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Beautiful Birds of Mangaluru

Arun Santhosh Fernandes

Posted on : June 7, 2016 at 4:46 PM

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I’ve been waiting for over an hour beside a small stream on the outskirts of Mangaluru. Sitting silently, unmoving beside my camera and then it happens. An orange and red blur moves in close and transforms into an unbelievably beautiful small bird as it perches on a branch close by. It is an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, the smallest but most beautiful among Kingfishers in India. It is a bird that is much sought after by birders and bird photographers in the country but rarely seen and such a bird is to be found in our own Kudla.

Budkulo_Kudla_Mangaluru_Birds (2) Budkulo_Kudla_Mangaluru_Birds (1)

Mangaluru is home to this and many other interesting bird species though not many may be aware of the fact. There are close to 240 bird species, both resident and migrant which can be seen here and if one were to move around 40 kms inland there are several more to be seen. Over here one comes across a variety of birds from Raptors to Waders. This is because of the variety of habitats found here, such as; the sea-coast, rivers, lakes, streams, grassland, marshes, laterite plateau, forests as well as human settlements. This provides food and shelter to a good number of different kinds of birds. I have seen and recorded a variety of birds here such as Crested Hawk Eagle, Booted Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Yellow Bittern, Ruddy Turnstone, Verditer Flycatcher, Common Kestrel and many others.

Budkulo_Kudla_Mangaluru_Birds (5) Budkulo_Kudla_Mangaluru_Birds (4) Budkulo_Kudla_Mangaluru_Birds (3) Budkulo_Kudla_Mangaluru_Birds

Our beautiful city is home to many birds obviously and this has attracted a lot of people, young and old to venture into birding and bird photography which is a good thing. There are even birders who come from other parts of the country seeking birds that are only found here. This kind of activity creates an awareness for our ecology and an appreciation of nature’s wonders. It also gives the participant a feeling of peace and well-being. It also teaches one to be patient and the rewards are usually proportionate to ones efforts and patience.

How ever all is not rosy over here. Alas this city of mine is seeing exponential growth. This has destroyed the very habitats that are so treasured by birds and bird lovers at an alarming rate. Unless we wake up and realise the damage we are doing, it won’t be long before the birds that are rapidly dwindling in numbers may vanish altogether. This is real bad news, as birds not only look beautiful but are also pollinators and seed propagators. They create the vegetation around us that we take for granted. With our rapidly decreasing tree cover we are bound to pay a heavy price soon.

So if we and our children are to continue to wake up to bird-song in Mangaluru, we had better act now to save our birds and their precious habitat.

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  1. Very heartwarming pictures of our BIRD FRIENDS THANK YOU Mr Fernandes.I too am an avid bird lover & watcher- though I do not have a sophisticated camera to capture the variety of them that visit my little garden. I enjoy sipping my morning tea in my porticco watching the family of Mongoose sipping water from my lotus pond; the Myna, the wood peckers, the Indian Babbler, The Bulbul, the Drongo ( mostly seen at dusk running after insects), the bahmini kite and an occasional peacock/peahen. In fact the lamp shade in my portico has become a regular maternity home for a pair bulbuls who have built their nest over the top of the lamp-shade and bred a pair of young ones four times in the last one year. We do every thing to make them feel welcome. Of course I am yearning to see the Sparrows

  2. Good news ! Tortoise is not dead. My neighbour Mr. Rolphy Fernandes saw the tortoise moving to its usual place today at 9.15 p.m. !!!

  3. Beautiful photography . Such interest (or hobby) is waning now on the onset of other electronic hobbys. It has been rightly said that birds are dwindling in numbers due to destruction of their natural habital, which is tragic for nature lovers. Even our childhood bird-friends like crows are rate to be seen, moreover glow worms during this rainy season are so rare that in this season I was able to see only one. A tortoise that used to come to our garden to lay eggs which eventually sent babies around is not seen. (May be she got slaughtered due to her misunderstanding that getting close to all the humans is not so safe). You have shown may be just a very few of Mr. Fernandes ‘s photographs. I expect many more, though may be in instalments. Good luck to Mr. Fernandes.

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