Resident and Locally Migratory Birds
Asian Openbill Stork

The Asian Openbill Stork, Anastomus oscitans, is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Southeast Asia. Sometimes it is referred to as just Asian Openbill.
Asian Openbill Stork is a broad-winged soaring bird, which relies on moving between thermals of hot air for sustained flight. Like all storks, it flies with its neck outstretched. It is relatively small for a stork at 68cm length. They breed near inland wetlands and build stick nest in trees, typically laying 2-6 eggs.
Breeding adults are all white except for the black wing flight feathers, red legs and dull yellow-grey bill. The mandibles do not meet except at the tip, and this gives rise to the species' name. Non-breeding adults have the white of the plumage replaced by off-white. Young birds have brown tinge to the plumage.
The Asian Openbill Stork, like most of its relatives, walks slowly and steadily on the ground, feeding on molluscs, frogs and large insects.

Great Egret

The Great Egret is a large bird with all white plumage that can reach 101 cm in height and weigh up to 950 g. It is only slightly smaller than the Great Blue or Grey Herons. Apart from size, the Great Egret can be distinguished from other white egrets by its yellow bill and black legs and feet. It also has a slow flight, with its neck retracted. This is characteristic of herons and bitterns, and distinguishes them from storks, cranes and spoonbills, which extend their necks.The Great Egret feeds in shallow water or drier habitats, spearing fish, frogs or insects with its long, sharp bill. It will often wait motionless for prey, or slowly stalk its victim. It is a common species, usually easily seen.
The Great Egret is partially migratory, with northern hemisphere birds moving south from areas with cold winters. It breeds in colonies in trees close to large lakes with reed beds or other extensive wetlands. It builds a bulky stick nest. The call at breeding colonies is a loud croaking "cuk cuk cuk".

Comb Duck

This common species is unmistakable. Adults have a white head freckled with dark spots, and a pure white neck and underparts. The upperparts are glossy blue-black upperparts, with bluish and greenish iridescence especially prominent on the secondaries (lower arm feathers). The male is larger than the female, and has a large black knob on the bill. Young birds are dull buff below and on the face and neck, with dull brown upperparts, top of the head and eyestripe.
The adults are unmistakeable. Immature Comb Ducks look like a large greyish female of the Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelicus) and may be difficult to tell apart if no other birds are around to compare size and hue. If seen at a distance, they can also be mistaken for a Fulvous Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) or a female Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata). The former is more vividly colored, with yellowish and reddish brown hues; the latter has a largely dark brown head with white stripes above and below the eye. However, Comb Ducks in immature plumage are rarely seen without adults nearby and thus they are usually easily identified too.
The Comb Duck is silent except for a low croak when flushed.

House Sparrow

This 14 to 16 cm long bird is abundant in temperate climates, but not universally common, and is scarce in many hilly districts. In cities, towns and villages, even around isolated farms, it can be the most abundant bird.
The male House Sparrow has a grey crown, cheeks and underparts, black on the throat, upper breast and between the bill and eyes. The bill in summer is blue-black, and the legs are brown. In winter the plumage is dulled by pale edgings, and the bill is yellowish brown. The female has no black on head or throat, nor a grey crown; her upperparts are streaked with brown. The juveniles are deeper brown, and the white is replaced by buff; the beak is dull yellow. The House Sparrow is often confused with the smaller and more slender Tree Sparrow, which, however, has a chestnut and not grey crown, two distinct wing bars, and a black patch on each cheek.

Indian Peafowl

The Indian Peafowl, Pavo cristatus, also known as the Common Peafowl or the Blue Peafowl, is one of the species of bird in the genus Pavo of the Phasianidae family known as peafowl. The Indian Peafowl is a resident breeder in the Indian subcontinent and has been introduced into many parts of the world and feral populations exist in many introduced regions. The peacock is the national bird of India and is the largest Asian galliform.The species is found in dry semi-desert grasslands, scrub and deciduous forests. It forages and nests on the ground but roosts on top of trees. It eats seeds, insects, fruits, small mammals and reptiles.
Females are about 86 cm (34 in) long and weigh 2.75-4 kg (6-8.8 lbs), while males average at about 2.12 m (7.3 ft) in full breeding plumage (107 cm/42 in when not) and weigh 4-6 kg (8.8-13.2 lbs). The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen. The Indian Peacock has iridescent blue-green plumage. The upper tail coverts on its back are elongated and ornate with an eye at the end of each feather. These are the Peacock's display feathers. The female plumage is a mixture of dull green, grey and iridescent blue, with the greenish-grey predominating. In the breeding season, females stand apart by lacking the long 'tail feathers' also known as train, and in the non-breeding season they can be distinguished from males by the green colour of the neck as opposed to the blue on the males.
Peafowl are most notable for the male's extravagant display feathers which, despite actually growing from their back, are known as a 'tail' or train. This train is in reality not the tail but the enormously elongated upper tail coverts. The tail itself is brown and short as in the peahen. The colours result from the micro-structure of the feathers and the resulting optical phenomena. The ornate train is believed to be the result of female sexual selection as males raised the feathers into a fan and quiver it as part of courtship display. Many studies have suggested that the quality of train is an honest signal of the condition of males and that peahens select males on the basis of their plumage. More recent studies however, suggest that other cues may be involved in mate selection by peahens.
They lay a clutch of 4-8 eggs which take 28 days to hatch. The eggs are light brown and are laid every other day usually in the afternoon. The male does not assist with the rearing, and is polygamous with up to six hens.

