Tiny Darts of Color || Vibrant Birds of Darjeeling

One of the most exciting aspects of our Darjeeling stay was the constant background music, a major component of which was birdsongs. The various calls encouraged us to wake up early and go seek out these little winged creatures. And our efforts were duly rewarded.

Rufous Sibia

One of the first birds we sighted was a Rufous Sibia. With its distinguishing crest, colorful plumage, and melodious call, this lively little bird is hard to ignore. It belongs to the Leiothrichidae family. Babblers, laughingthrushes, and Leiothrix too belong to this same family. You can hear to the Rufous Sibia's call in the video embedded above. (credit: WildFilmsIndia)

Green-backed tit


The next bird we chased hard, and later found almost everywhere, was the green-backed tit. This bird belongs to the Paridae family and was comparable in size to the sunbirds we commonly see in Delhi. Do listen to its call in the video embedded above (credit: wildfilmsindia)

Eurasian Tree Sparrow


It is very difficult to differentiate between the common house sparrow and the tree sparrow. They appear exactly the same at least to a layman. However, after some research I found that the tree sparrows are slightly smaller than the house sparrows and are less aggressive.

Oriental White-Eye

The picture doesn't highlight it, but the Oriental White-Eye has a distinguishing white ring around its eyes. The rest of its plumage is various shades of yellow. At 8-9 cm, this was the tiniest bird we saw in Darjeeling. Another mischievous bird that kept us on our toes. It was especially difficult to click  these birds.

Red-billed Leiothrix

Red-billed Leiothrix was the really the most restless bird we saw in Darjeeling. A flock of Leiothrix was flitting about in the bushes. It's bright red beak helped us spot the little bird in the dense foliage. It's call is as sweet as its appearance. 

It was nice to see the pigeons co-existing peacefully with rest of the birds. I am sure you do not need to know more about the pigeons or hear their calls. You would probably have heard them plenty around you.

The Green-Backed Tit Striking a Pose

Blue and Orange Plumage of the Red-billed Leiothrix

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