Archive for November, 2011

Shikar stories from Morni and around

November 30, 20110 Comments

The thick jungles that once clothed the Shivalik hill region west of Yamuna with its characteristic rugged, clay and boulder topography – a region with numerous seasonal soats (streams); dark narrow khols (rocky ravines); flat, wide duns (valleys); precipitous deep khuds and sharp mud escarpments – enjoyed a rich presence of wildlife till the end of the 19th century. The […]

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Birds of Morni: Cinereous Tit

November 23, 20110 Comments

Cinereous Tit (Parus cinereus)  is a bird of the size of the sparrow. It has a glossy black head with glistening white cheek patches. The back is grey and the under parts are white. A broad black central band runs down from the throat and is very conspicous. The wing is bluish-grey with a white-wing-bar. The tail is […]

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Birds of Morni: Rufous-backed Shrike

November 21, 20110 Comments

Rufous-backed Shrike (Lanius schach) is the size of a bulbul. Has a grey head. The rump and lower back is rufous. The under parts are whitish with a tinge of rufous. A dark, black band runs from the forehead through the eyes. The bill is stout and hooked. It is found in open, scrub area and […]

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Birds of Morni: Small Bee Eater

November 21, 20110 Comments

Small Bee Eater (Merops orientalis) is a pretty bird, the size of a sparrow. Has long, slender, slightly curved black bill that it uses to capture insects in mid-air. The bird is grass-green and perches on leafy tree-tops and is difficult to spot. The head is pale green and the throat is light blue. There is a dark […]

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Birds of Morni: Red-billed Chough

November 21, 20110 Comments

Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) a bird of the crow family, has velvet-black plummage with a glossy-green body. The long curved bill and the legs are red.The bird has a length of 15 inches and its wing span can reach 3 feet.The nasal call is loud and ringing. It inhabits the higher Himalayas (2400 m to […]

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Birds of Morni: Jungle Babbler

November 21, 20110 Comments

Jungle Babbler/ Sat bhai (Turdoides striatus) an earthy brown untidy looking bird that moves in noisy flocks or ‘sisterhoods’ of half a dozen or more (hence the common name ‘Sat bhai’ – Seven Brothers). The tail is longish. Wings are small and round and the flight is weak. The bill is yellow. The call is harsh and […]

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Birds of Morni: Cetti’s Warbler

November 21, 20110 Comments

Cetti’s Warbler is a small (5-6 inches long) but stocky, nondescript bird that skulks around in dense vegetation with scrub, usually close to water. Typically, it builds its nest in a bush near water. It has a plain reddish-brown back, a pale stripe over the eye, whitish grey underparts, a broad rounded tail and short […]

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Birds of Morni: Common Tailorbird

November 21, 20110 Comments

Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) is a tiny, energetic olive-green bird with a brownish crown and white underparts. The tail remains upright at a jaunty angle with two elongated feathers. It hops around confidently on the ground. It is found all over the contry,  in scrub area, in urban lawns and shrubbery. It has a loud […]

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Birds of Morni: Shikra

November 21, 20112 Comments

Shikra (Accipiter badius) is a lightly built hawk the size of a pigeon. The hawk is ashy blue-grey above and white below. The breast is cross barred rusty brown. The females are larger than the males and appear browner. The tail has broad blackish cross bars.  Shikra can be seen hunting in lightly wooded country […]

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Birds of Morni: Grey Francolin

November 21, 20110 Comments

Grey Francolin/ Safed Teetar (Francolinus pondicerianus) is about 2 feet in length. Is plump and greyish – brown and is barred throughout. The face and throat is pale. A black border marks the throat. The tail is short and chestnut. Males have spurs on the legs. It is found in open, thorny scrub areas around fields and villages, […]

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