Cattle Egret

The cattle egret is a cosmopolitan species of heron found in the tropics, subtropics and warm temperate zones. It is a white bird adorned with buff plumes in the breeding season. It nests in colonies, usually near bodies of water and often with other wading birds.  B. i. coromandus adult shows the red flush on the legs and bill present at the height of the breeding season. Bicoromandus differs from the nominate subspecies in breeding plumage, when the buff color on its head extends to the cheeks and throat, and the plumes are more golden in colour. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibisis a Beautiful colorful bird.

The Golden Pheasant

The stunning golden pheasant is a gamebird of the order Galliformes (gallinaceous birds) belongs to the family Phasianidae (pheasants). The Golden Pheasant or Chinese pheasant “Chrysolophus pictus” is native to forests in mountainous areas of western China. Its feral populations have been established in the UK, Canada, United States, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. By natural habitats golden pheasant are particularly aggressive because they have a “harem” structure, mating with several hens a year.

The adult golden pheasant is approximately 90 to 105 cm in length.  The golden pheasant is unmistakable with its golden crest and rump and bright red body. The deep orange "cape" can be feast in display, appearing as an alternating black and orange fan that covers all of the face but its bright yellow eye with a pinpoint black pupil. The Golden pheasants normally lay 8 to 12 eggs at a time and will take 22 to 23 days for incubate. After the pheasant chicks hatch, they are able to run and eat as soon as they are dry. Moreover Golden Pheasant eggs are alike in size to a duck egg, making them slightly larger than a chicken. The egg taste is light and less rich, like a quail egg. Golden Pheasants are omnivorous birds and therefore pheasants eat both plant and animal matter.

Malaysian golden pheasant have a golden-yellow crest with a hint of red at the tip. The face, throat, chin, and the sides of neck are rusty tan. The wattles and orbital skin are both yellow in color, and the ruff or cape is light orange. However, the upper back is green and the rest of the back and rump is golden-yellow. The main tertiaries are blue while the scapulars are dark red. Moreover, other characteristics of the male pheasant plumage are the central tail feathers, black spotted with cinnamon, as well as the tip of the tail being a cinnamon buff. The upper tail coverts are the same color as the central tail feathers. The male also has a scarlet breast, and scarlet and light chestnut flanks and underparts. Lower legs and feet are a dull yellow

The female golden pheasant is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage alike to that of the female common pheasant. She is darker and more slender than the hen of that species, with a respectively shorter tail 24 to 31 in length. Her breast and sides are barred buff and blackish brown, and the abdomen is plain buff. She has a buff face and throat. Moreover few abnormal females may later in their lifetime get some male plumage. Also, lower legs and feet are a dull yellow. Hence, both males and females have yellow legs and yellow bills. Keeping Golden Pheasants can make wonderful pets. Many people are used to see wild pheasants with their beautiful plumage; they are a great addition to any aviary and can live with other birds such as chickens and ducks.

Regardless of the male's showy appearance, these hardy birds are very tough to see in their natural habitat, which is dense, dark young conifer forests with sparse undergrowth. Therefore, little is known about their behavior in the wild. The golden pheasant feed consist on the ground grain, leaves and invertebrates, but they roost in trees at night. They tend to eat berries, grubs, seeds and other types of vegetation. The Golden Pheasant is able to fly fast for short distances, they prefer to run. If startled however, they will burst to the sky in a "flush." Whereas fly clumsily in short bursts, and spend most of their time on the ground. If startled, they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed and with a distinctive wing sound.

The male golden pheasant has a metallic call in the breeding season. The golden pheasant is usually found in zoos and aviaries, but often as hybrid specimens that have the similar Lady Amherst's pheasant in their lineage. There are also different mutations of the golden pheasant well-known from birds in captivity, including the dark-throated, yellow, cinnamon, salmon, peach, splash, mahogany and silver. Moreover, in aviculture, the wild type is referred to as "red-golden" to differentiate it from these mutations. Wild pheasant is very lean and if not cooked with care will taste like very dry, very bland, and chicken so, pheasant has a mild taste. The meat is white, like chicken, but has a more complex and subtle flavor.

