-legged species of godwit. The bill-to-tail length is 37–41 cm (15–16 in), with a wingspan of 70–80 cm (28–31 in). Males average smaller than females but with much overlap; males weigh 190–400 g (6.7–14.1 oz), while females weigh 260–630 g (9.2–22.2 oz); there is also some regional variation in size (see subspecies, below). The adult has blue-grey legs and a very long dark bill with a slight upward curve and pink at the tip. The neck, breast and belly are unbroken brick red in breeding plumage, off white in winter. The back is mottled grey.
The Eurasian Curlew is one of the most widespread of the curlews, breeding across temperate Europe and Asia. It is mainly grayish brown, with a white back, and a very long curved bill. Males and females look identical, but the bill is longest in the adult female. It is generally not possible to recognize the sex of a single Eurasian Curlew, or even several ones as there is much variation; telling male and female of a mated pair apart is usually possible however.
The Terek Sandpiper is named after the Terek River which flows into the west of the Caspian Sea, as it was first observed around this area.
It is slightly larger than the Common Sandpiper, its long up curved bill [somewhat similar to Avocet's, but not as strongly curved] makes it very distinctive. It has a grey back, face and breast in all plumages; a white supercilium may appear more or less distinct. The belly is whitish and the feet yellow; the bill has a yellowish base, with the rest being black.
The Ruddy Turnstone is a small wading bird. It is a highly migratory bird, breeding in northern parts of Eurasia and North America and flying south to winter on coastlines almost worldwide. It is the only species of turnstone in much of its range and is often known simply as Turnstone.
It is a fairly small and stocky bird, 25 cm long with a wingspan of 60 cm and a weight of 150 gm. The dark, wedge-shaped bill is slightly upturned. The legs are fairly short and are bright orange.
The little stint is a very small wader. It breeds in arctic Europe and Asia, and is a long-distance migrant, wintering south to Africa and south Asia. It occasionally is a vagrant to North America and to Australia.
Its small size, fine dark bill, dark legs and quicker movements distinguish this species from all waders except the other dark-legged stints. It can be distinguished from these in all plumages by its combination of a fine bill tip, unwebbed toes and long primary projection. The call is a sharp 'stit'.
The curlew sandpiper is a small wader that breeds on the tundra of Arctic Siberia. It is strongly migratory, wintering mainly in Africa, but also in south and southeast Asia and in Australasia. It is a vagrant to North America.
These birds are small waders, only slightly larger than dunlin at 21 cm in length, but differ from Dunlin in having a longer down-curved bill, longer neck and legs and a white rump. The breeding adult has patterned dark grey upperparts and brick-red underparts. In winter, this bird is pale grey above and white below, and shows an obvious white supercilium. Juveniles have a grey and brown back, a white belly and a peach-coloured breast.
The Pheasant-tailed Jacana is a bird from Jacanas family. It is a group of waders that are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in shallow lakes, their preferred habitat. The Pheasant-tailed Jacana is capable of swimming, although it usually walks on the vegetation. The females are more colourful than the males and are polyandrous.
This is the only jacana to have a different breeding plumage. The Pheasant-tailed Jacana is a conspicuous and unmistakable bird. They are around 31 cm long, with the females larger than the males. During the breeding season, the long tail adds another 8 cm. The outermost primaries have a spatulate extension of 2 cm and the seventh primary has a broad protrusion.
Breeding adults are mainly black other than white wings, head, and fore neck. The hind neck is golden. There is a striking white eyestripe. The legs and very long toes are grey.
Non-breeding adults lack the long tail. The underparts are white except for a brown breast band and neck stripe. The side of the neck is golden.
Young birds have brown upperparts. The underparts are white, with a weak brown breast band.
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.
It breeds above the tree line in the Himalayas and discontinuously across to bare coastal plains in north-eastern Siberia, with the Mongolian Plover in the eastern part of the range; it has also bred in Alaska. It nests in a bare ground scrape, laying three eggs. This species is strongly migratory, wintering on sandy beaches in east Africa, south Asia and Australasia.
This plover is long-legged and long-billed. Breeding males have grey backs and white underparts. The breast, forehead and nape are chestnut, and there is a black eye mask. The female is duller, and winter and juvenile birds lack the chestnut, apart from a hint of rufous on the head. Legs are dark and the bill black.
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.
This bird has a black cap and orange bill that contrasts with the white body. With its long wings it looks tern-like and is about 40–43 cm long with a wingspan of 108 cm. The upper parts of the body are dark black and the underparts are white. The black cap on the head leaves the forehead and nape white. The wings are long and pointed with a white trailing edge. The short, forked tail is white with blackish central feathers. The long, thick bill is orange with a yellow tip and, like the other skimmers, has a lower mandible which is longer than the upper mandible. The legs and feet are red. The lower bill is knife-like and flexible and the tip appears truncated. Young birds have bills that appear normal and with age the lower mandible grows. The upper mandible is capable of considerable mobility.
The Brown-headed Gull is a small gull which breeds in the high plateaus of central Asia from Tajikistan to Ordos in Inner Mongolia. It is migratory, wintering on the coasts and large inland lakes of tropical southern Asia.
This gull breeds in colonies in large reedbeds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species, and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.
This is a bold and opportunist feeder, which will scavenge in towns or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish.
