Saturday, September 6, 2014

Nesting Behavior of Oriental Pratincole

                                         Fig: Oriental Pratincole chick just after hatching
Nesting season of Oriental Pratincole is mostly peak summer i.e from April to June The nest is a simple scrap on the ground or  in short grasses on river and reservoir edges. They nests in colony and   also with other species like little terns and small pratincoles.The female lays about 3 to 4 greenish grey densely spotted eggs.Both the parent incubate the eggs for about 18 days.The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and hide in grasses or stone.Feeding of chicks can hardly be seen as they are under hide.The above photograph is taken at Mahanadi Reservoir of Odisha, India.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oriental Pratincole

Common name : Oriental Pratincole, large Indian Pratincole
Scientific Name: Glareola maldivarum

The Oriental Pratincole is a beautiful looking  tern-like shorebird with long, pointed wings  and a forked tail.It is a medium-sized bird measuring 25 cm and weighs approximately 75 g. The sexes are alike, with seasonal variation, and juveniles are easily identifed.During breeding season adults have a dark olive-brown crown and nape, paler olive buff on the neck, dark olive-brown back and upper rump The ear coverts are pale creamy buff, and are separated from the chin and throat by a black  line which runs down from below the eye to encircle the throat and separate it from the upper breast,  the underpart is white.The bill is black with a red gape and base of  lower mandible, the eyes are dark brown, and the legs and feet are brownish black.
The species is generally gregarious, occurring in small to large flocks.Oriental Pratincoles eat insects, including dragonflies, cicadas, beetles, moths, ants, termites, locusts, grasshoppers,  flies, bees and wasps, they also eat flying insects.The species usually feeds aerially. The above photograph s taken at the Mahanadi Reservoir in Sambalpur, Odisha, India.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Edible Nest

It's amazing to know that bird nests can be edible.The nest built by a small bird (Aerodramus fuciphagus) of  the swift family  found in South-east Asia  is made of solidified saliva and is edible.It breeds in colonies in caves, in a cleft or in a cliff or sometimes  on a building.These Swiflets often nest in pitch dark caves.They are able to do this by using echolocation, similar to bats.The bracket-shaped nest is white and translucent and is made entirely  of layers of hardened saliva attached to the rock. It measures about 6 cm across with a depth of 1.5 cm and a weight of about 14 grams.
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Floating Nest

Building nest out in the water seems to be impracticable but it is a fact.Several birds build nests which are surrounded by water and even floating in water. Birds like Coots build build such type of nests having a foundation of vegetation, which reaches the ground below.Water birds like Grebes build nests which are basically floating on shallow water though they are often anchored at one or two points.However totally floating nest are bulid by Jacanas and Marsh Terns.The floating nests often sinks into the water while the bird
is sitting for incubation, but due to water proof eggs the chicks easily come out without any harm.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hole Nest in Trees

Holes in dead or alive trees are a good option for  nesting by birds .Fewer birds like the woodpeckers and Barbets excavate their own holes in trees for nest building.Most tree hole nesters make use of the already existing holes in large or small trees.Most common hole nesters are Parrots, common Starlings, Hornbills, Owls, Indian rollers and some flycatchers.The nest in tree holes has the define advantage of protection from predators and weathers.Birds do modify the tree holes like lining with soft materials or mud plastering  in case of Horn bills. However the disadvantage is that due to warm and humid conditions inside the holes there is more chances of avian pests and nest parasites build up.It is a wonder that The Great Indian Hornbill nearly a meter long in size  likes to nest at 20-45 meters up the tree .This means it can only  nest in trees which have a diameter greater than 1-2 meters at that height. As the large trees are fast decreasing in the forests, the existence of the Great Hornbill is now a concern.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hole Nest in Ground

Very few birds nest within holes in the ground.Nesting in hole  seems to be a better strategy than nesting in the open.We survey around 100,000 eggs and found that non-hole nesters averaged 48% rearing success while hole nesters averaged 74%.The main reasons seems to be eggs within holes in the ground are better protected against adverse environmental conditions and from predators.The hole nests can be  open onto a cliff edge or a vertical edge of a river bank,Road cuttings and those holes in relatively flat ground.Some birds dig the holes themselves and some uses the already existing holes.Birds making this types of nest are green bee eater and all king fishers.Green bee eaters make almost 1 meter hole in flat ground as well as edges to lay their eggs.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mud Nest

Birds are excellent builders and is natural that they construct their nest using mud as a primary resource. Birds build their nest entirely out of mud or mix in other materials like grass, feathers etc. The most common birds that use mud to make a nest are members of the swallow family. Swallows and Martins all over the world build their hemispherical or retort shaped nests on the edges of cliffs, under the eaves of houses and under the modern bridges. The mud is collected in small pellets and moistened with saliva before being applied to the wall or existing nest.The nests are lined with grass and fetahers to make it comfortable and durable. These nests are generally found in colonies.

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