When birds are all around ..
Updated: Dec 28, 2022
I came to stay in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu for a month in December. My parents had recently built a house there on the outskirts of Tiruvannamalai. They chose a particular site to build the house just because there were many birds present. Even after the loud construction had been going on for months, it's still so surprising that there are that many birds there.
Every time you look out of the house, you'll be sure to see 4 or more mynas. Francolins casually walk along the road with no fear at all. Golden Orioles chirp melodiously from all directions. You'll see Drongos and Babblers on every wire, and Greater Caucals are found perching on trees right outside our house.
Every afternoon, I go cycling for around 1 hour. I still can't believe the number of birds I see. As I cycle past, Frankolins and Mynas don't even bother to get out of my way. In the middle of the road, two Greater Cockels and a Golden Oriole were squaking at each other. I saw two crows fighting with each other to sit on a cow while a drongo was calmly watching from above. Although Babblers do get out of my way, they move only a few feet while giving me a condescending look.
One day as I was watching from the balcony with my sister, we saw a strange bird that was earnestly flapping its wings, but never moved from the same spot. After some time, it suddenly stopped flapping its wings, and free fell towards the ground. At the last minute, it jerked upwards. It did this for a few minutes leaving both of us completely confused. After some research, I discovered that is the bird's form of play. Sounds similar to some of the games we play, right?
One day I left the terrace door open, and dozens of insects came into our house. The next morning we saw a Greater Caucal and a Golden Oriole perched on our windowsill, and many other birds in our courtyard. Of course I still got bitterly scolded by my father but the increase in the number of birds was a pleasant surprise.