The Brown-headed Gull is slightly larger than Black-headed Gull. The summer adult has a pale brown head, lighter than that of Black-headed, a pale grey body, and red bill and legs. The black tips to the primary wing feathers have conspicuous white 'mirrors'. The underwing is grey with black flight feathers. The brown hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark vertical streaks.
This bird takes two years to reach maturity. First year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less homogeneous hood.
The Black-shouldered Kite is a ashy gray bird with black patches on the shoulder, conspicuous at rest as well as in flight. Seen in singles in fringes of the forest and in grassland hovering in the mid-air to scan the ground and drops down on prey. Food : Insects, mice & lizards.
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-bellied Sea Eagle is a large bird of prey in the family which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards and harriers.
It is resident from India through southeast Asia to Australia on coasts and major waterways. This large eagle is very distinctive. The adult has white head, breast underwing coverts and tail. The upperparts are grey and the black underwing flight feathers contrast with the white coverts. The tail is short and wedge-shaped as in all Haliaeetus species.
The Crested Serpent Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey that is found in forested habitats across tropical Asia. They fly over the forest canopy on broad wings and tail have wide white and black bars. They call often with a loud, piercing and familiar three or two-note call. They often feed on snakes, giving them their name.
This medium-large, dark brown eagle is stocky, with rounded wings and a short tail. Its short black and white fan-shaped nuchal crest gives it a thick-necked appearance. The bare facial skin and feet are yellow. The underside is spotted with white and yellowish-brown. When perched the wing tips do not reach until the tail tip. In soaring flight, the broad and paddle-shaped wings are held in a shallow V. The tail and underside of the flight feathers are black with broad white bars. Young birds show a lot of white on the head. The tarsus is un-feathered and covered by hexagonal scales. The upper mandible does not have an overhanging festoon to the tip.
The Shikra is a widespread resident breeder throughout south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
It nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It lays 3-7 eggs. This bird is a small raptor (26-30cm) with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to fast manoeuvring. The normal flight of this species is a characteristic ''flap – flap – glide''.
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 great crested grebe is the largest member of the grebe family, with some larger species residing in the Americas. They measure 20 in long with 29 in wingspan and weigh 1.5 kg. It is an excellent swimmer and diver, and pursues its fish prey underwater. The adults are unmistakable in summer with head and neck decorations. In winter, this is whiter than most grebes, with white above the eye, and a pink bill.
It has a long and slender neck with a straight, pointed bill and, like the cormorant, it hunts for fish while its body submerged is in water. It spears a fish underwater, bringing it above the surface, tossing and juggling it before swallowing the fish head first. The body remains submerged as it swims, and the slender neck alone is visible above the water, which accounts for the colloquial name of snakebird. Like the cormorants, it has wettable feathers and it is often found perched on a rock or branch with its wings held open to dry.
The adult plumage above is black and the wing coverts and tertials having silvery streaks along the shaft. The crown and neck are brown shading to black towards the back of the neck. The underparts are blackish brown. A pale line over the eye and throat and a line running along the sides of the neck gives it a striped appearance. The iris is white with a yellow ring (brighter yellow in breeding birds) around it. The tip of the upper mandible is dark while the base is pale brown bill while the lower mandible is yellowish. The legs and webbing on the foot are yellow in immatures and non-breeding birds while breeding birds have darker grey tarsi and toes with yellow webbing. The sexes are not easily distinguishable but males tend to have black speckles that coalesce on the white throat. Adult females have a shorter bill and tend to have the black at the base of neck and chest separated from the hind neck by a wide buff band that ends at the shoulder.
The Indian cormorant or Indian shag (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) is a member of the cormorant family. It is found mainly along the inland waters of the Indian Subcontinent. It is a gregarious species that can be easily distinguished from the similar sized little cormorant by its blue eye, small head with a sloping forehead and a long narrow bill ending in a hooked tip.
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 Grey Heron is similar to Purple Heron; but bigger and with light gray body. Bird has whitish S-shaped long neck and black dotted line down the neck. Bird can be seen in singles near water-bodies. Diet mainly contains Aquatic Insects, Fish, frogs, Crabs and Snakes.
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 Black-headed Ibis breeds in South Asia and Southeast Asia from Pakistan to India, Sri Lanka east up to Japan. It builds a stick nest in a tree and lays 2-4 eggs. It occurs in marshy wetlands inland and on the coast, where it feeds on various fish, frogs and other water creatures, as well as on insects. Adults are typically 75 cm long and white-plumaged, with some greyer areas on the wings. The bald head, the neck and legs are black. The thick curved bill is dusky yellow. Sexes are similar, but juveniles have whiter necks and a black bill.
The Dalmatian pelican is a massive member of the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe to India and China in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a crude heap of vegetation.
This huge bird is by a slight margin the largest of the pelican species and one of the largest living bird species. It measures upto 6 ft in length, 15 kg in weight and 11.5 ft in wingspan.
It inhabits scrub jungle, deciduous and dense evergreen forest. Breeding in the forests of the Himalayas, hills of central and western India, they migrate to other parts of the peninsula in winter. Although very colourful, they are usually shy and hidden in the undergrowth where the hop and pick insects on the forest floor. They have a distinctive two note whistling call which may be heard at dawn and dusk.
