Bird Families

Indian Flyer

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Chloropsis jerdoni (lat.) - a species of passerine birds of the leaflet family, common in India and Sri Lanka. The specific Latin name is given in honor of the British zoologist Thomas Gerdon (1811-1872).

The bird is of strong constitution, with a body length of 16-18 cm. The beak is conical, long, slightly curved. The wings are rounded. The tail is straight. The legs are strong.

Appearance

The main color of the plumage is green. From the base of the beak there are blue "whiskers". In males, a black mask bordered with yellow color on the face, also occupies the upper part of the throat and a slightly curved beak. There is also a yellowish tint on the hips and chest. Females have no mask, and the upper part of the throat is blue.

Active during the day. They meet singly, in pairs or in small groups. Omnivorous. They feed on insects and fruits, sometimes nectar. These birds breed throughout the year, with a peak between March and September in the north of the range and between November and May in the south. They form pairs for one season. The female builds a bowl-shaped nest between tree branches. There are 2-3 pink eggs in the nest. The female incubates. Incubation continues for about two weeks. Both parents take care of the offspring. Chicks become independent in about a month and a half.

Habitat

They prefer dense shrubs, dense evergreen and open deciduous areas. In search of nectar, birds pollinate the flowers of trees and shrubs. They fly in pairs or in small groups, feed on berries, and also hunt insects and spiders in dense foliage, writing various pirouettes in the air.

Singing

The songs are filled with whistles, repetitive sounds and clicking, and this is not only its own song, but also a very good imitation of the singing of other birds, such as dressmakers, red-faced real bulbul, black drongo, yors, red-billed alcyone, long-tailed shrike, magpie warbler. Since the various imitations follow each other in rapid succession (interspersed with its own singing), one bird C. jerdoniwell disguised in the foliage of a tree will deceive the listener, giving the impression that there is a whole group of birds on this tree, since the singing continues even after the other birds have already flown away.

Birds can be very decisive and even aggressive during the search for food, showing by all appearance that no one will be allowed on a tree where there is something to profit from.

Similar birds

In the leaflet family, there are several species that are very similar in appearance and live in India. Each species is mostly green plumage, small in size, with a medium length tail and a habit of flying in the upper or middle foliage. They all feed on fruits, insects and even nectar.

  • Orange Belly Flyer (Chloropsis hardwickii) is found only in the lower and middle Himalayas
  • Blue-winged flyer (Chloropsis cochinchinensis) is found in the northeastern lowlands (and on the Kachar hills).
  • Chloropsis jerdoni live on most of the peninsula.
  • Golden-fronted leaflet (Chloropsis aurifrons) is widespread throughout the region, overlapping in the range with all other subcontinental leaflets.
Differences
  • Habitat can often indicate a species of leaflet bird. If it is a rainforest, then, most likely, golden-fronted leaflets live there, while in a dry desert area with scattered trees, most likely there will be only C. jerdoni... However, in many regions, such as the west coast, forests of central India or parts of the eastern territories, both species can coexist (with different proportions of abundance).
  • Leaflet chicks are difficult to distinguish and often require the eye of a specialist to recognize multiple features before identification can be made.
  • If the birds are following in pairs, this fact often helps to identify the species, as golden-fronted leaflets do not show the obvious sexual dimorphism that C. jerdoni .

Proud and formidable

Release the chassis!

Landing is done in a given area

Pine River, March 3, 2021
Canon 2000d.

Owl deceived by the pandemic

I work in an environmental organization in my city, and in the spring of last year, people told us that in the city park, at a distance of three meters from the path and at a height of one and a half meters from the ground, an owl hollow was seen in which three chicks were hovering.

We arrived at the park and, indeed, found this hollow and three chicks: though two of them have already got up on the wing and sometimes warmed up, flying out of the hollow, so in the video you will see only one of them. At the end, he sits on the ground - we took him out to ring him.

According to our assumptions, such anomalous behavior of the female (usually owls choose a much safer height and distance from human paths) is due to the fact that she nested just at the time when everyone was sitting at home due to the toughest wave of restrictive measures to counter the proliferation pandemics. The park was quiet, calm, the flow of people dropped sharply, so she chose the most comfortable large spacious hollow. As a result, any large dog could reach the nest if desired, which would threaten him with immediate ruin.

But everything ended well - we monitored the state of the nest and the chicks right up to the moment when they flew off their habitat completely and after a couple of weeks it was possible to breathe peacefully.

An owl, by the way, is a long-tailed owl, a fairly common species, in the territory of our region slowly replacing the gray owl because of its more aggressive behavior and slightly larger size. The next video shows an adult female who swears at us for disturbing her chicks (to ring). When she tries to scare, she makes such sounds as if she is barking.

And finally - one more video from the ringing of the long-tailed owl chicks. In the beginning, you can see the duplon - an artificial nesting place, like a birdhouse, but only for owls. We hang these just to restore the number of endangered species (but sometimes they are still populated by long-tails) and take them into account by ringing them.

Such different birds

Birds are unusually widespread throughout the planet. If we could see every bird on Earth, we would see the whole world.

