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.

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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!

Vintage Telephone:

Seen enough and gone mad of latest communication gadgets like Apple I Pads, Blackberries,Smart phones & tablets. I got a Golden opportunity to come across this vintage Telephone used by some privileged great grandpas a century before! Lucky, had my camera ready with me!!

A nostalgic vintage Eiffel Tower telephone created in Stockholm Sweden by L. M. Ericsson from 1892 to 1929.  Black with antique brass accents, these beautiful telephones feature a rose wood body, a classic felted handset cord and a push button type numbers on round dial.

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!

 

 

Amateur and part time fishing:

No High-tech gadgets, no fishing boat, net and not even any fishermen folks around him to help. All by himself, this part time and amateur fisherman barely with a towel wrapped around his waist has amazed me with his skills. All that he had was a local hand made steel rod connected to a fishing hook and weight by a long nylon rope of about 100 ft in length. At first sight I didn’t realize what he was up to while I was shooting blue sky, waves, fishing boats & sea at East Coast road Beach at Chennai TN, India. I have seen people with professional fishing kits at lakes, rivers and ponds but he was an eye opener for me as I didn’t know before that fishes can be caught at sea shore even, where tides and waves are so strong and fishes do ever exist at this close range for fishing.

I went nearby followed his actions closely to find his amazing talent and clicked those moments in a series of images and he was too willing to pose for me and explained the process too!!

Here is the success story of a man with no family, wandering around in a fishermen hamlet, catches fish in an unique way for living and proves the point that there is always an opportunity in Life only if we see it properly!

Waiting patiently after throwing the weight & hook as far as he could into the see.

Dragging the catch

Bait in hook used is the stuff inside these shells after braking with stone.

Dragging the catch

Prize catch close up

Winding up for next try

Vintage music Machine – HMV:

HMV Style 7:- 1899 – the His master’s Voice or HMV, is a famous music trademark, and was the name of a large record label for a number of years.

The name His master’s Voice or HMV was coined in the year 1899, from the title of painting of Nipper the dog listening to a gramophone.

Horn gramophones continued to be made right up to 1930. For the most part, however, they began to fall from favor in the early 1920’s. A few years before the First World War machines began to be made with the horn turned ‘upside-down’ and fitted inside the cabinet.

Bearing the beloved image of the hound with his ear turned to the brass trumpet; this delightful antique will be a prized collection for those who love this vintage music machine!

I found this master piece in a showcase of a hotel lobby at Chennai India. Truly a great subject for photography due to its rarity and I am happy I had my camera ready then and snapped a few close shots before some hotel staff could raise objections!