The Indian pitta is a small stubby-tailed bird that is mostly seen on the floor of forests or under dense undergrowth, foraging on insects in leaf litter. It has long, strong legs, a very short tail and stout bill, with a buff coloured crown stripe, black coronal stripes, a thick black eye stripe and white throat and neck. The upperparts are green, with a blue tail, the underparts buff, with bright red on the lower belly and vent.
The Rufous Treepie is an Asian treepie. It is slightly smaller than the European Magpie and has somewhat shorter, more rounded wings and a proportionately longer tail. The bill is shorter and thicker too, and slightly downcurved, and the legs are shorter.
The head, neck and breast are a deep slate-grey colour, sometimes slightly brownish. The underparts and lower back are a warm tawny-brown to orange-brown in colour with white wing coverts and black primaries. The tail is a light bluish-grey with a thick black band on the tip. The bill, legs and feet are black.
The range of this species is quite large, covering all of India up to the Himalayas, and southeasterly in a broad band into Burma (Myanmar), Laos, and Thailand in open forest consisting of scrub, plantations and gardens. This is a typically arboreal species feeding almost completely in trees on fruits, invertebrates, small reptiles and the eggs and young of birds; it has also been known to take flesh from recently killed carcasses. It is extremely agile while searching for food, clinging and clambering through the branches and will sometimes travel in small mixed hunting parties with unrelated species such as drongos and babblers.
The nest is built in trees and bushes and is usually quite shallow. There are usually 3-5 eggs laid. This species has a variety of calls, but a bob-o-link call is the commonest along with a variety of harsh calls.
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.
It has a short curve bill and a short square tail and long wings. It is usually seen perched in groups, high on powerlines, tall bare trees and most often in areas with a predominance of tall palm trees.
This stocky woodswallow has an ashy grey upperparts with a darker head and a narrow pale band on the rump. The underside is pinkish grey and the short slaty black tail is tipped in white. The finch-like bill is silvery. In flight the long wing looks very broad at the base giving it a very triangular outline. The first primary is very short. The legs are short and the birds usually perch on high vantage points from which they make aerial sallies.
Males and females are indistinguishable in the field, however an old report suggests that the sexes differ in the colour of the inside of the mouth. Young birds appear barred on the underside.
The Black-naped Oriole is found in many parts of Asia. Unlike the Golden Oriole which only has a short and narrow eye-stripe, the black-naped oriole has the stripe broadening and joining at the back of the neck. Males and females are very similar although the wing lining of the female is more greenish. The bill is pink and is stouter than in the Golden Oriole.
It is medium-sized and overall golden with a strong pinkish bill and a broad black mask and nape. The adult male has the central tail feathers tipped yellow and the lateral ones are more broadly yellow. The female has the mantle colour more greenish or olive. The juvenile has a streaked underside. The nestling has dull greenish with brown streaks. The head and nape are more yellowish and the undertail coverts are yellow.
It is found in forests, gardens and plantations. It feeds on berries and insects in the canopy.
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 Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike is a small passerine bird formerly placed in the cuckooshrike family but probably closer to the woodshrikes. It is found in the forests of tropical southern Asia from the Himalayas and hills of southern India to Indonesia. Mainly insectivorous it is found hunting in the mid-canopy of forests, often joining mixed-species foraging flocks.
Males are velvety black while females tend to be greyish brown but the pattern varies across the geographic populations. Both males and females of the Himalayan H. p. capitalis have a brown back but the males have a black head. The Sri Lankan population leggei lacks sexual dimorphism in plumage. H. p. intermedius has only the females with a brownish back. The tail is black but the outer tail feathers are white while the non-central tail feathers are tipped with white.
The Black Drongo is the small Asian passerine bird of the drongo family. Previously Blak Drongo was considered as a subspecies of the African Fork-tailed Drongo; but it is now recognized as a full species. Geographically, the Fork-tailed Drongo is restricted to Africa, while the Black Drongo is an Asian species.
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. 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.
This bird is glossy black with a wide fork to the tail. Adults usually have a small white spot at the base of the gape. The iris is dark brown. The male and female cannot be told apart in the field. Juveniles are brownish and may have some white barring or speckling towards the belly and vent, and can be mistaken for the White-bellied Drongo. First-year birds have white tips to the feathers of the belly, while second-years have these white-tipped feathers restricted to the vent.
They are aggressive and fearless birds, and although only 30cm in length, they will attack much larger species that enter their nesting territory, including crows and birds of prey. This behaviour led to their former name of King Crow. 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. Smaller birds often nest in the well guarded vicinity of a nesting Black Drongo.
The adult ashy drongo is mainly dark grey, and the tail is long and deeply forked, There are a number of subspecies varying in the shade of the grey plumage. Some subspecies have white markings on the head. Young birds are dull brownish grey.
It is very dark and almost like the black drongo although this bird is slimmer and has a somewhat longer and less-splayed tail. It is found in more tall forest habitat, has dark grey underside lacking the sheen of black drongo. The iris is crimson and there is no white rictal spot. hey can imitate the calls of other birds and are capable of imitating the whistling notes of a Common Iora.
It is found in the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, eastwards towards parts of Southeast Asia. Its range includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Tibet, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is temperate forests. The male fits the description of the nominate species, but the female does not have a chestnut belly or the bright blue primary feathers of the male.
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 Malabar Whistling Thrush is a whistling thrush in the thrush family. The species is a resident in the Western Ghats and associated hills of peninsular India including central India and parts of the Eastern Ghats.
This large thrush appears blackish with shiny patches of blue on the forehead and shoulders. The blue becomes visible only in oblique lighting. The bill and legs are black. The male and female are indistinguishable and juveniles are more brownish and lack the blue forehead.
The species is found all along the Western Ghats south of the Surat Dangs. They are also found along the Satpura range to northwestern Orissa. Also locally in the Eastern Ghats. Populations are not migratory but have been known to disperse widely in winter.
Malabar Whisting Thrushes are usually found in dark undergrowth and dense riverine forest. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, crabs, frogs, earthworms and berries. They are usually seen singly or in pairs.
The male sings its varied and melodious whistling song from trees during summer. They may song for long early at dawn but at other times of the day they often utter sharp single or two note whistles. They were once popular as cage birds, with the ability to learn entire tunes. They bathe frequently in water usually in the mornings and evenings but at midday during hot weather.
The Orange-headed Thrush is common in well-wooded areas of India, China and southeast Asia. Most populations are resident. The species shows a preference for shady damp areas, and like many Zoothera thrushes, can be quite secretive.
The Orange-headed Thrush is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms and fruit. It nests in trees but does not form flocks. The male of this small thrush has uniform grey upperparts, and an orange head and underparts. The females and young birds have browner upper parts.
It is found in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent, stretching all the way to the nearer parts of Southeast Asia, including in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
The Indian Robin is widespread in South Asia found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The males of northern populations have a brown back whose extent gradually reduces southwards with populations in the southern peninsula having an all black back. They are commonly found in open scrub areas and often seen running along the ground or perching on low thorny shrubs and rocks. Their long tails are held erect and their chestnut undertail covert and dark body make them easily distinguishable from the Pied Bushchat and the Oriental Magpie Robin.
The Indian Robin is dimorphic in plumage with the main being mainly black with a white shoulder patch or stripe whose visible extent can vary with posture. The northern populations have the upper plumage brownish while the southern populations are black above. The males have chestnut undertail coverts and these are visible as the bird usually holds the 10 cm long tail raised upright. The females are brownish above, have no white shoulder stripe and are greyish below with the vent a paler shade of chestnut than the males. Birds of the northern populations are larger than those from southern India or Sri Lanka. Juvenile birds are much like females but the throat is mottled.
Male with larger white pattern on top of the head and brown red spots under the wings. It is found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, as well as some adjoining areas. The species ranges across Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is temperate forests.
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.
It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
The desert wheatear is a migratory insectivorous species, 6 inches in length. Both western and eastern forms of the desert wheatear are rare vagrants to western Europe. The western desert wheatear breeds in the Sahara and the northern Arabian peninsula. The eastern race is found in the semi-deserts of central Asia and in winter in Pakistan and northeast Africa.
The plumage of the upper parts of the male in summer is buff. The underparts are white with a buff tinge on the breast. The black on the face and throat extends to the shoulders, and there is distinct white superciliary stripe. The female is greyer above and buffer below and has no black on the throat, and in the winter plumage the black on the throat of the male is partially obscured by the white tips of the feathers. A distinguishing characteristic, in both sexes of all ages, is that the entire tail is black to the level of the upper tail-coverts.
The isabelline wheatear is a migratory insectivorous bird. Its habitat is steppe and open countryside and it breeds in southern Russia and central Asia to Northern Pakistan, wintering in Africa and northwestern India. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.
In coloring it resembles a female northern wheatear but it is larger at 6.5 in in length, more upright and more tawny in colour, and has more black on its tail. The term isabelline refers to the parchment-like coloration. The axillaries and underwing coverts are white, whereas in the commoner bird they are mottled with grey. The sexes are similar.
The Brahminy Starling is a member of the starling family of birds. They are usually seen in pairs or small flocks in open habitats on the plains of South Asia.
This myna is pale buff creamy with a black cap and a loose crest. The bill is yellow with a bluish base. The iris is pale and there is a bluish patch of skin around the eye. The outer tail feathers have white and the black primaries of the wings do not have any white patches. The adult male has a more prominent crest than the female and also has longer neck hackles. Juveniles are duller and the cap is browner.
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.
Bank Myna is a myna found in South Asia. It is smaller but similar in colouration to the Common Myna but differs in having a brick red bare skin behind the eye in place of yellow. It is greyer on the underside and in this and in the presence of a slight tuft of feathers bears some resemblance to the Jungle Myna. They are found in flocks on the plains of northern and central India, often within towns and cities. Their range appears to be extending southwards in India. The name is derived from their habit of nesting almost exclusively in the earthen banks of rivers where they excavate holes and breed in large colonies.
The head is black on the crown and sides and the upper plumage is slaty grey while the underside is lighter grey with pale pink plumage towards the centre of the abdomen. The wing is black but has a wing patch at the base of the primaries and the tips of the outer tail feathers are pale pinkish buff. The naked skin behind the eye is brick red, the legs are yellow while the iris is deep red. The sexes are indistinguishable in the field. Young birds have a browner head and neck.
The Himalayan black-lored tit (Parus xanthogenys) is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. The yellow-cheeked tit is probably its closest relative, and it may also be related to the yellow tit. These three tits almost certainly form a distinct lineage.
