The migratory bird Brown Shrike is thronging Nandi Hills in large numbers
Spotted Look for a hooked beak, white eyebrows and a black mask around the eyes
How many of us are aware that each winter, millions of birds belonging to different species, migrate to India to escape the cold of countries further north? No one has exact dates of their arrival and how and where they go to various parts of the country.
And with climate change happening across the globe, are their migrating habits changing as well?
So, groups of volunteer birders keep an eye out and then alert their fellow bird lovers about the presence of a particular species in the area. email@example.com is an active group which posts active information regularly on various bird sightings.
At the moment, the birding population of Bangalore have been excitedly sharing ‘sighting’ notes about the Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus ) in the Nandi Hills.
“The Brown Shrike is a common winter visitor in India. It’s size is just 19 cm. It is a regular winter visitor to South India (East Coast, Kerala and southern Karnataka),” reveals Praveen, a bird lover.“ We saw the Brown Shrike on October 15 while on our way to Nandi Hills. Really a great sighting ,” says Abhijna Desai, a student.
“I photographed the bird at the foothills . Shrikes get away at the slightest disturbance. There are loads of Lantana bushes at the foothills infested with butterfly larvae which are juicy meals for the Shrikes, hence it was spotted in good number out there,” he adds. ”
“People can spot the bird in open areas filled with scrubs and bushes, ” says Clement Francis Martin who has clicked the bird on his camera. “The Migrant Watch programme collects information on the timing of migration of many species, including the Brown Shrike, from all over the country. All the information is freely available, if you register at http://www.migrantwatch.in,” says Suhel Quader, research fellow at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS).
Research studies show that the Brown Shrike’s preferred habitat is scrubs and open country.
The size is approximately to that of the common Bulbul and the bird is a winter visitor to most of the sub-continent, barring the Himalayas and the western deserts.
These are the identification pointers to look for — A hooked beak, white eyebrows and a black mask around the eyes . It has plain brown wings and back. The call however is harsh and distinctive. So take a good look at the picture and maybe you might get lucky this weekend, should you decide to go out to Nandi Hills and spot one of these winter visitors to our city.
MARIANNE DE NAZARETH
Send this article to Friends by