Sunday, September 22, 2013

new kid in the garden | lessons of life with Oriental White-eye

Change in weather always bring something new in the life. Season has been changing , giving space to new plants to grow, new flowers to blossom. After bountiful of rain, when water was available in plentiful quantity everywhere, this was the first time that the garden soil needed some artificial recharge. More when you wanted to grow a few new crops. While we were busy with cropping and watering the plants, a generous leakage in watering- hose was strategically placed to optimally utilize the water. Like humans and plants other inhabitants of the garden also need water. Hence a strategic placement of leakage to cater the need of plants and birds at the same time. Bird baths have been empty for a while now, Dengue outbreaks in Delhi have made us learn a few lessons and implement on them too.

Now the garden is not only one shade of green after the abnormally long monsoon season this year. Some younger shoots of lighter green, some sprouting roses with reddish hue and an occasional yellow cosmos. Birds are all there already.

You see any color different from green is also welcome in our Green space, be it red rose or a bird.

Yes, a young Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) or OWE, hopping in the garden under the watchful eyes of its parents. Having fun as a community. These little birds have been in the garden for years now, taking showers from the hose every now and then, photography opportunities were limited back then.

Group of three because the white-eyes are sociable, forming flocks which only separates on the approach of the breeding season. We don't necessarily have spot a OWE chick to know they are here, the flurried activities of the parents gives it away almost every time. The way they keep making very soft chik chik voices around one place and then bring some food in their tiny beak. You know there is some interesting story unfolding.

While the one parent is busy with feeding the kid the other one keeps a close eye on the surrounding. Those familiar with our garden can easily identify the place and the plants.

But the parenting is not only about feeding a kid, it also involves giving them few more lessons of life, connecting with them, playing with them, giving confidence to them so that they can handle the worldly situations by themselves.

When it comes about life lessons, it also involves drinking water and taking a bath into it. See the profusely leaky hose, positioned strategically.

See the water gushing out. But this lesson is not so easy. This parent has to lead by showing example and keeping a close watch on chicks' activities.

Showing position before dip .

Enjoying themselves in the process too.

And now its the little chick's turn to enjoy.

They fluttered wings, got wet, fluttered again to drain off all the water. And then they take the dip again. Quite playfully.

We have seen dozens of them having a shower under the hose many times when we water our plants, taking pictures was not always possible as one of us would be sleeping when it happened.

This time they decided to take a dip in the leaky hose and now we know how to attract them for good photo opportunities.

Hoping to come again with many more such bird stories.


  1. Beautiful. i need one more day to get this stuff into my brain, i ve never seen this OWE., thanks for bringing them here.

  2. These are such amazing photographs!!!!!!!!! Love the post and the pictures. I have never seen Oriental White Eye closely, let alone see their babies frolicking like this!!

  3. Did you get my comment? Lovely, unbelievably awesome pictures!!

  4. Wow!!!! That is such a wonderful post... what an encounter... I have a few birds in my garden too, although they are the humble sunbird and the myna and the bulbul... however these white eye's seem to be a riot... and kids are bumper fun it seems.... I can so imagine you and Arvind being lost in this drama capturing all day long...! :D :D :D :D :D That is so so so so so awesome.... Seriously your house is one place for me to visit next time I am in delhi... no matter what!!!! :D

  5. These birds are so pretty and you have captured a great family moment :) It won't be forgetting the image of the OWE hanging on the twig just before the dip.

  6. Seriously, one read is like NOT look at these pics cannot satiate u..was going through the page casually but got caught by the beauty of the pictures and words!! lovely..

  7. Beautiful..and so cute!! How awesome it must be to hv them in your garden.

  8. Nature's true beauty. So many birds come to my garden and it is amazing to see what all they do. :)