Golden Pheasant too, roost in the trees of the wood, and it is inquisitive that they always tell you where they go to bed. For they call "crok crok" as they settle down to sleep, but partridges sleep on the ground in the fields. The golden pheasant has pinkish-white meat is full flavored and low in fat and cholesterol. Unfortunately the life span of golden pheasant is too short, 35% of young birds die before they reach the age of 6 to 10 weeks. Hence only 2-3% birds manage to survive to the age of 3 years. So, golden pheasants can survive up to 3 years in the wild. Nutrition in Pheasant Meat cooked, it will deliver a very healthy amount of protein, as well as significant levels of B vitamins and potassium. Source: CP

The Himalayan Cutia

The Himalayan cutia “Cutia nipalensis” is a bird species in the family Leiothrichidae. This amazing species inhabits the Himalayan region, found from north India along the Himalayas Nepal, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Burma, adjacent south China , Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and peninsular Malaysia.  The Himalayan Cutia diet consists of insects, larvae, pupae, gastropods, insect eggs, seeds and berries and pine cones.
The species breeding season start from April to June. The bird like to make nest is an open cup made of pine needles and moss, placed at base of a pine branch against the trunk, 3 to 3.5m above the ground, sometimes up to 20m in a broadleaf tree. The bird scientific name means "the khutya from Nepal". However, the Cutia is derived from the Nepali name for these birds, and nipalensis is Latin for "from Nepal".
This beautiful bird natural habitat is tropical to subtropical humid montane forests. It is not a bird of the high mountains however, rather inhabiting broadleaf forest – e.g. of oaks The Himalayan cutia is not considered threatened by the IUCN, retaining its pre-split status as a Species of Least Concern; in Bhutan for example it is a fairly frequently seen resident. Witnessing this rare gem is a really like dream come true showing off various colors and pattern possess. This is one of the birds that have been listed in the book - 100 Birds to see before you die! Source: CP

American Purple Gallinule

Well, just like the Turaco, the American purple gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus), has an exceptional color combination of a red beak, blue body, green wings and yellow legs. They’re in the order Gruiformes, which means "crane-like", and within the order there are cranes, rails, and crakes. Thus, the purple gallinule is a rail species which places them into the family, Rallidae. The purple gallinule is a swamphen since it has the genus Porphyrio. The yellow-legged porphyria is found in the southeastern states of the United States during the breeding season. They are resident’s species in southern Florida, Gulf and Pacific coast of Mexico, parts of Central America, and Caribbean. This is medium size colorful bird reaches a length of 26-37cm in length while spanning 50-61cm across the wings. The captivating bird weighing is 141-305 g.  Moreover, the wingspan that helps in to glide up for short periods of time with its legs dangling under its body. They are able to fly when they are 5 to 7 weeks old. Young use tiny claws on their wing tips to crawl on bushes and out of the nest.

An adult purple gallinule has purple-blue plumage that will shine green and turquoise when in perfect lighting also have a pale blue shield on their forehead, which connects with the red and yellow bill. However, low light or darkness can dim the bright purple-blue plumage of the adult to make them look dusky or brownish. So, forehead shield color differentiates them from same species such as common gallinules. Juvenile birds are light brown with hints of green-bronze on the wings and black and white under-tail coverts. This species can found in freshwater marshes that have dense stands of vegetation. However, during the non-breeding season, they are found more inland in parts of Central America. They can also be found within South America during migration, and occasionally wander away as far north as Canada. This species has been recorded in Cape Province of South Africa, most of all of the birds where juveniles, so it is very unlikely that a breeding ground will be established there.

Further, purple gallinules have long legs with long toes that support them walk onto of the floating vegetation, by distributing their weight. They have an anisodactyl toe arrangement that also benefits them to cling to plant stems. The purple gallinule is not a very good flyer, but it is an excellent wader. It uses its long toes to distribute its weight, and it can even walk on lily pads. In the short distance fly, their legs hang down. The species has the greatest pattern of vagrancy amongst rails, with individuals recorded as far west as California and the Galápagos Islands, as far north as Iceland and Labrador, as far south as Tierra del Fuego, and as far east as Great Britain, Portugal and Cape Verde. The bird nests are floating nest that are within the dense vegetation along shallow margins of lakes, rivers, and marshes shorelines. They normally lay 5 to 10 eggs, which are a buff or pale pink with brown and purple spots. Their nest and territories are defended by the monogamous pair and the juveniles remain in the territory to support care for siblings. Purple gallinules are omnivorous ground feeders.

The species diet consists of variety of plant and animal matter within their foods they consume seeds, leaves and fruits of both aquatic and terrestrial plants, insects, frogs, snails, earthworms, fish, and sometimes even the chicks of other birds, and when lucky swamp eels. Furthermore, the purple gallinules courtship occurs while they’re standing, and can be displayed by both sexes. Courtship occurs when the birds of a pair have been separated, and then wander close to one another. The courtship display entails the bird standing in a slightly bent forward position, with the neck outstretched, and holding the wings at an almost right angle to the body and bent at the wrist, so that the primaries are angled down. Purple Gallinule populations are probably decreasing in their range, due to freshwater wetland loss in the United States, and in South and Central America. The birds have been destroyed in rice fields by aerial spraying with pesticides. They also are preyed upon by alligators and turtles. However, this colorful species is not considered to be globally threatened.

