The Brain Fever bird got its name from the English because they heard the bird call as "brain fever". But when the same bird migrates to Maharashtra in the monsoon, the locals hear the same call as Pertewha, indicating the start of the sowing season.
This and other interesting trivia of bird calls of 192 species across India, from Mumbai to the North-East, have made their way in to a DVD titled Indian Bird Calls by the Bombay Natural History Society compiled by Dr Erach Bharucha.
Many of the calls were originally recorded 40 years ago in the Lonavla-Khandala area of the Western Ghats. In the 1990s, Barucha along with naturalists Brother Navarro and BCR Bertram recorded the bird calls on two audio cassettes. Bharucha has converted these calls on DVD.
The DVD showcases various types of calls that explain bird behaviour, their social life, the habitat in which they live and their interaction with others. It also comprises bird pictures and videos, species information and species distribution.
"Normally, we watch birds. But the process is incomplete without the ear because only the ear can help one know the species," said Raju Kasambe, head, Important Bird Areas at BNHS. "The only way anyone can identify two similar looking birds would be through the call."
Aimed at helping bird watchers and ornithologists to enhance their experience, the DVD also depicts how bird calls are rooted in cultures of every part of the world. The DVD will be available for sale at BNHS office as well as online.