Lore in the bird's common name refers to the area between eye and bill.
This species is a resident breeder in the Himalayas. It is an active and agile feeder, taking insects and spiders from the forest canopy, and sometimes fruit.
It uses woodpecker or barbet holes for nesting, and will also excavate its own hole or use man-made sites.
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 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 feeds on fruits and small insects and they conspicuously perch on trees and their calls are a loud three or four note call. The distinctive crest and the red-vent and whiskers makes them easy to identify. They are very common in hill forests and urban gardens within its range.
The Red-whiskered Bulbul is 20 cm in length. It has brown upper-parts and whitish underparts with buff flanks and a dark spur running onto the breast at shoulder level. It has a tall pointed black crest, red face patch and thin black moustachial line. The tail is long and brown with white terminal feather tips, but the vent area is red. The life span is about 11 years.
The White-eared Bulbul is a member of the bulbul family. It is found in Kuwait, mid and southern Iraq, southern Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, north-western India, in parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and on the Arabian peninsula.
This species is very similar in appearance to the Himalayan White-cheeked Bulbul but smaller and uncrested and with a larger white cheek patch. It has a pale bare eye-ring. The vent is orange yellow. Male and female are alike.
It is found in scrub forest and gardenland. Also found in flocks or pairs in the mangroves, gorging on the fruits of the Meswak bush. Usually seen in pairs or small groups. It feeds on fruits and insects, and breeds in March-June.
The Grey-breasted Prinia is a small warbler, resident breeder in the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka and southeast Asia.
It is typically found in open woodland, scrub jungle, and other open areas with some grass.
These 15 cm long warblers have short rounded wings, a longish tail, strong legs and a short black bill. In breeding plumage, adults are grey-brown above, with no supercilium, a black eye stripe and orange eye-ring. They have a rufous wing panel. Grey-breasted Prinia's underparts are white with a grey breast band. Non-breeding birds have browner upperpart plumage and a white supercilium, but lack the breast band. Young birds are like non-breeding adults but more rufous above.
Like most warblers, Grey-breasted Prinia is insectivorous.
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.
Plain Prinia is a resident breeder from Pakistan and India to south China and southeast Asia. It is typically found in wet lowland grassland, open woodland, scrub and sometimes gardens. The Plain Prinia builds its nest in a shrub or tall grass and lays 3-6 eggs.
These 15 cm long warblers have short rounded wings, a longish tail, strong legs and a short black bill. In breeding plumage, adults are grey-brown above, with a short white supercilium and rufous fringes on the closed wings. Underparts are whitish-buff. The sexes are identical.
The clamorous reed warbler breeds from Egypt eastwards through Pakistan, Afghanistan and northernmost India to south China, southeast Asia and south to Australia.
Most populations are sedentary, but the breeding birds in Pakistan, Afghanistan and north India are migratory, wintering in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. This bird is a species found in large reed beds, often with some bushes. 3-6 eggs are laid in a basket nest in reeds.Clamorous reed warbler is a large song thrush-sized warbler at 20 cm. The adult has an unstreaked brown back and whitish underparts. The forehead is flattened, and the bill is strong and pointed. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers.
Common Babblers are found in dry open scrub country mainly in India. This small, slim babbler with a long tail is buff to grey above with dark streaks. The underside is unstreaked and paler, the throat being nearly whitish. Like most other babblers, the common babbler is found in small parties of six to twenty. They are vociferous, moving on the ground often with members keeping watch from the tops of bushes. They forage through the undergrowth hopping on the ground and creeping like rodents. When moving on the ground, they often keep the long tail raised.
It is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is about six inches in length, generally olive green, and has a yellow throat with orange shading on the breast. It also has a dull yellowish ring around the eye that extends to the beak. The edges of the wing feathers are brightly colored with yellow, orange, red and black and the forked tail is olive brown and blackish at the tip. The cheeks and side of the neck are a bluish gray color. The female is a lot paler than the male and lacks the red patch on the wings. It doesn't fly frequently, except in open habitats. This bird is very active and an excellent singer but very secretive and difficult to see.
It is a bird of the hill forests, found in every type of jungle though it prefers pine forests with bushes. It has also been found at elevations ranging from near sea level to about 7,500 feet.
This bird feeds on animal matter. It eats fruits such as strawberries, ripened papaya, guavas and also various species of Diptera, Mollusca, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera. Its food is usually gathered from foliage and dead wood and it usually searches for food in lower strata of vegetation.
It is found in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent, ranging across India, Nepal and Bhutan. Its natural habitat is the temperate forests of the Lower to Middle Himalayas. The species has an unmistakable appearance with its rufous-dominated colouration and black head, and is often seen with its crest raised. It is a vigorous, melodious singer. It feeds on berries and insects.
Its range extends across the Himalayan forests in northern India to northeast Indian states, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and in the east to Indochina including Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. The whiskered yuhina is sometimes found in mixed hunting parties with other yuhina and fulvetta species, but it has also been reported to not associate with mixed hunting parties in some areas. It is described as one of the commonest yuhinas in the Himalayas, although it is relatively uncommon to rare at low elevations. It prefers relatively undisturbed closed canopy cover.
