Let us see the mating in actual at the link mentioned below for the benefit of all who still believe in the age old myth that a Peahen (female) becomes pregnant by drinking the tears of a dancing Peacock (male). If you like the Video please feel free to subscribe it to enjoy many more facets of nature.
Is there any truth in the statement of Honourable and learned Judge Sh Mahesh Sharma from the Rajasthan High Court made last year in May 2017, that Peacock is a lifelong Brahmachari (Celibate). It never has sex with the peahen. The peahen gets pregnant after swallowing the tears of the Peacock.
Now you have the answer with you.
Image from Delhi taken in this breeding season in May 2018.
Last minute encounter with the Peacock
The entire world is gripped into the fever of the World Cup Football 2018.
As the game has moved from the Group stage to the Knock Out stage it is a question of "Do and Die" for the football playing country and for their supporters through out the world.
Yesterday night when Japan was on the verge of eliminating a giant like Belgium who could have thought that Belgium would topple at the last moment and moved to the Quarter Finals and shatter the dreams of Japan. Now they will fight out with the mighty Brazil for the place in the Semi Finals on 6th/7th July.
Sometime back when I was just about to pack off my equipment a peacock came near to me and opened up his tail feathers for dancing and I could not stop myself from capturing the close up shots.
It is said the most unexpected things come to you when you least expect them.
I am sharing one of the image from Delhi taken on 20th June 2018.
Courtship of House Sparrow
In big metros people are missing house sparrows which used to be a common sight early in the morning in each house hold, in courtyard and house garden. However, for the last so many years, as they have moved out because of destruction of their habitat in and around our houses, construction of towers for the mobile phones without which we appear to have become dead. On reaching some bodyâ€™s house for social gathering or purpose we first see whether our mobile is charged. If not we first plug in for charging the same. In order to save them, Delhi Govt. has declared sparrow as State Bird of Delhi.
For quite sometime I was interested in recording their courtship/mating. I remember I saw it many years back when they were seen but as a birder it was missing from my treasure. Last month I was in Dehradun and staying at Shaheen Bagh. Since the place is so heavenly I thought of spending time at the property.
A birder can not close his eyes and always thinks of seeing something new. The eyes searched what they wanted. Yes, I saw and observed the mating of the House Sparrow. I could record it on the light lamp on the wall covered with lovely creepers. It appeared as if they are expecting a NEW LIGHT in their family.
As a nature conservationist, I feel that we have to take all the measures for the sparrows to again come back to urban environment. Further, we have to ensure that the birds such as Red-vented Bulbul, Myna, Crow, Woodpecker, Owl, Parakeets, Asian Koel, Common Hoopoe, Kingfisher, Peafowl do get protection, in some way or other. They have been associated to humankind from time immemorial. Saving the birds around us means "we are saving the nature".
Enjoy the images taken on 23rd April 2018 at Dehradun, in the State of Uttrakhand.
Pied Crested Cuckoo or Jacobin Cuckoo ( Scientific Name: Clamator Jacobinus) Advance Indicator of Monsoons.
How the bird looks and sound produced by them can be heard and their mating can be seen in the Video. A brief write up for understanding the bird may also be seen underneath the video. In case you like the link feel free to subscribe the channel by pressing the subsciption button on my youtube channel.
Pied crested cuckoo is a member of the Cuckoo family. It can be easily identified by two colors white and black. These are very vocal during the breeding season. In fact, they migrate from South Africa, come to India along with the South West Monsoons for breeding.
Similar to Asian Koel and common cuckoo they are brood parasite (they do not make their nest and lay their eggs in other bird nest ) and the host specie in India is Common or Jungle babbler . Ion a number of occasions I have been fortunate to record the feeding of the chick by a group of common babblers in the NCR Delhi.
According to Hindu mythology, this bird is known as Chatak and as harbinger of the rains. Its arrival is an indication of the timely arrival of Monsoon. People in different parts of our country wait eagerly for its arrival as this is a symbol of hope, because entire Indian population and especially the farmers & the economy is Monsoon dependent.
