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Random Thoughts

Sunday Birding – Birding like a Birder ?

Birding like a birder? Or acting like a birder?

I think I was trying to act like one. The broken lens pushed me to grab a binocular from my friend and when the Common cranes were foraging few meters away from me and my friends were busy clicking photographs, I was watching them by manually adjusting the focus of the binocular. I was thrilled to see them and I was feeling lucky as if I googled them in the middle of the paddy field.

But I completely missed the true essence of birding. What was the color of their beak? Was it grey? What about the upper mandible and the lower one? Are they of same size? Do they have a distinct stripe starting from the beak above the eye and ends somewhere towards the rear end of their heads, known as Supercilium? What was the color of their lore? Dark grey? Yes, I remember it was blackish. The color of the region between the bill and the eye on each side of the head which is known as lore was dark grey and from that distance it was looking black without the binocular. But wait. I didn’t notice the specific areas like lore, nape or rump. These words did not came to my mind then. Rather my conclusion was most of the area of their heads and necks were blackish. Truly unacceptable.

Some parts of their feathers were black. But which parts? The edges? The primaries, the tips of the secondaries, the alula, the tip of the tail, and the edges of upper tail coverts are all black. This is what I found in Wikipedia. So much yet to learn.

I did notice their red crowns though. They were distinctly visible through naked eyes as well. But did I try to find out the differences between a male and a female? Oops !! I missed that too.

So despite having a binocular in my hand, I simply jumped from one species to another. I was using the binocular like my camera. Frame it, focus it and shoot. I was trying to act like a birder but I failed miserably in that occasion or to confess, I failed one more time. 

So to conclude, I am prescribing myself a book called “How to be a (Bad) Birdwatcher” by Simon Barnes. A suggestion which was made by my friend long time ago.

Note:- The following diagrams are used from internet. In case of any issue, pls update, I will remove. The source links are mentioned below.




2 thoughts on “Sunday Birding – Birding like a Birder ?

  1. Informative, very well written!!

    Posted by Divyanidhi Gaur | September 18, 2014, 11:44 am
  2. great effort

    Posted by Marummu | November 13, 2014, 9:31 am

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