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.

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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.

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.

 

Wonderful day out at Wonder la – Bangalore, India

Not all days are same. Yesterday wasn’t all that good at Bannarghatta. But today our luck and stars favored us as the whole day we spent our time at Wonder La, a theme and amusement park near Bangalore that turned out to be the most refreshing and entertaining day for all of us.

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I was much thrilled because the day was a different kind of experience in photography. The whole day I was clicking around more than 200 snaps and never took part in any of the mind blowing rides or other attractions. It was for others to enjoy and to me the very purpose of the trip was photography and enjoyed their enjoyment through my lens. Here you can see some of them.

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On entering the park, I found that it is well maintained. Signboard and displays were very informative and were put up in a thoughtful manner and the well  planned cloak room facility was immensely useful. The lawns and walk area all around the theme park, the restaurants, and the toilet facilities were perfect in all aspects.  To say in one two words, spick and span. You can easily spot Wonder La if you are driving from Mysore to Bangalore. They have a huge Giant Wheel mounted on a tower.
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While in queue for tickets I heard someone whispering from behind, Oh, so costly Rs.520 per head. I too felt so but on our way back after 8 hours of non stop entertainment had the feeling that it was worth the money. If you ever happened to be in Bangalore, India, make sure you visit this place, especially with family and friends.
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In all there are more than 40 types of rides and some of them are really high thrill rides. The rides are both water as well as dry ones. Shake a leg at the Rain Disco or scream your guts out on the dizzying dry and wet rides.
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wonder13 A day at Wonder La will have your bones rattling and mind spinning. Highly recommended is insanity, a dry ride that will drive you insane as it twists, turns and throws you around at a height. The Boomerang is wild and wet – definitely not for the faint hearted.
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wonder16 The younger ones can enjoy fun rides like Jumping frogs. For kids there are many smaller versions of rides including vertical drop, toy train, trains in caves and crazy cars and many other attractions.
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Refuel at any of the five restaurants offering good vegetarian and non-vegetarian food and once again get on to business as many times as you want in any of the  rides as there is no entry fee at each ride entry point as it’s all included in main entrance ticket cost.

Take part in Rain Disco, with 10,000 watts of hi-fidelity sound, psychedelic laser lights choreographed showers of warm water. Sea wave pool with warm water is one of the main attractions as you can see in the image the atmosphere is typical beach like ambience with a lighthouse in background and waves are turned on at regular intervals for hundreds to mock a swim against tides.
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At exit you come across laser and water fountain show auditorium like a bonus package here. After you get tired of all the rides, you can actually come here and enjoy the impressive laser and water show that lasts for about 30 minutes.