The Rufous Treepie

The rufous treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda) is a treepie belongs to crow famil Corvidae, native to the Indian Subcontinent and adjoining parts of Southeast Asia. Rufous Treepie has long tailed, with loud musical calls making it very conspicuous. The size of Rufous treepie is between somewhere 45 to 55 cm including the tail. The Weight of adult bird is between 80 g. to 140 g. The bird normally found in open scrub, agricultural areas, forests as well as urban gardens. However, it is very adaptable, omnivorous and opportunistic in feeding. Male and female are very similar but only main color of the body is cinnamon with a black head and the long graduated tail is bluish grey and is tipped in black with the wing has a white patch. The only confusable species is the grey treepie which though lacks the bright rufous mantle. The bill is stout with a hooked tip, and underparts and lower back are a warm tawny-brown to orange-brown in color with white wing coverts and black primaries.
Moreover, the bill legs and feet are black. This is very noisy bird with great agility can be seen in urban parks and large gardens. This species is visible mainly in lowlands, and usually below 1000 metres, but according to the range, it can be found up to 2100 metres of elevation. A local name for this bird kotri is derived from the typical call while other names include Handi Chancha and taka chor "coin thief". This species has a wide repertoire of calls, but a bob-o-link or ko-tree call is most common. Alike to Eurasian magpie in the United Kingdom, it appears that being highly intelligent and an opportunistic feeder has been a recipe for success in the treepie’s ability to live alongside humans. The Rufous Treepie has distinctive dipping flight during which each dip ends in upwards jerk. The flight is undulating a swift noisy flapping, followed by a short glide on outspread wings and tail.
The Tree-Pies are arboreal omnivorous, and they feed on Insects, caterpillars, lizards, frogs, centipedes, young birds, small birds, rodents, bats, snakes, frogs, lizards, Fruits both wild and cultivated are eaten. Moreover, they are notorious to feed on the fruits of Trichosanthes tricuspidata which are toxic to mammals. They also hunt systematically for birds’ nests and are highly destructive to the eggs and young of the smaller species. The bird has also been known to take flesh from recently killed carcasses. Normally the breeding season starts in March till June. The nest is built in trees and bushes and is habitually a shallow platform. The nest consist usually 3 to 5 eggs laid. The inner cup is lined with rootlets and small twigs. It is placed at about 5 to 8 meters above the ground in isolated or prominent tree or in bush. Both sexes share in building, incubation and care of the young.The range of this bird is quite large, covering all of mainland India up to the Himalayas, Pakistan and southeasterly in a broad band into Bangladesh, Burma Laos, and Thailand in open forest consisting of scrub, plantations and gardens.
The bird is widespread populations show variations and numerous subspecies are recognized. The nominate subspecies is found in the northeastern part of peninsular India south to Hyderabad. The desert form is paler and called pallida, vernayi of the Eastern Ghats is brighter while parvula of the Western Ghats is smaller in size. The form in Pakistan and Afghanistan is bristoli while the form in southern Thailand is saturatior. E C Stuart Baker describes sclateri from the upper Chindwin to the Chin Hills and kinneari from souther Myanmar and northwest Thailand. The bird is an agile forager, clinging and clambering through the branches and sometimes joining mixed hunting parties along with species such as drongos and babblers.
The Rufous Treepie has been observed feeding on ecto-parasites of wild deer. Like many other corvids they are recognized to cache food. They have been considered to be helpful to palm cultivation in southern India due to their foraging on the grubs of the destructive weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus. The Rufous treepie is not the most remarkable, the grandest or the most ornate. But it is a lovely and confident little bird. The Rufous Treepie is usually common and widespread in its range except in Vietnam where it is more local and uncommon. So many thanks to the large quantity of insects that it consumes, hence it is not considered a pest in spite of some damage caused to orchards and cereal crops. The species is not at present threatened.


