Nature is calling, listen intently!

Endless video calls and binge-watching on Netflix has taken a toll on our health. Observing nature’s beauty might just be the balm your eyes need during the lockdown.
Brown-headed barbet
Brown-headed barbet
Updated on Apr 25, 2020 07:54 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Delhi | BySwati Chaturvedi

Many bird watchers are coming across exotic varieties of feathered beauties during the lockdown. People may be confined to their homes, but their surroundings have become sources of zoological marvel. As Nikhil Devasar , wildlife and bird specialist rightly puts it, “The fauna has come out to reclaim spaces from where it had been elbowed out.”

For Devasar, living in a multi-storied building in Surajkund - the undisturbed view of mulberry, neem and peepul trees – which are known as bird magnets – has proved to be a boon. He says, “With the onset of spring, it is the perfect time to spot some gorgeous birds. Also, this is breeding season, and breeding is equivalent to singing for them. They are more vocal and active during this time.” From jungle mynas to kites to owls, these beautiful birds are all around us. Nikhil adds, “ Mornings are drowned in the squawking of parakeets and afternoons are brought in by the sharp rap of eagles.”

A hornbill that visited Sohail Akbar’s garden
A hornbill that visited Sohail Akbar’s garden

Sohail Akbar, photography researcher from Delhi who is currently in his home town Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, says, “ We are used to waking up to the sounds of newspaper vendors or the car cleaner or trucks carrying vegetables and milk. With everything quiet, we can feel the presence of birds. In reality, we have around 25-30 species of birds all around us all the time.” He adds, “ Around my house, I can easily spot tree birds, bush birds and ground birds. The pleasure is in to identify unique sounds, silhouettes and shapes of different birds. To view the aesthetic beauty and the subtle shades of colours is a joyful feeling.”

A pair of red-whiskered bulbuls (Photo: Sohail Akbar )
A pair of red-whiskered bulbuls (Photo: Sohail Akbar )

Sohail spends nearly an hour quietly watching the birds as they weave the nest on a bushy bougainvillea creeper in his garden . Some sightings by Sohail includes an owl and a peacock and sparrow in his vicinity, along with accipiters, doyel, red-whiskered bulbul and hornbill. He says, “ It is pleasurable to view their courtship activities as well as nest building activities which are going on smooth without any disturbance.”

However, for cricketer and broadcaster Anjum Chopra, it is a new experience to spot birds and watch them roam about so freely. She says, “ I do have peacocks and birds around the house and they freely roam around here. We feed them with bird food during the day. I have also noticed how their voices are different in the morning and in the evening.”

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Monday, January 24, 2022