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 crested lark is a species of lark distinguished from the other 81 species of lark by the crest of feathers that rise up in territorial or courtship displays and when singing. Common to mainland Europe, the birds can also be found in northern Africa and in parts of western Asia and China. It is a non-migratory bird.
The Purple-rumped Sunbird is mainly from Indian Subcontinent. Like other sunbirds, they are small in size, feeding mainly on nectar but sometimes take insects, particularly when feeding young. They can hover for short durations but usually perch to feed. They build a hanging pouch nest made up of cobwebs, lichens and plant material. Males are brightly coloured but females are olive above and yellow to buff below.
Purple-rumped Sunbirds are tiny at less than 10 cm long. They have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding. The males have a dark maroon upperside with a blue-green crown that is visible in some angles. There are violet patches on the throat and rump which are visible only in good lighting. There is also a maroon breast band. In the Western Ghats, it can overlap in some areas with the Crimson-backed Sunbird but that species has reddish upperparts. The female has a white throat followed by yellowish breast. There is a bright green shoulder patch. The upperside is olive or brownish. The uppertail coverts are black and a weak supercilium is visible. The nominate form is found in Sri Lanka and has a more bluish violet throat whereas the Indian form flaviventris has a more pinkish tinge.
The Chestnut-shouldered Petronia is a species of sparrow-like bird found in South Asia. It is found in forest and open scrub habitats. The species breeds in tree hollows often making use of the holes made be primary hole nesting birds such as barbets and woodpeckers.
It has a finer bill than typical sparrows and unlike them has no streaks on the plumage. The white double wing bar on the shoulder is diagnostic on the otherwise dull grey-brown sparrow. Males have a chestnut shoulder patch which can sometimes be hard to see. They also have a pale yellow spot on the throat in fresh plumage. Females are duller and lack the chestnut shoulder patch. The yellow spot is much reduced or lacking in females.
This is a distinctive wagtail, the only one placed in the genus Dendronanthus (all other wagtails are placed in Motacilla). The forest wagtail is 18 cm in length, a slender bird with a long tail. The back and crown are olive brown, and the wings are black with two yellow wing bars and white tertial edges. There is a white supercilium, above a dark stripe through the eye. The underparts are white, apart from a black double breast band. The upper breast band is bib-like while the lower band is often broken. Sexes are similar. Young birds are more yellowish on the underside.
The Tree Pipit is a small passerine bird which breeds across most of Europe and temperate western and central Asia. It is a long-distance migrant moving in winter to Africa and southern Asia.
This is a small pipit, which resembles Meadow Pipit. This is an undistinguished looking species, streaked brown above and with black markings on a white belly and buff breast below. It can be distinguished from the slightly smaller Meadow Pipit by its heavier bill and greater contrast between its buff breast and white belly. Tree Pipits more readily perch in trees.
The bird rises a short distance up from a tree, and then parachutes down on stiff wings, the song becoming more drawn out towards the end.
The breeding habitat is open woodland and scrub. The nest is on the ground, with 4–8 eggs being laid. This species is insectivorous, like its relatives, but will also take seeds.
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 Scaly-breasted Munia is a small perching bird. The Scaly breasted Munia has been introduced in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, where they are already widespread in lowland agricultural areas and are called pechijabao. Flocks of fifteen or more have been observed visiting bird feeders in Orange County, California, USA. It has also been introduced to Australia where it has a common to uncommon distribution along the east coast, from north of Townsville to south of Sydney.
The Scaly-breasted Munia is a small gregarious bird which feeds mainly on seeds. It frequents open woodland and cultivation. The nest is a large domed grass structure in a tree or under the eaves of a house into which 4–10 white eggs are laid. The Scaly-breasted Munia is 11–12cm in length. The adult has a stubby dark bill, brown upperparts and darker brown head. The underparts are white with black scale markings. The sexes are similar, but immature birds have pale brown upperparts, lack the darker head and have uniform buff underparts.
It is found in the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, primarily in the mid-altitudes of the Himalayas, and in parts of Southeast Asia. It ranges across Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are temperate forests and temperate shrubland.
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.
This bunting has a long pink bill and is greyish above. The male has a distinctive white eye-ring that stands out in contrast to the grey hood. The chin and throat are whitish pink and are bordered by grey malar stripes. The underparts are pinkish brown. The female is duller but the moustachial stripe can appear more noticeable. The outer tail feathers are whitish.
The Common Teal is a common and widespread duck which breeds in temperate Eurasia and migrates south in winter. The Common Teal is often called simply the Teal due to being the only one of these small dabbling ducks in much of its range. The bird gives its name to the blue-green color teal.
It is a highly gregarious duck outside the breeding season and can form large flocks. It is commonly found in sheltered wetlands and feeds on seeds and aquatic invertebrates. The North American Green-winged Teal was formerly considered a subspecies of Common Teal.
The Common Teal is the smallest extant dabbling duck at 45 cm length and with an average weight of 400 gm.
The males in nuptial plumage appear grey, with a dark head, a yellowish behind, and a white stripe running along the flanks. Their head and upper neck is chestnut, with a wide and iridescent dark green patch of half-moon- or teardrop-shape that starts immediately before the eye and arcs to the upper hind neck. The patch is bordered with thin yellowish-white lines, and a single line of that color extends from the patch's forward end, curving along the base of the bill.
