Saturday, May 5, 2012

Disciplining ourselves, knowing more..bird stories....

 We do a few things out of habit. Like I used to when I would just break a leftover roti into pieces and keep it into the bird feeder. The usuial Bajra and other millets were kept on a regular basis too, the leftover breads were also put into the same feeder. Last year I even used to make some corn bread only for the birds and the squirrels around. I will not be doing it again.

After reading this information at the NBRI botanical garden I would never keep any cooked food in my bird feeders.

Also, there is a misconception that the birds need water only during the summer months. They do need water in the winters too and I watch them drinking water in my bird baths all round the year.

It's just that they take a dip into the bird bath more often during the summers. It's a treat watching them have a bath, and then preen for a long time as if straightening their dresses. I wish I had a bigger bird bath that looked great in the garden as well. A stone bird bath I saw once had a price tag of more than ten thousand bucks.

Nevertheless , there have been some power meetings in my rock garden , some romances have bloomed and there have been some more exciting times too...

You have to watch the space for an hour and you would see a constant traffic being diverted to this side...

The jungle Babblers are abundant and I have witnessed many of them coming together to the bird feeders and bird baths, taking care of the young ones and making them learn flying. They are a noisy lot and since they are always in a group of seven or even more , hence called Seven Sisters, the noise becomes annoying sometimes.

I have seen all in the family getting together and making a young chick learn flying. And when I watch them they all point their beak at me and shout at me to go away. That's a sight.

I have also seen a lame Babbler who used to stay aloof from the pack of seven and was a little grumpy all the time. But not a bit scared or low spirited. He/she had probably learnt living alone.

 I once saw the family scare away a crow who was wandering around to steal the eggs. Surprisingly, a Red crested Bulbul was helping them too. That was the first time I witnessed inter-species cooperation in birds. The crow had no choice when about a dozen birds were hawking at him. Literally.

A new story was witnessed just a few days ago. When a couple of Jungle Babbler chicks were drinking water and the mother came. Both of them started saying something aloud to the mother. See how the mother is listening carefully. How the body language is so clear...

And then the mother started scolding them it seems. Now see the body language of the chicks.

Wings still angry but the beak and face suggest they are listening...

After doing her job, the mother is proceeding to do other important things.

Inspecting around to see if the chicks are safe...

The chicks still thinking what the mother said and though they seem dissatisfied, they have to obey...

The mother has to have a drink of water before she leaves for other things to be done.

The chicks still looking dissatisfied,  reluctantly behaving themselves , following instructions.

It's such a beautiful thing to watch them bond. Till date I have seen these Babblers being the most family oriented birds. Probably that is the reason they always come in a group of seven or eight. Probably they are not siblings but the whole family together.

many pet birds are different as they seem to have picked up some human habits. Being away from the natural habitat doesn't allow us to see how they would behave normally.


  1. Brilliant captures ! The entire set lends itself to almost a complete drama. Loved this !

    1. Yes, it was high drama there :-)
      Thank you.

  2. What a story. Really see parenting in action in birds! Very cool.

    We got around the big bird bath price tag problem with an terracotta water plants urn. Cut the water plants too....the potter's price tag is very doable.

  3. BEautiful.. I am so waiting for summers .. I have similar bird baths etc and i do hope summers come then birds will come toooo :)

    lovely article loved it


  4. That was so beautiful and so well captured. An entire lesson in family life! couldn't post the comment earlier, but loved it the moment I read it that day. :)

  5. I admire you for your level of observation :). I guess this is what the japanese ppl call being one with nature