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
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 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
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
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, 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
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 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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.