Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rufous Treepie

I just had an excursion in the neighborhood.

Over the last many days, I've been sharing pictures of the birds that play around wherever I am. What started as developing photography skills results into this.

By about 4pm today, I was bored. Like I've tried filling every empty moment off late, I set out photographing birds, more specifically birds in flight, more specifically Black Kite in flight.

I reach this neighborhood stretch lined with a lot of trees and empty landscapes. I find all sorts of birds perched on the electric wires and the trees and I forget the 'Black Kite in flight'. I spot a White-breasted Kingfisher and a flock of Rosy Starlings singing in liquid notes. I start clicking...

I go further. I find some 30 Peacocks together roaming around in a field. Laughing Doves, Mynas, Ravens, Bulbuls, Black Drongos, Parrots, Black Cormorant, White Egret, Shikra... Until I find this. Rufous Treepie (also called Indian Treepie).

No. I didn't know the name until half an hour back. I had never ever seen this bird until this excursion. I stood astonished by its colors and its presence so near to me. I read a bit about it on the net and am stumped by my ignorance of it for a good 30 years of my life. Beaten hollow.

That's the point. I could see the landscapes on this stretch getting ready for new construction, for the growth of our city. For most, it seems pigeons are birds and birds are pigeons and pigeons are pests.

What's incredible is that as children when we are at our curious best, we are taken to zoos and museums but we aren't made aware of what lies right beside and around. As children we have no cognizance of the numerous remarkable life forms that exist around us. And then on many occasions we marvel at their fetish for mobile phones and video games and insensitivity in general.

I am literally dumb-founded. I can't change the course of life and the 'lifestyles'. But here's a simple thought. Like kids learn about apples and bats and cows from visual books, they can learn about a variety of life-forms. Through toys. And I imagine soft toys in all shapes and forms of birds and animals. I said 'all', not just teddys and doggies (no offence meant to teddy-lovers and dog-lovers).

Am sure the kids would evolve to appreciate life and life-forms before they develop the desires for objects and gadgets.

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