Great Cormorant

The Great Cormorant is a large black bird, but there is a wide variation in size in the species wide range. Weight is reported from 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) to 5.3 kg (11.7 lbs), with a typical range from 2.6 to 3.7 kg (5.7-8.2 lbs). Length can vary from 70 to 102 cm (28-40 in) and wingspan from 121 to 160 cm (48-63 in). It has a longish tail and yellow throat-patch. Adults have white thigh patches in the breeding season. In European waters it can be distinguished from the Common Shag by its larger size, heavier build, thicker bill, lack of a crest and plumage without any green tinge.
In eastern North America, it is similarly larger and bulkier than Double-crested Cormorant, and the latter species has more yellow on the throat and bill.
This is a very common and widespread bird species. It feeds on the sea, in estuaries, and on freshwater lakes and rivers. Northern birds migrate south and winter along any coast that is well-supplied with fish.

Indian Pond Heron

The Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii) is a small heron. It is of Old World origins, breeding in southern Iran and east to India, Burma and Sri Lanka.
They appear stocky with a short neck, short thick bill and buff-brown back. In summer, adults have long neck feathers. Its appearance is transformed from their dull colours when they take to flight, when the white of the wings makes them very prominent. It is very similar to the Squacco Heron, Ardeola ralloides, but is darker-backed. To the east of its range, it is replaced by the Chinese Pond Heron, Ardeola bacchus.
During the breeding season, there are records of individuals with red legs. The numbers do not suggest that this is a normal change for adults during the breeding season and some have suggested the possibility of it being genetic variants.
Erythristic plumage has been noted. The race phillipsi has been suggested for the populations found in the Maldives, however this is not always recognized.
They are very silent but may give a harsh croak when flushed or near their nests.

Koel

The Asian Koel or Common Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. It is found in South Asia, China, and Southeast Asia into Australia. Populations of this wide ranging species differ slightly and some subspecies are considered full species. They are brood parasites that lay their eggs in the nests of crows, with the young being raised by crows. They are unusual among the cuckoos in being largely frugivorous as adults.
The word koel also means "nightingale" in India because of the Indian Koel's melodious call. It is also colloquially known as the Rainbird or Stormbird in eastern Australia, as its call is said to foreshadow rain.

Owl

Owls have large forward-facing eyes and ear-holes, a hawk-like beak, a flat face, and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disc. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets, as with other birds, and they must turn their entire head to change views.
Owls are far-sighted, and are unable to see anything clearly within a few inches of their eyes. Caught prey can be felt by owls with the use of filoplumes, which are small hair-like feathers on the beak and feet that act as "feelers". Their far vision, particularly in low light, is exceptionally good. They can turn their head 135 degrees in either direction; they can thus look behind their own shoulders.

Rose-ringed Parakeet

The Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri), also known as the Ringnecked Parakeet, is a gregarious tropical parakeet species that is popular as a pet. Its scientific name commemorates the Austrian naturalist Wilhelm Heinrich Kramer.
This non-migrating species is one of few parrot species that have successfully adapted to living in 'disturbed habitats', and in that way withstood the onslaught of urbanisation and deforestation. In the wild, this is a noisy species with an unmistakable squawking call.

Sarus Crane

The Sarus Crane, Grus antigone is an all-year resident breeding bird in northern Pakistan and India (especially Central India and the Gangetic plains), Nepal, Southeast Asia and Queensland, Australia. It is a very large crane, averaging 156 cm (5 ft) in length, which is found in freshwater marshes and plains.
Adults are grey with a bare red head and white crown and a long dark pointed bill. In flight, the long neck is kept straight, unlike herons, and the black wing tips can be seen; their long red or pink legs trail behind them. The sexes do not differ in color, but young birds are duller and browner. On average the male is larger than the female; Indian males can attain a maximum height of approximately 200 cm (6.6 ft), with a wingspan of 250 cm (8.5 ft), making them the world's tallest living flying bird. The average weight is 6.3-7.3 kg (14-16 lbs), so they are lighter-weight than Red-crowned Cranes. Across the range, weight can vary from 5 to 12 kg (11-26 lbs), height typically from 115 to 167 cm (45-69 in) and the wingspan from 220 to 280 cm (87-110 in). Birds from Australia tend to be smaller than birds from the north.
Sarus Crane is the State Bird of Uttar Pradesh.

 

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