Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Intelligent Spot-billed Pelicans

This was one of the most curious things that I have seen in a while! On the 30th of November 2008, M. B. Krishna and me decided to take an early morning walk through Lalbagh. What we had not expected to see were a pair of Spot-billed Pelicans (Pelecanus philippensis) fishing in the most ingenious ways possible.

They were waiting near the bridge with other domestic ducks waiting for people above to throw bread-crumbs and other feeds for the fish. The ducks, I guess were feeding on what was thrown for the fish. The fish (cat fish?) would surface to eat the food and become a meal for the waiting Pelicans!

Once they'd gulped down a fish, the Pelicans would go for a short swim of about 10-20 meters and wait. As soon as they'd see some food being thrown, they'd swim back to below the bridge and again feast. They were almost like pet dogs waiting for someone to feed them!

Here's an article about this the next day in The Hindu.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Indian Coral Tree or Tiger's Claw or Sunshine Tree

The Indian Coral Tree or Tiger's Claw or Sunshine Tree (Erythrina variegata or Erythrina indica, as it was earlier known) is a beautiful native tree that has some remarkable flowers. The flowers are long and brightly colored, the reason for some Erythrina sp. to be planted as decorative trees in gardens. The tree is visited by a host of birds including Mynas, Parakeets, Bulbuls and Sunbirds. One of those trees that is worth having in any garden!
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Scarce Shot Silverline

A rare one, the Scarce Shot Silverline (Aphnaeus elima Moore or Spindasis elima Moore, as it was earlier called) is an uncommon butterfly preferring the drier regions. This one was photographed while mud-puddling at B. R. Hills near a roadside water hole towards VGKK. A lifer for me.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Tailed Jay

The Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon) is a common swallowtail butterfly in Bangalore. It is a restless flier and can be more often seen hovering around the False Ashoka Tree (Polyalthia sp.) and the Champaka/Sampige tree (Michelia champaca) that happens to be this butterfly's food plant. I have reared this butterfly in a bottle many times, when I was in school. It is very active in flight and has a fast and rapid wing beat. It is mud-puddling here and this was shot in B. R. Hills near one of the roadside water bodies towards VGKK.
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