Songbirds at Bharatpur || The Constant Orchestra of Keoladeo National Park

Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.

Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. 


Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Red Vented Bulbul
The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. 


Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Indian Robin
As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. 
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Purple Sunbird


Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. 
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Yellow Wagtail
And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. 
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Black Drongo


However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. 
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Rufous Treepie
Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. 
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
White-browed Wagtail
The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. 
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Brahminy Starling
Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. 
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Bank Myna
Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. 

Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
House Crow
I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. 

Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Oriental Magpie Robin
And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to.  
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Asian Pied Starling
In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life.  
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Indian Robin
The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. 
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Indian Silverbill
An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Female House Sparrow
A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. 
Though we had gone to the Keoladeo National Park primarily to see the migratory birds, I was also secretly excited about the little birdies. In fact, it is these little magical creatures that I find most fascinating. Most of these little avians fall in the category of what are known as the songbirds or perching birds. These belong to the order Passeriformes and are also known as passerines. Red Vented Bulbul The strange thing about the category songbird is that it not only includes little birds with melodious songs. It also includes tuneless and discordant birds such as the crows, ravens, starlings, and magpies. And surprisingly, this category excludes the obvious contenders such as the koel and the common hawk cuckoo (papeeha). So, you will probably realize that the category "songbirds" isn't necessarily correct. Indian Robin As regarding the second name, perching birds, I don't even know what that means, considering that birds of prey are not included in this category. Anyway, both these classifications - songbirds as well as perching birds - are considered inaccurate today. Passerines is the safest and the most accurate classification to use. It isn't as lyrical though. So we will continue to use songbirds instead for the purpose of this article. Purple Sunbird Indeed, it was the songbirds that greeted us first as we entered Keoladeo National Park. A Brahminy Starling perched on the highest branch of a short tree turned her back to us as soon as we came within the clicking distance of it. Next it was a couple of Green Bee-eaters that flitted about before finding a comfortable seat on a wire. The light was perfect here, so it was a good photo-op. Yellow Wagtail And then the entire jungle burst into songs as little red-vented bulbuls got busy hopping from tree-to-tree. Though less talkative than Mynas, bulbuls too can create a constant chatter when they so choose. We stood there to enjoy their song for a bit. After all, we had almost the entire day with us. It was difficult to photograph these fast moving birds, but VJ managed to get a couple in a frame. Black Drongo However, not all songbirds are that talkative. In fact, you would hardly have ever heard a drongo say anything. These brooding black birds are usually seen sitting quietly on wires, without talking or moving. But Internet tells me that a drongo too can sing, even if it is just a scratchy, out-of-tune kind of song. Rufous Treepie Usually Rufous Treepies are quite gregarious. In Ranthambore, I have seen them flying out and perching on the arms of human to grab a wafer from their hands. These brave birds are also known as Tiger's Toothpicks as they have been known to pick the food from a Tiger's teeth as it sleeps. It isn't difficult to believe this. We saw only one of these at Keoladeo National Park and it didn't seem much in the mood for company. White-browed Wagtail The little birds manage to intrigue you enough to lure you towards the unpaved paths. VJ and I found ourselves leaving the main road quite often and straying onto the trails to click these quick, flitting passerines. There were so many that we saw but were not able to capture in the camera. There were Wagtails, prinias, and warblers. But we have very few photographs of them. The one above seems to be a White-browed Wagtail. Though for a long time, I was convinced that it was an Oriental Magpie Robin. Then the white patch between the neck and the wing forced me to look further. I might still be wrong though. Brahminy Starling Brahminy Starling has captured my imagination ever since I was a child. We used to live in Sarojini Nagar and Brahminy Starlings were regular visitors to our terrace. I was quite intrigued by the black "hair" these starlings sport. Of course, back then I did not know what these birds were called. Slowly the birds disappeared from Delhi and the next I spotted them was in Ranthambore. It was also here that I found out that they have this beautiful name - Brahminy Starling. Bank Myna Like the Brahminy Starling, the Myna too belongs to the starling family. I absolutely love the name "starling" though. It is prettier than the birds themselves. The myna above is a Bank Myna. You can identify it by the red patch beneath the eyes. The Common Myna does not have this. You will often spot the Bank Myna in a mixed flock with the Common Myna. House Crow I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a crow is a songbird. I guess that may be one of the reasons why the classification "songbirds" went out of use. Besides that though, a crow is a pretty fascinating bird. It is intelligent and, therefore, fun to observe. I have often seen crows hiding their food quite ingeniously. I have seen them play tricks on other birds. It is a shame then that these crows are often hoodwinked by the Koel. Oriental Magpie Robin And here is the Oriental Magpie Robin. Both White-Browed Wagtail and Oriental Magpie Robin can be seen often in and around Delhi. Even though from a distance both the birds appear similar, once you know the differences, it is quite easy to identify the two species. Both Oriental Magpie Robin and White-Browed Wagtails have sing very melodious songs, so are a pleasure to listen to. Asian Pied Starling In total, 7 types of starlings can be seen in Keoladeo National Park - Common Starling, Rosy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Brahminy Starling, Bank Myna, and Common Myna. Of these, we were able to see four. The one in the photograph above is the Asian Pied Starling. The orange beak helps in a quick identification. I would have also loved to see the remaining three. I have never seen them in my life. Indian Robin The little bird above can be seen quite commonly in and around Delhi. It is known as the Indian Robin, which is another beautiful name. Whenever I think of the sheer variety of birds Indian is blessed with, I thank God. These are magical creatures. One only needs to spend a few moments and observe. Indian Silverbill An Indian Silverbill has (as you may have guessed) an interesting bill. Rounded and parrotlike, this beak is one characteristic that makes it similar to its relative, the munia. We were headed back and were about to exit the park when we saw this bird perched on a tree, very close to a common cuckoo. The bird is slightly larger than a house sparrow. I had always assumed it to be that it would be smaller. The name makes one wonder.  Female House Sparrow A house sparrow is seen here perched on a branch. This photograph was clicked outside the National Park, very close to our resort. It is a shame that these lively, talkative birds have almost been wiped out from Delhi. Only a few years back these were present in large numbers, visiting balconies, making nests in every available cavity they could find. I truly miss their chatter. Common Tailorbird I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. Green Bee-eater And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around.
Common Tailorbird
I admit that this isn't the best photograph of the tailorbird, but this is all that we managed to capture. I didn't have the heart to not include it in the post. This was the first time I was seeing this bird after all. These tiny birds make very innovative nests by stitching together two or more leaves. Another marvel of nature that leaves one speechless. 


And finally, the Green Bee-eater. In fact this was the bird that had greeted us as we had entered the park. Rather than the huge and magnificent migratory birds, it is these colorful, playful songbirds that I find more interesting. They add so much life and music to the world. It is really a shame that we only realize that they have vanished when it is already too late. However, recently I have heard that sparrows are returning to the city. I am yet to see the evidence, but I do hope it is true. Our coming generations deserve to have nature's musicians around. 

If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling - 

1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter Use dustbins.
2. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin. 
3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem. 
4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits. 
5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite

Comments

rupam sarma said…
Beautiful birds. Awesome photos.

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