Asian Koel:

Asian Koel birds photographed in natural Habitat. Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. The name koel is echoic in origin with several language variants. The bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry.

Asian Koel male & female

The word “Koel” is derived from the Hindi word which is onomatopoeic in origin. The Sanskrit root is “Kokila” and the words in various Indian languages are similar. It is traditionally held in high regard for its song and held in reverence with the Manusmriti, an ancient decree protecting them from harm. The Vedas, Sanskrit literature dated to about 2000 BC referred to it as Anya-Vapa which meant “that was raised by others”. This has been interpreted as the earliest knowledge of brood parasitism. Being familiar birds with loud calls, references to them are common in folklore, myth and poetry. It has been chosen as the state bird by the southern Indian state of Puducherry or Pondicherry.

Asian Koel2

Asian koel3

The male of the nominate race is glossy bluish-black, with a pale greenish grey bill, the iris is crimson, and it has grey legs and feet. The female of the nominate race is brownish on the crown and has rufous streaks on the head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The underparts are whitish, but are heavily striped. The other subspecies differ in coloration and size. The upper plumage of young birds is more like that of the male and they have a black beak. They are very vocal during the breeding season (March to August in South Asia), with a range of different calls. The familiar song of the male is a repeated koo-Ooo. The female makes a shrill kik-kik-kik… call. Calls vary across populations.

The less known egg fruit:

During my recent trip to Thekkady came across some rare and less known fruits. Here is one of them, the less known egg fruit.

Thekkady has one of the largest wildlife sanctuary in India is a dream destination. The Country’s sole Tiger reserve, Periyar, with its bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna is the ultimate reservoir of many an endangered species and a rich tribal culture. Thekkady is situated in Idukki district of Kerala, India.

Egg fruit1

The fruits are yellowish to orange with somewhat meaty pulp resembling a cooked egg yolk. EGG FRUIT (Pautaria campechiana), belonging to the family sapotaceae, is a large, symmetrical, bushy, much branched, evergreen tree. The taste of the fruit is unique, rich, sweet and highly nutritive with about 2000 IU/100g of carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.

Egg fruit2

After photographing had one bite, tastes exactly as that of boiled egg ;-)., Taken at Thekkady woods,Idukki,Kerala,India.

 

Antlers & Horns of Deer:

The terms horns and antlers are often used interchangeably, but in reality, they refer to quite different structures. Antlers are a pair of bony, branched structures that protrude from the frontals of the skull of animals and are shed annually; horns are also paired and protrude from the frontal, but they are permanent, unbranched, and made up of a bony core and a keratinized sheath.

Antlers are one of the most easily recognized characteristics of the family Cervidae. They are present only in males (with the exception of caribou) and are capable of growing astoundingly large.Caribou and reindeer use their antlers to clear away snow so they can eat the vegetation underneath. This is one possible reason that females of this species evolved antlers. Another possible reason is for female competition during winter foraging.

Males use their full-grown antlers during the breeding season in social interactions in competition for females. In winter, pituitary antler-growth hormone stimulation decreases as day length shortens, and androgen secretion lessens. As a result, the pedicel loses calcium, weakening the point of connection between it and the antler, and eventually the antlers are shed. Males then are without antlers for a few months in late winter until the cycle begins again. Curiously, some cervids have large canine teeth, which are used in sexual displays and fighting. Often species with large canines have small antlers or are missing antlers altogether.

As antlers near the end of the growing process, spongy bone in their outer edges is replaced by compact bone, while their centers become filled with coarse, spongy, lamellar bone and marrow spaces. The velvet dies and is removed in part by the animals rubbing and thrashing their antlers against vegetation. The antlers also are stained during this action, giving them the brown, polished, wooden look.

HORNS:

Horns occur in males of all species of Bovidae, and females often bear them too. Horns are composed of a bony core covered with a sheath of keratin. Unlike antlers, horns are never branched, but they do vary from species to species in shape and size.

 

Tiny Wonder – Hamster:

Hamsters close up from my archive.

Interesting Facts about Hamsters:

Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. Hamsters are nocturnal, sleeping during the hot days and playing in the cooler evenings. They have very poor eyesight, colorblind and can see only up to 6 Inches in front of them but have a keen sense of smell and excellent hearing. Most species of hamsters have expandable cheek pouches in which they can carry food and bedding back to their burrow where they will store food.

With potential life span of 2-3 years adult body weighs 100-150 grams (adult females are slightly larger than adult males) and Hamsters react to their names; can dig up to 3 Meters in the wild and remembers their relatives. Only a few hamster species are widely kept as pets but the hamster is the most popular of the smaller rodents kept as a pet in many countries today. So sad they are widely being used in test & research laboratories Worldwide!

Crocodile and Tortoise- Friend or Foe?

No idea how safe it is to house a crocodile and a tortoise together in a pond.

I took these images at crocodile bank, Chennai, India and as you can see the (Alligator) Crocodile and a tortoise living together dangerously. In my search about the facts and behavior of crocodiles with tortoise I found this Youtube video confirming the truth that crocodiles eats tortoise. Wish I am wrong and the Authorities are sure about the safety of these lovely little tortoises. There are many of them out there!

Please (Must) watch this less-than-a-minute Youtube video.

Crocodile Eats Tortoise..Very Crunchy!

 

 

The higher a monkey climbs….

…the more you see of his behind.
I’ve always been fascinated by the monkeys, and these close-up look at their faces just captivated me. Hope I have captured their emotions and personality(Hair style) in a very effective way.
There’s never a dull moment with monkeys around. There are plenty of them around my area hence one of my favorite subject for photography and I enjoy clicking them!
Snapped while this baby monkey was looking down and busily cracking a green ground nut; there are so many of them around my house and regularly visit my place. I often bribe them with some good fruits and ground nuts; make them come closer to get a handsome shot. Here is a few of them from my archive.

Here is a Flying Kiss from a Baby Monkey:-)

Gang Leader Monkey 😉
This tongue twisted, jaw torn, ear pierced ferocious gang leader monkey was in complete control of his troop.

At Sunset, planing to return home!

Rhinoceros Hornbill:

The Rhinoceros hornbill(Buceros rhinoceros) is a large, cavity-nesting bird with black plumage, a white abdomen, and a long white tail crossed by a wide black band. Named for the upturned casque or “horn” that sits atop their giant colorful beaks, the males and females look alike except for their eye color (M-red, F-white).

Interesting Facts:-

After the female lays 1-2 eggs, the pair uses mud and fruit to seal the female inside the tree cavity. The male passes food to her through a tiny hole while the female sits on the eggs. Thirty days after the chicks hatch, the female breaks out of the cavity and reseals the entrance. The chicks remain in the nest until they are about 80 days old.

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