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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