Birds can be found in any corner of any ocean, as well as on such deserted areas of land where no one else lives except them. Gray gulls raise their chicks in the Chilean Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on the planet. Emperor penguins hatch eggs during the height of the Antarctic winter. Singing hawks-gabars nest in the Berlin cemetery where Marlene Dietrich is buried, sparrows - in traffic lights in Manhattan, black swifts - in caves on the sea coast, snow vultures (kumai) - on Himalayan rocks, and finches have mastered the lands of Chernobyl.

Black-throated jay (Cyanocorax colliei). The shrill cry of a jay is a common sound in Western Mexico. Jays, like other corvids (magpies recognize themselves in the mirror, and crows make tools), have a developed intellect.

Photo taken at the Houston Zoo, Texas

To survive in such a variety of conditions, birds, of which there are about 10 thousand species, have acquired an amazing variety of forms in the course of evolution. To begin with, the African ostrich is two and a half meters tall, while the Cuban bee hummingbird is slightly larger than the insect it was named after. Their beaks can be either very massive (like in pelicans or toucans), or tiny (like in a short-beak), and can reach a length comparable to the size of the body, like in a hummingbird-sword-beak. Or take the color: the Painted Oatmeal Cardinal of Texas, the Gouldian Sharp-tailed Sunbird from South Asia and the Rainbow Lorikeet from Australia flaunt a variety of colors better than any flower. But there are those who prefer endless shades of discreet brown, burdening the vocabulary of ornithologists with terms: rusty red, reddish brown, ocher, chestnut, red.

Red flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)

Flamingo chicks hatch in white plumage, and the spectacular color is manifested thanks to organic pigments - carotenoids found in crustaceans that these birds feed on. The beak of this bird seems to be attached to the head by an inept sculptor. Such a strange shape turns out to be very convenient when flamingos feed with their heads dangling into the water.

Photo taken at Lincoln Children's Zoo, Nebraska

Most birds are not that cute and fluffy, but in many ways they are even more like us than some mammals.

The birds build complex houses and start a family in them. For the winter, they prefer to fly away on vacation to warmer regions. Cockatoo has a sharp mind: they give in to tasks that can confuse even chimpanzees. And crows love to play - I saw how on windy days, when other (more practical) birds refrain from flying, crows gladly dive from the hillsides, doing real somersaults in the air just for fun. And what kind of videos with their participation are not there! In one of the Russian cities, a crow came up with a winter fun: it rolled down a snow-covered roof on a plastic cover, flew back up with a cover in its beak and rolled down again.

Yellow-cheeked rosella (Platycercus icterotis). The sociable parrots found in southwest Australia often feed in pairs or small groups. Farmers used to shoot them because of the damage that birds do to fruit trees. Now this species is under state protection, but its numbers continue to decline as the territory suitable for life for rosellas decreases.

Photo taken at BLANK PARK ZOO, Des Moines, Iowaand

Birds also behave in different ways: some species are unusually sociable, others, on the contrary, lead a reclusive lifestyle. African red-billed weavers and flamingos gather in flocks of millions, and some species of parrots even build real cities from twigs. The deer walk along the banks of mountain streams and dive under the water for a long time solely alone, and wandering albatrosses can soar at a distance of 800 kilometers to their nearest brother.

White-faced scoop (Ptilopsis leucotis).

Lives in sub-Saharan Africa. Like most owls, she is an excellent nocturnal hunter with fine hearing and keen eyesight, and the special structure of the primary flight feathers allows the scoop to dive silently on unsuspecting prey.

There are friendly birds, for example, in New Zealand, the gray fantail is able to accompany a person everywhere while walking along the trail. But some birds, on the contrary, behaved hostilely: in Chile, caracara dives, striving to please a person right in the crown when he stares at it for too long.

Plantain cuckoos hunt rattlesnakes in pairs - one bird distracts the victim, and the second creeps up and attacks from behind. Wasps eat wasps. Wall climbers climb the cliff walls. Thick-billed guillemots dive to a depth of 200 meters, and peregrine falcons dive at a speed of 385 kilometers per hour. Rotacoa does not leave its native pond throughout its life, and the blue forest songbird is ready to easily travel to Peru and return back to the same tree in New Jersey, where it nested a year earlier.

Two-horned kalao (Buceros bicornis).

The bird with a massive helmet over its beak and wings reaching two meters in span is rightfully considered the king of the sky over the jungles of Southeast Asia. Kalao smears its black and white plumage with a yellowish oily liquid, which is secreted by the gland above the tail.

Photo taken at the Houston Zoo, Texas.

And of course, birds, like us, fill the world with melodies, be it a nightingale trill somewhere on the outskirts of Europe, the chirping of a thrush in Quito, Ecuador, or the singing of spectacled bush in Chengdu, China.

American chicks have developed a complex "language" in which they communicate not only with each other, but also with the rest of the birds living in the area, in order to share information about how much the community can feel safe from predators.

In the repertoire of a lyrebird from Eastern Australia, a melody was seen that sounded like it was being played on a flute. It was possible to find out that in these places once lived a farmer who was fond of playing the flute: probably, the ancestors of the bird adopted his motive.

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