Arefa Tehsin

Birds Too Can Assess The Magnitude Of Danger

Due to draught the water become so scarce in Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary that Wildlife department had to replenish artificial water holes with tankers during the summer of 2004.

To take the stock of situation we took an extensive tour of the sanctuary from 29th May to 3rd June 2004. Our base camp was at Sumer Rest House.

There is a water hole near this rest house. On 30th May at about 2 o’ clock in the afternoon we were sitting near the water hole in a hide for observations.

A red watelled lapwing was wading in the pool. Some ringed doves, spotted doves, red vented bulbuls, yellow throated sparrows, common mynas and a tree pie were perched on the trees near the water hole.

Suddenly a white eyed buzzard appeared and started circling above the pool. The lapwing gave a low tung and walked around the pool.

The buzzard swept down towards the pool. All the birds simply ducked, not a single bird flew away from the scene.

In such circumstances, when a raptor is overhead, birds fly away from their predator. When the buzzard landed near the pool, the most vocal lapwing didn’t protest but simply turned and waded into the pool.

This behaviour of the birds indicates that birds too can assess the mood of the raptors, whether they mean business or not.

The grove in spring:

even the birds that prey on birds

are slumbering. – (from the Japanese of) Ranko; translated Henderson

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