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 Red-breasted Flycatcher is a small passerine bird. It breeds in eastern Europe and across central Asia and is migratory, wintering in south Asia. It is a regular passage migrant in western Europe.
The breeding male is 12 cm and is mainly brown above and white below, with a grey head and orange throat. The bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores. As well as taking insects in flight, this species hunts caterpillars amongst the oak foliage, and will take berries. The base of the outertail feather is white and the tail is often flicked upwards as they perch looking out for insect prey which are caught on the wing or sometimes from the ground.
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 Gull-billed Tern is a fairly large and powerful tern, similar in size and general appearance to a Sandwich Tern, but the short thick gull-like bill, broad wings, long legs and robust body are distinctive. The summer adult has grey upper parts, white underparts, a black cap, strong black bill and black legs.
In winter, the cap is lost, and there is a dark patch through the eye like a Forster's Tern or a Mediterranean Gull. Juvenile Gull-billed Terns have a fainter mask, but otherwise look much like winter adults.
The white-bellied minivet is a species of minivet found in India, mostly in dry deciduous forest. The species is characterized by stable population trend and extent of occurrence of more than 20 thousand sq km.
It is found in forest, scrub and cultivation in southern and central India. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the white-throated fantail.
The adult white-spotted fantail is about 19 cm long. It has a dark fan-shaped tail, edged in white, and white supercilium and throat. Birds are mainly slate grey above, with a black eye mask, and a white throat and eyebrow. It has whitish underparts, and a grey breast band that is spotted white.
The white-spotted fantail is insectivorous, and often fans its tail as it moves through the undergrowth.
The White-throated Fantail is a small passerine bird. It is found in forest, scrub and cultivation across tropical southern Asia from the Himalayas, India and Bangladesh east to Indonesia.
The adult White-throated Fantail is about 20 cm long. It has a dark fan-shaped tail, edged in white, and white supercilium and throat. There is otherwise much variation in plumage between races. Most resemble the Himalayan which is mainly slate grey above and below, with a black eye mask, and a white throat and eyebrow, but of Peninsular India has whitish underparts, and a grey breast band that is spotted white.
The White-throated Fantail lays three eggs in a small cup nest in a tree. The White-throated Fantail is insectivorous, and often fans its tail as it moves through the undergrowth.
In most of its range in Asia, this is the largest of the drongo species and is readily identifiable by the distinctive tail rackets and the crest of curled feather that begin in front of the face above the beak and along the crown to varying extents according to the subspecies. The tail with twirled rackets is distinctive and in flight it can appear as if two large bees were chasing a black bird. In the eastern Himalayas the species can be confused with the lesser racket-tailed drongo, however the latter has flat rackets with the crest nearly absent.
Young birds are duller, and can lack a crest while moulting birds can lack the elongate tail streamers. The racket is formed by the inner web of the vane but appears to be on the outer web since the rachis has a twist just above the spatula.
Like other drongos, these feed mainly on insects but also feed on fruits and visit flowering trees for nectar. Having short legs, they sit upright and are often perched on high and exposed branches. They are aggressive and will sometimes mob larger birds especially when nesting. They are often active at dusk.
The typical adult male Asian Paradise-flycatcher is about 20 cm long, but the long tail streamers double this.
It has a glossy black crown and crest, blue eye-ring and a long narrow rounded tail. The body and wings are white with very long central pair of tail feathers which form streamers that droop. The Females are much like the sub-adult males or rufous-morphs but the throat is greyish and not black and they lack streamers. The Asian Paradise-flycatcher is a noisy bird with a sharp skreek call.
It has short legs and sits very upright whilst perched prominently, like a shrike. It is insectivorous, hunting by flycatching in the understory. They bathe in small pools of water in the afternoon by diving from perches.
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.
The Asian Fairy-bluebird is a medium-sized, found in forests across tropical southern Asia from the Himalayan foothills, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The iris is crimson and eyelids pinkish; the bill, legs and claws are black, and mouth a flesh- colour. Marked sexual dimorphism is evident. The male is a shining ultramarine-blue with lilac reflections on its upper plumage, lesser wing coverts, and under tail coverts, while the sides of its head and the whole lower plumage are deep black; greater wing-coverts, quills, and tail black, and some of the coverts tipped with blue, and the middle tail-feathers glossed with blue.
The Asian fairy bluebird eats fruits, nectar and some insects. Its call is a liquid two note glue-it. It breeds from February to April, constructing a shallow cup-shaped nest, sometimes of moss and sometimes of small twigs, in a sapling or small tree. The eggs, which are generally two in number, are greenish white marked with brown.
The Nilgiri flowerpecker is a tiny bird in the flowerpecker family. Formerly a subspecies of what used to be termed as the plain flowerpecker although that name is now reserved for Dicaeum minullum. Like others of the group, it feeds predominantly on nectar and fruits. They forage within the canopy of forests and are found distributed across South and Southeast Asia. They are non-migratory and the widespread distribution range includes several populations that are non-overlapping and morphologically distinct, some of which are recognized as full species. They are important pollinators and dispersers of mistletoes in forests.
It has darker olive-brown upperparts and paler greyish-white underparts compared to Plain Flowerpecker. Compared with Tickell's Flowerpecker, it has dark bill (grey with darker tip) and darker & browner upperparts and more pronounced supercilium.
