Jun 24, 2010

Crow and Cuckoo

The crow built a cozy little nest with her partner, working hard every day. With the nest she built many a dream of herself and her partner, living peacefully and cozily in that little nest. She got in a variety of soft material like pieces of rags, feathers, cotton pieces and so on from here and there, trying to make the place warm and cozy for her little ones. Her kids would be born there, and she would feed them well and teach them to fly. Theirs would then be a perfect little family.

The nest was then built fully; she laid eggs there, her dream getting stronger everyday. Then came in a cuckoo, when the crows were away. The cuckoo slyly pushed aside one of the crow’s eggs and lay her own in place of it and fled. The crow that was totally oblivious of her egg replaced by cuckoo’s, scrupulously continued with her work of hatching the eggs.

The cuckoo’s egg hatched first, way before her own and she was excited. She fed the little one with all her might and saw the little one grow up. By now she realized that it was not her own kid, but she continued to feed the little one, since the little one was born in her own nest, by her own warmth,a nd it was away from its parents. What she failed to notice was that in bringing up her pseudo-kid, she neglected her own eggs and had failed to hatch them.

The little cuckoo grew stronger and faster, feeding on all that was fed by its crow-mother. The crow excitedly gave lessons to the little one on how to fly. In its ambition to fly, the little one had pushed off the other unhatched eggs out of the nest while fluttering its wings. It soon learnt to fly and off it flew, and joined its cuckoo group.
Back at the nest, the crow was left alone with its partner.
Cuckoos indeed do find a crows’ nest and lay eggs there. They are cunning enough as the male distracts the crows away from their nest, and the female quickly lays its eggs there. The cuckoo’s egg is hatched first and the little one grows faster. Meanwhile the cunning little one pushes off the crow’s eggs or the baby crows and gobbles most of the food brought in by the parent crows. The crows do realize that it is not their baby, but still feed it. They start hating the young one only when it starts coooo-cooo-ing unlike their kaw-kwas. By then the young one would have grown enough to fly off and join its group. The story repeats again when the little one grows up when it again finds another crow nest to lay eggs.
Facts Courtesy: KP Poornachandra Tejaswi’s MinchuLLi

Jun 16, 2010


Of late, my morning alarm is of a pair of red whiskered bulbuls, a few feet outside our window. They exactly start chirping a little after six every morning! I don’t know if I should call it ‘chirp’... it’s so distinct from other chirps. They make this sweet musical 3-note or 4-note sound like twee-twi-toooo or twi-ti-tu-toooo.....

As I said previously, my little niece Hima is also fascinated with birds now. Or she is fascinated about being fascinated like her atte! One morning I just walked down the road with her and showed her these bulbuls, and their distinct crest (which I told her was a ‘juttu’). She was, needless to say excited about a bird with a ‘juttu’ on its head.

She ran into the room as soon as we got back home and got a comb and a small rubber band. She made me tie her recently cut, short hair into a ‘juttu’. I could manage to bring together a little hair and tied it up for her. She looked into the mirror, jumped with joy and announced to everybody that she was now ‘Hima-bulbul’!

Jun 14, 2010


My interest in birds is gradually increasing! Though I have not yet done any formal ‘bird-watching’ yet, I have just been observing all the birds around office and home. Luckily my house as well as the office is outside the city, in the remote outskirts, where the birds are not yet extinct. There are many parakeets, bulbuls, robins, barbets, cuckoos, etc etc.

I must confess it was only recently that I watched cuckoos closely and could identify them. I had earlier mistaken a Drongo to be cuckoo. And whenever I heard the cuckoo’s ‘koo’ I had not been able to spot one at all. I didn’t know that the female is brown with whitish spots and made shrill ‘kwi-kwi-kwi’ while the male was bluish black with red eyes and sang ‘kooo’ in summer and also made the ‘kwu-kwu-kwu’ sound....

It’s an amazing world of birds, that’ll keep you fascinated once you get hooked on to it... Also, little Hima gives me good company in bird-watching! When she’s woken up early, she accompanies me to walk down the road and find birds; we took her out to a remote layout one evening where she spotted and showed me more birds than I could find myself, and so on. I was elated when her mom said yesterday that she showed her a cuckoo and explained to her that it was a ‘kogile’ and made ‘kooo’ sound. And she was excited about a group of parrots and told her mom ‘Wow! geen color pakshi’ (green bird)!

And this bird watchin fever has spread to my friends at office too! One team mate of mine told me that a little bird is building a nest on her exhaust fan and so she’s stopped using the fan and has been watching them. She has to frequently clean her kitchen slab because the birds are dropping some strands of grass all over! And at tea time my mates show me birds around and say they were never like this before!

Recently bought this book on birds by Poornachandra Tejaswi - ‘MinchuLLi’ meaning Kingfisher. It’s about different birds, facts about them and the author’s personal experience with some of them. Loved reading it and got to know quite a lot about some of them. There is a second book by him, which also we bought which I’ve just started reading. There is quite a bit of information that is presented, along with some interesting facts. It’s more like reading a blog with pictures than reading a book!

So, that’s about it.... but unfortunately I’ve still not been able to go birding with Chandu and his group :(..... not sure when it’s possible....