In the morning of 20th June 2018, I heard the sound of the pied crested cuckoo and I sighted the same in flight . It just landed up the canopy of a tall tree. After a few seconds it flew again and went away .I followed it as it kept on changing position one tree to another. For the last two weeks I am hearing their sound and even able to see either perching them on the top of the tree or in flight. I also saw it foraging on the ground along with common mynas.
I observed their mating on 16th September 2014 and later on 1st July 2016 in the heart of Delhi. A rare shot in the wild.
Indian Grey Hornbill (Female) enters the Cavity for the new generation. Most unique Nesting behavior in the Avian World.
I have been observing Indian Grey hornbills, Oriental pied hornbills as well as great hornbills in various National Parks of India right from 2004 but the activities of most common hornbill namely, the Indian Grey hornbill (Ocyeros birostris) that is also found in urban environment hooked me when I went through the literature. From then, I have been closely observing its behavior in heart of Delhi for more than 5 years.
Hornbills nest in tree hollows. By and large they are monogamous. After courtship and mating, the female enters the hollow cavity of the nesting tree and stays there for around 75 to 90 days depending upon the species. This makes their nesting one of the most unique in the natural world.
Even during entry I have observed the male helping and pushing the female into the cavity. There after he brings soil, pebbles and hand them over to the female who in turn seals the entrance with the help of soil and faecal material. She moults her feathers and lays eggs and incubates them. The eggs are hatched. The chicks are raised and when the space becomes insufficient for mother and chicks, she comes out of cavity and both the parents feed chicks.
After sometime, even chicks also come out of the cavity. During initial few days their parents feed them. During the last 5 years I have been able to photograph the courtship including mating, entry of female into the nesting cavity and coming of a chick out of the cavity.
Last year on 28th March 2017, I observed the precise moment when the female entered into the cavity and the male brought food for her sweet heart.
Elephants - Flagship specie at Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park and the tiger Reserve is the only park in the country through which holy Ganga flows. This year there is a whisper among nature lovers having interest in observing herd of elephants in the Dhikala Chaur or crossing the Ram Ganga river or deep in the forest that the number of elephants are less than the previous years. Perhaps they are of the view that they have migrated to Rajaji National Park. Last month I was in Rajaji for 4 safaris. Although I did not see the elusive tiger but I was fortunate to observe elephants in each of jungle safari. On the very first safari saw a new tusker. Then on 20th April saw the first tusker in the Himalayan region with a radio collar. Also a good elephant herd just on the Mandawali Chowki after waiting for more than 30to 40 minutes. But wait was rewarding. Yes this time Rajaji had more elephants. I am sharing some of the images taken during 19th to 21st April 2018.
Beauty in Fight... Peafowls (Scientific name: Pavo Cristatus)
My most memorable and beautiful image of peacocks fight was on 22nd April 2014, celebrated as the Earth Day through out the world. This day opened the floodgates of the fighting world for me as fight is a must irrespective of the specie for the survival of itself in the long run as propounded by Charles Darwin in its Theory of Evolution. Generally people have witnessed fight between two peacocks for the territory or mating rights. But over a period of time I have not only seen fight between peacocks but also between two peahens as well as between a peacock and a peahen and peacock witnessing it. This is similar to fight in the villages where a strong woman fights with a man to save his husband being weak. I observed similar thing in the avian world in February of last year. Just as two peacocks fight, I witnessed a fight between two peahens one fine morning. Again this may be for the nesting place or for the selected male for mating . I am sharing some of the images related to various fights observed over a period of time in the wilderness of Delhi from the year 2014 to 2018. Hope you enjoy the same as I enjoyed them clicking through the lense."
Birds of Aravalli
Get a glimpse of the Aravallis at DLF Cyber Hub with some beautiful photographs at 'Aravalli Utsav', an exhibition curated by well known photographer Sh Aditya Arya and an initiative by 'I Am Gurgaon' in partnership with India Photo Archive foundation.
All the 4 images are from Delhi N C R taken from year 2013 to 2016.
Nature at its Best... Rose Day (Beginning of Valentine Week)
A Rose is a Rose whether you call it on a Rose day or any other day. Rose is the King of flowers. It is available in most of the colors such as Red, Yellow, White, Green, Blue, Pink or Black. The rare black is found in Turkey.
Rose originated from China and now available throughout the world. It is recognized as a symbol of love, sympathy or sorrow.
As a nature lover I try to see apart from beauty in all the creations of nature, the Gods, which we have been introduced by our parents and well wishers. I not only am seeing Lord Ganesha in it, who takes care of all your problems but also Lord Hanuman.
Enjoy the nature at it's best as all around this time of the year you will find gardens full of lovely flowers as if you are in the heaven. The images are from Gardens of Delhi taken in December 2014.
Foreigners without Visa and Passport... Gulls
One of my friend Arun Gupta, an avid birder and who owns a well known hospitality property Shaheen Bagh at Dehradun told that a large number of gulls come to the Yamuna Ghat near I S B T in the heart of Delhi. Initially I did not believe it but I thought of verifying it. Accordingly I went to the designated place on 1st December 2012 in the early morning. At the first sight I could observe a few birds. Slowly and slowly saw a number of them coming from metro bridge side and made themselves comfortable on the water. I also observed a flock of birds coming from Okhla side. The ghat is between two well known marks. On the left is metro rail bridge and on right flank is old iron rail bridge which is more than 100 years old. One of the boat man at the Yamuna Ghat informed that these birds start visiting this ghat from Oct and remains up to end of Feb.
We could see a large flock of birds coming from the east as well from the west. These are black or brown headed gulls. When they arrive in Delhi the head is not black but by the time they are ready for their backward journey to the breeding habitat the head bears the black or brown color.
The question is why these birds come to such a place which has the dirtiest water in DELHI as all the drains outlet is in the Yamuna river. In fact we should not call this Yamuna river as it has lost its identity and this has become a big NALA. We observed that some persons come daily with namkeen seb or bhujia. They hire a boat and sail to the middle of the river and off load the entire content in the water. Immediately the gulls in hundreds pick up the morsels from the water. One can appreciate it when one observes it.
It was amazing to see such a large number of black or brown headed gulls in the midst of the city. Later on I invited one of the tour operators of DELHI who is running a tours and travel company for the last 20 years. He was surprised to see the gulls that too in such large number. It is in thousands. Believe me.
The Black headed gulls migrate from Europe and Central Asia and the brown headed gulls migrate from high plateaus of Central Asia and Tajikstan. It is difficult to differentiate between the black and brown headed gulls when they arrive in October as both of them support the white head. However by the end of Feb they start acquiring their colours and one can recognise them easily. From Oct to Feb is the best time to observe their activities. Generally birds are very shy and avoid human presence. But these are quite bold and ready to share the table if food is laid on it. Come and try at the Yamuna Ghat besides the Nigambodh Ghat in the midst of chaotic city for all reasons.
There are three places in N C R of Delhi where the gulls can be observed. These are (1) Yamuna Ghat (2) Yamuna Biodiversity Park, Phase 2 in North Delhi (3) Okhla Bird sanctuary at Kalindi Kunj.
Gulls are prime scavengers and ready to eat anything although some people on daily basis visit the Yamuna Ghat and ride a boat and offer namkeen to the foreigner who visit the capital of India without any visa and passport and enjoy the best Delhi's hospitality.
"Peacock â€¦.and the Menace of Stray Dogs
Almost all the News Dailies of today morning have carried out the story of a 18 month old child being killed outside his house by stray dogs in Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh. There were other incidents in the social media such as Wild ASS and Blue Bull being chased by the stray dogs in their habitats. Being a nature photographer I too have witnessed a number of times dogs chasing away the Peacock, National Bird of India, in the parks of Delhi. Sometimes even with the kill of the peachick or wings spread out just after the kill. Is it not the RIGHT time to take a call and start a campaign to deal with the STRAY DOG MENACE. Let the authorities (Municipal) of every town and taluka launch a drive to catch stray dogs and prevent them from unnecessary hunting or killing. I remember during my school days in late sixties at Sainik School Balachari in Gujarat, during the tea time before the games time, they used to be shot down by the military staff. Both the images from Delhi shot in 2014 and 2015."
Peacock and Peahen mating... An Open Secret
Right from 2013 I was trying my best to observe the mating of peacock as myth was in the air that peahen drinks the tears of the Peacock when he dances and becomes pregnant. It was in 2016 that I could observe the mating but I was not satisfied with the images .Then last year it was like a dream come true when I could get lovely images. I was able to get images from different angles and brought them in public domain from time to time.
"Peacocks ....Ready to fight to show their dominance in terms of Charles Darwin"s Principle of Survival Of the Fittest.
A Day to remember for PURNA SWARAJ
We got freedom from British Rule on 15th August, 1947. However the people of India got PURNA SWARAJ on 26th January, 1950 as the real power was vested in the Constitution of India. This day is celebrated as Republic Day. 26th January was chosen as the Republic Day because on this day in 1930 Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion Status offered by the British regime. Hope this 26th January, 2018 add more colors to the NATION. This Republic day is different from the past as 10 heads of states of ASEAN(Association of South East Asian Nations) countries have been invited to grace the occasion. Earlier there used be only one head of State. On this occassion I wish everybody a HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY.
"Freedom is My Birthright and I shall have it", Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
Who does not need freedom? I think every body whether as a child, a youth, a student, employee and an employer in what ever field he/she may be needs freedom and would love to have it. But when the whole country is ruled by others entire population needs the freedom to express one self. He is one of the Indian Freedom Fighters and the cause of Indian Freedom. He was the man who really fought for the Puran Swaraj. He was influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna after reading their works at the young age of 16, when a child is influenced by the parents only. Later he resigned from the Civil Services in 1921 and came to India from abroad. He represented the radical wing of the Indian National Congress. His most famous quote/slogan was, Give ME Blood and I Shall give you FREEDOM. Being a nature lover I have affinity with another quote on nationalism. "Nationalism is inspired by the highest ideals of human race, Satyam (the true), Shivam (the God), Sundaram (the beautiful). Nationalism in India has roused the creative faculties which for centuries had been lying dormant in our people". I am of the view that Nationalism as viewed by our great leader is well represented by Peacock, the National bird of India. When the bird produces his natural sound is not liked by people being the reality as being harsh (Satyam). This is the bird which is Carrier (Vahan) of Lord Kartikeya (elder son of Lord Shiva) and whose feathers are adorned on the head of Lord Krishna. This is Shivam. Lastly Peacock is the largest and the most beautiful bird on the earth. This is Sundaram. The whole philosophy of nationalism appears to be contained in Peacock.
Am I the Darling of the Universe?
ARISE , AWAKE And STOP Not Until GOAL is ACHIEVED.
12th January 2018: National Youth Day (In memory of Swami Vivekananda)
Image from New Delhi in June 2015.
33 years back Government of India took a decision to celebrate the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda and his ideals for which he lived and worked . He was the man who brought a change in the thought process of the youth. He is the inspiration for the youth of the present and the Modern India. The present generation remembers 11th September as the day when the twin towers at New York was destroyed on 11th September 2001. But hardly anyone remembers that Swami Vivekananda had created history 109 years back by his soul stirring address at Chicago (U.S.A.) on 11th September 1893 . He is known for his thoughts which are and would be relevant as they are AGELESS. One of them which should inspire any body irrespective of the age is.