Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Giving Birds A Life

The heat wave in India doesn't seem to be abating.
Last week, we brought to you the story of the Death of a Bumble Bee due to heat stroke . Our feathered friends also are threatened by the intense heat. So, how can we help them?
Just keep some water in an earthen pitcher or flat pan in your garden or balcony for the birds to drink whenever they are thirsty. This way we may be able to save them from exhaustion and give them another life.

We did precisely that in our garden in Yapral, Secunderabad. And within no time, it became a 'water amusement park' for different birds.
The first to visit was Purple Rumped Sunbird. See the picture below. It is a female as compared to bright purple male Sunbird. This bird wanted to cool itself in the water pan by taking a dip.

Next came the drying up phase. Notice the wet part of the pot around the bird's feet. It then perched on the Tulsi तुलसी pot nearby to dry its feathers.

It was ready for another 'shower' in the bird-bathtub!

It then had a dip and cooled itself in the afternoon heat. See the water splash!

The bird was cautious like all of us before taking a dip. As if asking itself 'Hope nobody is watching' कोई देख तोे नहीं रहा है ?

 Here while taking a dip, she looked straight into the camera as if posing for us.

 The cycle was repeated many times till other birds came in the queue.

Next, it was a female sparrow, which wanted to quench its thirst.

Bulbuls can't be left behind. See the video shot by another keen bird watcher Prabjoth, our daughter-in-law who was visiting us from Chennai. She positioned herself near the kitchen window for a clear view. Thanks Prabs for this candid video.

Last fortnight, while at Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, we observed a pair of Open-billed Storks which had kept their bills open to neutralise the heat. Even though the Storks were on a lake shore having enough water, yet the heat appeared to be intense. Hence open bills. Something like the dogs do when they keep their tougue out when thirsty or out of breath.
The picture was taken from 100 meters away. Observe closely please.

So, those folks facing the heat wave, take adequate precautions. Drink plenty of water. And share some water with birds around you. You may save a bird's life.

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     - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 27th May 2015