Red Breasted Robin: Friendly Garden Visitors

Robin or “Erithacus rubecula” is a redbreast 14cm from beak to tip of tail 5 to 9cm high bird. The robin enjoys popularity with man unrivalled by any other species. A familiar visitor at the bird table in winter and constant gardening companion, even nesting in the tool shed, it is a year round bird. This is close to association with man is a special feature of the robin’s relationship with the British. Robins of exactly the same species nest over most  of Europe, but a tendency on the continent to shoot and eat small birds has made robins there generally shy and retiring woodland birds. The robin is a particular favorite among bird lovers; everyone enjoys the attentions of this familiar redbreast in the garden during winter. But despite all the efforts made to feed this bird in the harsh weather, thousands perish each year.
The bird’s popularity in Britain has built up over the years and legends about the bad luck incurred by anyone harming a robin go back to 16th century. A Christian link has been attached to the legends because the robin’s red breast was supposedly stained by blood after the bird had been pricked in old books. The adult bird get together as pairs in early January. As they look exactly alike, the sexes can only recognize each other by display and posture. An unmated male singing loudly in his territory will, at first behaves aggressively to any intruding robin.
If the intruder is a male it either retreats or tries to oust the occupier. If the new bird is a female seeking a mate she persists in approaching the resident male, apparently unimpressed by his threats. Over a period of some hours, sometimes as much as two days, the bond between the two is built up so that they accept each other. In several species this pair bounding is directly followed by nest building and egg lying. With the robin, pairing is accomplished weeks or even months before any nesting attempt is made. During this time the birds occupy the same territory and recognize each other as mates but do not pay much attention to each other.
As the weather improves the hen bird starts to build her nest, using moss and dead leaves and lining it with hair.  In the natural state she may choose a rocky crevice or hollow of a tree, most often, a bank or an ivy-covered tree usually well concealed and difficult to find. However some robins select the most likely sites. One nest was found in a chest of drawers in a tool-shed. The drawer was held closed and the nest at the back was only discovered when the drawer was opened.
Moreover, when she starts to build the nest the female also starts to receive food from the male. This so-called courtship feeding was initially thought to be a ritual designed to reinforce the pair bond between male and female. In fact it is an important source of food for the female one that she almost completely relies upon during incubation. The clutch of white eggs with pale reddish freckling is laid, one egg each day, and the complete clutch is generally 5 to 6 eggs, although up to nine have been recorded. Robins are well famous for making their nests in such unlikely places as kettles, old buckets even the pockets of jackets left in garden sheds. The incubating female loses the feather from her breast and belly and the blood vessels just under the skin enlarge greatly. The bare skin and increased blood supply allow her to transfer heart more efficiently to the eggs.
After two weeks the eggs hatch out and the blind chicks, covered in thin dark down, increasingly dominate the parent’s lives with their enormous appetites. Both adult and young robins feed on insects, spiders and worms. They do not generally eat seeds or berries. About 15 days after hatching these young robins now weighing more than their parents, leave the nest. Two particularly attentive parents were reported by naturalist David Lack. They built their nest in a cart which had to go on a 200 mile round trip just after the young hatched. Undaunted, the adult birds accompanied their off spring, feeding them on the way.
Therefore, when the young birds leave the nest they face two or three days of great danger since they cannot yet fly well. At this stage they have a soft speckled brown plumage with no trace of their parents, red breast. By the beginning of June they start to lose their body feathers and to develop their red breasts growing from the bottom upwards. The wings do not moult but continue to develop until July of the next year when they reach their full size. In its first year, the robin has a one in six chance of survival. Once reach the maturity they proudly displaying its red breast and singing its rich spring song, lays claim to its territory and warns off other birds.
Moreover, once the young are fledged the adult build new nest within the same territory and, unless they are prevented for any reason disturbance by a cat, flooding of the nest in bad weather or thoughtless hedge-cutting, will raise another brood in May. During the summer season for a period of five weeks the adult robins replace their old feathers with new ones they stay in the same area, but make themselves less obvious and less active, concealed in shrubberies and thickets. During this moult the adult robins also fall silent the only time of the year when the robin song is not a feature of countryside.  
As the second brood of young birds acquires its red plumage and the adult birds their replacement plumage, the autumn song starts up. The rich and fruity spring song of the males gives way to the thinner, more piping song of young and old, cock and hen, as each claims its own territory; this is kept with a few local alterations, through the winter until pairing takes place. In times of real food shortage, territoriality breaks down as all the birds concentrate on feedings. Robin migrate each autumn, most stay within a mile or two of their birthplace. So what happened to all these robins? If each pair of adults raises two broods with 5 to 6 young in each, there are six times as many robins at the end of the breeding season as at the start.
A single pair would become almost ten million pairs at the end of 10 years about twice the total of British population of Robins. In fact the majority of them die. As many as a million robins may be killed by cats; while owls, cars, plate glass windows and harsh winters also take their toll. Sadly but naturally of the original pair and their off spring on average only one adult and one youngster survive to breed the following year. Harsh winter weather often provides the greatest danger so millions of people who feed birds leave out all sorts of tidbits even mine meat and grated cheese to ensure that their robins are the ones to survive. This feeding also encourages the robins to stay in backyards and gardens.
Almost all birds are territorial. It is generally during the breeding season that teaches bird defends a home area, and will not tolerate any bird of the same species apart from its male within its territory. Robins are no exception, and like other song birds such as blackbirds and song thrushes they stake but quite large claims by their presence at strategic song posts. Other birds restrict themselves to much smaller areas gannets, for instance, only defend the immediate nest area.
Moreover, the blackbird singing full of joys in spring seasons, but much more important to itself and other blackbirds. It is saying, this part of my territory keep off, if the message is not understood it may still have to chase off the encroaching birds a sight often seen when disputing birds dart at each other along a lawn or hedgerow without actually making contact. It is both these aggressive fluttering and song patterns that prevent actual fighting unless large numbers of birds are competing for a very small territory.