Bird of the the month of July || The mindful and perceptive Bee-eater

  Once again a new month has begun - the month of July. Amid the pandemic, economic slowdown, and a host of other issues to focus on, this one post where we talk about birds gives me a sense of relief. For those who are new to the blog, we have been posting about the bird of each month, as cited in this post - Birds of the the Month || Year 2020. Here we are again, talking about July.         It is in the month of July that almost the whole of India sees rains. And the effect is almost immediate. It only takes a day or two for grass, creepers, and new leaves to shroud the entire landscape with a green so bright that it hurts your eyes. And this is when you need to gather all your senses to stay focused. Much like the bee-eater. Often seen perched on power lines, the bee eater relies upon its acute awareness of its surroundings to catch fast-flying insects.     The bee-eater is a rather dignified bird. You do not ever see it fighting with its mate, chirping unnecessarily, or interfering with other birds. It mostly minds its own business. It is most similar to those people who do not need to be big to command respect. I would put it in the same category as a Kingfisher at least in this regard. Even though, scientifically the two birds are actually very distant relatives.     You normally see bee-eaters in pairs or in small groups huddled close together. These birds mate for life and build their nests in holes in the trees. Most of their diet includes insects, especially the fast flying ones, such as bees and wasps. The bee-eaters demonstrate excellent acrobatics and catch these insects mid-air.     Then they repeatedly strike these ill-fated insects against a hard surface to remove the stinger and most of the venom. The insects are then devoured. The pointed, sharp, and slightly curved beak is very helpful in this task.     There are four major types of bee-eaters that are found in India - green bee-eater, blue-cheeked bee-eater, blue-tailed bee-eater, and chestnut headed bee-eater. Of these, the Green Bee-eater is the most common one sighted in and around Delhi. One aspect that is common in almost all bee-eater is that they all have striking plumage - whether it comes to color or the slightly elongated central feather on their tail.     One such bee-eater got badly hurt and fell into my sister's garden. It lay there without moving till it was picked up and cared for. There-on it showed signs of improvement, feeding hungrily on glucose water and crushed worms. We were in the process of contacting the authorities to take it to a safe home, when its condition started deteriorating. A local vet examined it and found that it had severe internal injuries. Thereafter, it did not regain strength and died the next day.     Somehow, this close association with a bee-eater has made this family of birds rather special to me. Even when hurt and obviously scared because of human presence around it, the bird was at its best behavior, like a gentleman. It co-operated fully, but unfortunately could not make it. However, the excellent strength of character it demonstrated in adverse situation, is imprinted on my mind forever. Indeed, these are beautiful birds.

Once again a new month has begun - the month of July. Amid the pandemic, economic slowdown, and a host of other issues to focus on, this one post where we talk about birds gives me a sense of relief. For those who are new to the blog, we have been posting about the bird of each month, as cited in this post - Birds of the the Month || Year 2020. Here we are again, talking about July. 

  Once again a new month has begun - the month of July. Amid the pandemic, economic slowdown, and a host of other issues to focus on, this one post where we talk about birds gives me a sense of relief. For those who are new to the blog, we have been posting about the bird of each month, as cited in this post - Birds of the the Month || Year 2020. Here we are again, talking about July.         It is in the month of July that almost the whole of India sees rains. And the effect is almost immediate. It only takes a day or two for grass, creepers, and new leaves to shroud the entire landscape with a green so bright that it hurts your eyes. And this is when you need to gather all your senses to stay focused. Much like the bee-eater. Often seen perched on power lines, the bee eater relies upon its acute awareness of its surroundings to catch fast-flying insects.     The bee-eater is a rather dignified bird. You do not ever see it fighting with its mate, chirping unnecessarily, or interfering with other birds. It mostly minds its own business. It is most similar to those people who do not need to be big to command respect. I would put it in the same category as a Kingfisher at least in this regard. Even though, scientifically the two birds are actually very distant relatives.     You normally see bee-eaters in pairs or in small groups huddled close together. These birds mate for life and build their nests in holes in the trees. Most of their diet includes insects, especially the fast flying ones, such as bees and wasps. The bee-eaters demonstrate excellent acrobatics and catch these insects mid-air.     Then they repeatedly strike these ill-fated insects against a hard surface to remove the stinger and most of the venom. The insects are then devoured. The pointed, sharp, and slightly curved beak is very helpful in this task.     There are four major types of bee-eaters that are found in India - green bee-eater, blue-cheeked bee-eater, blue-tailed bee-eater, and chestnut headed bee-eater. Of these, the Green Bee-eater is the most common one sighted in and around Delhi. One aspect that is common in almost all bee-eater is that they all have striking plumage - whether it comes to color or the slightly elongated central feather on their tail.     One such bee-eater got badly hurt and fell into my sister's garden. It lay there without moving till it was picked up and cared for. There-on it showed signs of improvement, feeding hungrily on glucose water and crushed worms. We were in the process of contacting the authorities to take it to a safe home, when its condition started deteriorating. A local vet examined it and found that it had severe internal injuries. Thereafter, it did not regain strength and died the next day.     Somehow, this close association with a bee-eater has made this family of birds rather special to me. Even when hurt and obviously scared because of human presence around it, the bird was at its best behavior, like a gentleman. It co-operated fully, but unfortunately could not make it. However, the excellent strength of character it demonstrated in adverse situation, is imprinted on my mind forever. Indeed, these are beautiful birds.

It is in the month of July that almost the whole of India sees rains. And the effect is almost immediate. It only takes a day or two for grass, creepers, and new leaves to shroud the entire landscape with a green so bright that it hurts your eyes. And this is when you need to gather all your senses to stay focused. Much like the bee-eater. Often seen perched on power lines, the bee eater relies upon its acute awareness of its surroundings to catch fast-flying insects. 

The bee-eater is a rather dignified bird. You do not ever see it fighting with its mate, chirping unnecessarily, or interfering with other birds. It mostly minds its own business. It is most similar to those people who do not need to be big to command respect. I would put it in the same category as a Kingfisher at least in this regard. Even though, scientifically the two birds are actually very distant relatives. 

You normally see bee-eaters in pairs or in small groups huddled close together. These birds mate for life and build their nests in holes in the trees. Most of their diet includes insects, especially the fast flying ones, such as bees and wasps. The bee-eaters demonstrate excellent acrobatics and catch these insects mid-air. 

Then they repeatedly strike these ill-fated insects against a hard surface to remove the stinger and most of the venom. The insects are then devoured. The pointed, sharp, and slightly curved beak is very helpful in this task. 

There are four major types of bee-eaters that are found in India - green bee-eater, blue-cheeked bee-eater, blue-tailed bee-eater, and chestnut headed bee-eater. Of these, the Green Bee-eater is the most common one sighted in and around Delhi. One aspect that is common in almost all bee-eater is that they all have striking plumage - whether it comes to color or the slightly elongated central feather on their tail. 

One such bee-eater got badly hurt and fell into my sister's garden. It lay there without moving till it was picked up and cared for. There-on it showed signs of improvement, feeding hungrily on glucose water and crushed worms. We were in the process of contacting the authorities to take it to a safe home, when its condition started deteriorating. A local vet examined it and found that it had severe internal injuries. Thereafter, it did not regain strength and died the next day. 

Somehow, this close association with a bee-eater has made this family of birds rather special to me. Even when hurt and obviously scared because of human presence around it, the bird was at its best behavior, like a gentleman. It co-operated fully, but unfortunately could not make it. However, the excellent strength of character it demonstrated in adverse situation, is imprinted on my mind forever. Indeed, these are beautiful birds. 

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