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  • Writer's pictureChirp! Magazine

#Birdguide - Indian Bluejay

Scientific name - Coracias Benghalensis

Also called the Indian Roller, the Indian Bluejay is found primarily in India particularly in southern and western India as well as the foothills of the Himalayas. It is commonly called Neelkanth or Palapitta in India. The breast is brownish - blue and the crown is blue. The primary feathers are dark bluish-purple with a line of light blue. The tail is sky blue with a terminal band of dark blue and the central feathers are dull green. The bluejay helps the farmers by eating pests like insects or arachnids which could destroy the crops. It is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List. It remains undisturbed throughout the year but one month before the festival of Dussehra (usually celebrated in September - October in India) its population in the wild drastically reduces. This is due to a superstition that if you see a Neelkanth on Dussehra, you will be relieved of all your sins. Bird catchers capture the birds a month before the festival. These birds are caged, their wings trimmed and glued, their legs tied so that they can not fly away. After the festival, they are let loose but because we can't easily feed bluejays in captivity as they are not grain-eating birds, they are half - starved and they soon die in the wild.



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