Vigors's Sunbird is a species of sunbird which is endemic to the Western Ghats of India. It has been considered as a subspecies of the Crimson Sunbird but it does not have the central tail as elongated and is restricted in its distribution. The male has yellow on the lower back and tail is bottle green. The species is distributed mainly in the northern Western Ghats.
The Red-rumped Swallow is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It breeds in open hilly country of temperate southern Europe and Asia from Portugal and Spain to Japan, India and tropical Africa. The Indian and African birds are resident, but European and other Asian birds are migratory. They winter in Africa or India and are vagrants to Christmas Island and northern Australia.
Red-rumped Swallows are somewhat similar in habits and appearance to the other aerial insectivores, such as the related swallows and the unrelated swifts. They have blue upperparts and dusky underparts.
They resemble Barn Swallows, but are darker below and have pale or reddish rumps, face and neck collar. They lack a breast band, but have black undertails. They are fast fliers and they swoop on insects while airborne. They have broad but pointed wings.
Red-rumped Swallows build quarter-sphere nests with a tunnel entrance lined with mud collected in their beaks, and lay 3 to 6 eggs. They normally nest under cliff overhangs in their mountain homes, but will readily adapt to buildings such as mosques and bridges.
They do not normally form large breeding colonies, but are gregarious outside the breeding season. Many hundreds can be seen at a time on the plains of India.
The black bulbul is 24-25 cm in length, with a long tail. The body plumage ranges from slate grey to shimmering black, depending on the race. The beak, legs, and feet are all red and the head has a black fluffy crest. Sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds lack the crest, have whitish underparts with a grey breast band, and have a brown tint to the upperparts. They have a black streak behind the eye and on the ear coverts.
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 black-throated bushtit is a small passerine, around 10.5 cm long and weighing 4-9 g. There is considerable racial variation in the plumage, but all subspecies have a medium length tail, a black throat and a black 'bandit mask' around the eye. The nominate race has a chestnut cap, breast band and flanks and dark grey back, wings and tail, and a white belly. The other subspecies have generally the same pattern (minus the chest band) but with grey caps or all grey bellies and flanks. Both sexes are alike.
The Javan myna is native to Java and Bali and has been introduced to southeast Thailand, southern Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, the Lesser Sundas, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, and Japan. It is found in cities and cultivated areas.
The Javan myna is omnivorous and eats seeds, fruit, nectar, insects and human waste. It is often found in large groups. Its voice is similar to that of the common myna. It builds its nest in holes. The eggs are bluish-glaucous. Javan mynas are bold and not very afraid of humans.
The Asian Pied Starling is a species of starling found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. They are usually found in small groups mainly on the plains and low foothills. They are often seen within cities and villages although they are not as bold as the Common Myna. They produce a range of calls made up of liquid notes. The flight is slow and butterfly-like on round wings.
This starling is strikingly marked in black and white and has a yellowish bill with a reddish bill base. The bare skin around the eye is reddish. The upper body, throat and breast are black while the cheek, lores, wing coverts and rump are contrastingly white.
The Oriental Magpie Robin is a small passerine bird. They are distinctive black and white birds with a long tail that is held upright as they forage on the ground or perch conspicuously. Distributed in many parts of tropical South and 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.
This species is 20 cm long, including the long tail that is usually held cocked upright. It is similar in shape to the smaller European Robin, but is longer-tailed. The male has black upperparts, head and throat apart from a white shoulder patch. The underparts and the sides of the long tail are white. Females are greyish black above and greyish white. Young birds have scaly brown upperparts and head.
It is mostly seen close to the ground, hopping along branches or foraging in leaf-litter on the ground with cocked tail. Males sing loudly from the top of trees or other perch during the breeding season.
Magpie Robins breed mainly from March to July in India and January to June in Southeast Asia. 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. 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. The eggs are incubated by the female alone for 15 days. The nests have a characteristic odour.
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 neighbours 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 food of Magpie Robins is mainly insects and other invertebrates. They are known to occasionally take lizards, leeches, centipedes and even fish. They are often active late at dusk. They sometimes bathe in rainwater collected on the leaves of a tree.
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.
The Bengal Red-vented Bulbul is a subscpecies of Red-vented Bulbul. Found in the central and eastern Himalayas from Nepal to Assam, north-eastern India and Bangladesh.
The Toco Toucan is the largest and best known species in the toucan family. It is found in semi-open habitats throughout a large part of central and eastern South America. It is a common attraction in zoos.
The Toco Toucan has a striking plumage with a mainly black body, a white throat, chest and uppertail-coverts, and red undertail-coverts. What appears to be a blue iris is actually thin blue skin around the eye. This blue skin is surrounded by another ring of bare, orange skin. The most noticeable feature, however, is its huge bill, which is yellow-orange, tending to deeper reddish-orange on its lower sections and culmen, and with a black base and large spot on the tip. It looks heavy, but as in other toucans it is relatively light because the inside largely is hollow. The tongue is nearly as long as the bill and very flat.
With a total length of 65 cm including a bill that measures 20 cm, and a weight of 900 gm, it is the largest species of toucan. Males are larger than females, but otherwise both are alike. Juveniles are duller and shorter-billed than adults. Its voice consists of a deep, coarse croaking, often repeated every few seconds. It also has a rattling call and will bill-clack.