Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)

When we first moved to Dibrugarh some years ago one of the first things that we noticed was that we played host to a number of bird species in our Garden. Some of the birds were of the more common variety sparrow, myna et al, but hosting a flock of parrots was quite a new experience. For the birding buffs, I am referring to the Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittaculla krameri). The male is marked by the black and pink ring around his neck.

Around twenty meters from the base of one of the dominant trees there are 3-4 hollows which have been made by different species of birds. These hollows are like an apartment complex and as the season progresses at least four to five species of birds take their turns to nest in these holes. The parrots are permanent occupants of at least one hollow and the earliest occupants of the others with a pair of roosting owls to give them company.

Noisy birds by nature the parrots are in their full elements when fighting for their mating and residency rights and are not above trying to push the owls out. The owls maintain their dignity most of the time but once in a while a flashing beak or talon shows the parrots who’s boss.

There is a quiet period when the parents are busy rearing the young but the noise starts again when the adolescents begin flying around in flocks and raiding fruiting trees. Their colour camouflages them perfectly amongst the green leaves and only the slightest movement of their pink beaks give them away. Having said that they are a photographers delight as once resting they are quite bold and slow. They always give you that opportunity to get into a position where a reasonable photo is possible.

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