27 October, 2013

2013 | 300 | 27Oct13 | Kaigondarahalli Lake

Map/ Route/ Location

1. Spot-Billed Pelican
2. Juvenile Brahminy Kite 
3. Night Heron
4. Spit Bug
5. Pond Heron
6. Spot Billed Duck
7. Darter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
01 The darters or snakebirds are mainly tropical waterbirds
02 There are four living species, three of which are very common and widespread while the fourth is rarer and classified as near-threatened by the IUCN.
03 The term "snakebird" is usually refers to their long thin neck, which has a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged, or when mated pairs twist it during their bonding displays.
04 It alludes to their manner of procuring food, as they impale fishes with their thin, pointed beak.
05 They measure about 80 to 100 cm (2.6 to 3.3 ft) in length, with a wingspan around 120 cm (3.9 ft), and weigh some 1,050 to 1,350 grams (37 to 48 oz).
06 The males have black and dark brown plumage, a short erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female.
07 The females have a much paler plumage, especially on the neck and underparts, and are a bit larger overall.
08 Both have grey stippling on long scapulars and upper wing coverts.
09 The sharply pointed bill has serrated edges and no external nostrils.
10 The darters have completely webbed feet, and their legs are short and set far back on the body.
11 There is no eclipse plumage, but the bare parts vary in color around the year.
12 During breeding, however, their small gular sac changes from pink or yellow to black, and the bare facial skin, otherwise yellow or yellow-green, turns turquoise.
13 The iris changes in color between yellow, red or brown seasonally.
14 The young hatch naked, but soon grow white or tan down.
15 Darter vocalizations include a clicking or rattling when flying or perching.
16 In the nesting colonies, adults communicate with croaks, grunts or rattles.
17 During breeding, adults sometimes give a caw or sighing or hissing calls.
18 Nestlings communicate with sqealing or squawking calls.
19 Darters swim largely submerged.
20 The long neck is conspicuous, and the source of the name "snakebirds".
21 Darters are mostly tropical in distribution, ranging into subtropical and barely into warm temperate regions.
22 They typically inhabit fresh water lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps
23 Most are sedentary and do not migrate; the populations in the coolest parts of the range may migrate however.
24 Their preferred mode of flight is soaring and gliding; in flapping flight they are rather cumbersome.
25 On dry land, darters walk with a high-stepped gait, wings often spread for balance, just like pelicans do.
26 They tend to gather in flocks – sometimes up to about 100 birds – and frequently associate with storks, herons or ibises, but are highly territorial on the nest:
27 despite being a colonial nester, breeding pairs – especially males – will stab at any other bird that ventures within reach of their long neck and bill.
28 Darters feed mainly on mid-sized fish; far more rarely, they eat other aquatic vertebrates and large invertebrates of comparable size.
29 These birds are foot-propelled divers that quietly stalk and ambush their prey; then they use their sharply pointed bill to impale the food animal.
30 They do not dive deep but make use of their low buoyancy made possible by wettable plumage, small air sacs and denser bones.
31 On the underside of the cervical vertebrae 5-7 is a keel, which allows for muscles to attach to form a hinge-like mechanism that can project the neck, head and bill forward like a throwing spear.
32 After they have stabbed the prey, they return to the surface where they toss their food into the air and catch it again, so that they can swallow it head-first.
33 Like cormorants, they have a vestigial preen gland and their plumage gets wet during diving.
34 To dry their feathers after diving, darters move to a safe location and spread their wings.
35 Predators of darters are mainly large carnivorous birds, including House Crow, Marsh harriers, Pallas's Fish Eagle.
36 Predation by Crocodylus crocodiles has also been noted. But many would-be predators know better than to try to catch a darter.
37 The long neck and pointed bill in combination with the "darting" mechanism make the birds dangerous even to larger carnivorous mammals, and they will actually move towards an intruder to attack rather than defending passively or fleeing.
38 They usually breed in colonies, occasionally mixed with cormorants or herons.
39 The darters pair bond monogamously at least for a breeding season.
40 Males display to attract females by raising (but not stretching) their wings to wave them in an alternating fashion, bowing and snapping the bill, or giving twigs to potential mates.
41 To strengthen the pair bond, partners rub their bills or wave, point upwards or bow their necks in unison.
42 Breeding all year round.
43 The nests are made of twigs and lined with leaves; they are built in trees or reeds, usually near water.
44 Typically, the male gathers nesting material and brings it to the female, which does most of the actual construction work.
45 Nest construction takes only a few days (about 3 at most), and the pairs copulate at the nest site.
46 The clutch size is two to six eggs (usually about 4) which have a pale green color.
47 The eggs are laid within 24–48 hours and incubated for 25 to 30 days, starting after the first has been laid; they hatch asynchronously.
48 To provide warmth to the eggs, the parents will cover them with their large webbed feet, because like their relatives they lack a brood patch.
49 The last young to hatch will usually starve in years with little food available.
50 Bi-parental care is given and the young are considered altricial.
51 They are fed by regurgitation of partly digested food when young, switching to entire food items as they grow older.
52 After fledging, the young are fed for about two more weeks while they learn to hunt for themselves.
53 These birds reach sexual maturity by about 2 years, and generally live to around 9 years. (Max about 16 years).
54 Darter eggs are edible and considered delicious by some; they are locally collected by humans as food.

7. Darter
8. Cormorant
9. Purple Heron
10. Eurasian Coot

Eurasian Coot - நாமக்கோழி
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
01 Is a member of the rail and crake bird family, the Rallidae.
02 The Coot breeds on freshwater lakes and ponds.
03 Breeds in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.
04 The species has recently expanded its range into New Zealand.
05 The Coot is 13–17 in long and weighs 585–1,100 g, and is largely black except for the white facial shield
06 As a swimming species, the Coot has partial webbing on its long strong toes.
07 The juvenile is paler than the adult, has a whitish breast, and lacks the facial shield;
08 The adult black plumage develops when about 3–4 months old, but the white shield is only fully developed at about one year old.
09 This is a noisy bird with a wide repertoire of crackling, explosive, or trumpeting calls, often given at night.
10 Can be seen swimming on open water or walking across waterside grasslands.
11 It is an aggressive species, and strongly territorial during the breeding season, and both parents are involved in territorial defence.
12 It is reluctant to fly and when taking off runs across the water surface with much splashing.
13 But on migration, usually at night, it can cover surprisingly large distances.
14 It bobs its head as it swims, and makes short dives from a little jump.
15 This species builds a nest of dead reeds or grasses, but also pieces of paper or plastic near the water's edge or on underwater obstacles protruding from the water, laying up to 10 eggs, sometimes 2 or 3 times per season.
16 Usually only a few young survive.
17 They are frequent prey for birds such as herons and gulls.
18 Coots can be very brutal to their own young under pressure such as the lack of food.
19 They will bite young that are begging for food and repeatedly do this until it stops begging and starves to death.
20 If the begging continues, they may bite so hard that the chick is killed.
21 The Coot is an omnivore, and will take a variety of small live prey including the eggs of other water birds, as well as algae, vegetation, seeds and fruit.

11. Bug
12. Gang of Cormorant
12. Purple Swamphen
13. Purple Heron

14. Hibiscus
15. Rock Agama

No comments: