>India Through a Birder’s Eyes

>India Through a Birder’s Eyes – NYTimes.com

I am not a fan of birds.  Yes, many are pretty, and have interesting calls.  Some are highly intelligent, crows, parrots, and mynas, for example.  Falcons are very cool, as are eagles and owls.  I’m not against all birds, or bird species. 

However, birds are mostly filthy animals, especially their excrement.  Blech.  There are probably other animals in the Animal Kingdom whose excrements are toxic.  I can’t think of any animal whose excrement could cause a spontaneous abortion or cause birth defects. Cats – pregnant women cannot clean a cats litter box.  Cats and birds.

Some species of birds migrate, move from place to place according to the season, and according to their reproductive cycle.  Most bird species do not migrate.  Kestrils, partridges, many tropical birds, and ptarmigans, to name a few, do not migrate.  Some birds do not move more than a few miles from their birth, such as the Mute Swan, and the British partridge.

Many people enjoy bird-watching.  I have gone bird-watching in Land Between the Lakes (LBL), and I am especially fond of hummingbirds.  Land Between the Lakes is also a good place for bald eagle viewing.  For more bald eagle viewing, Highway 3, a scenic highway that runs along the Mississippi River in Illinois, is a great place to watch bald eagles.

People attend bird-viewing activities and keep logbooks recording the date, time, species, and location of each siting.  People travel throughout the United State hoping to catch site of that rare and elusive bird, chasing after a species much like people collect stamps, rocks, and minerals.

By traveling the globe, bird aficionados can enhance their collections.  In Costa Rica, viewers could add several species of tropical birds.

In India, ample supplies of water, warm weather, habitat combine to provide a unique environment for hundreds of different species of birds.  City parks provide opportunities for birders to come face-to-face with hornbills, ducks, and herons.  Some of these birds make India home; others are on their way to some place else, stopping to rest, eat, and drink.  Like tourists.

Geography can help explain migratory patterns, why birds choose certain routes, or why they choose certain areas to roost, or to procreate.  Certain places on the earth are conducive for certain bird species, other are not.  A penguin would not last long in Egypt.  Penguins are unique to the Southern Hemisphere.  To my knowledge, no penguins exist north of the Equator, except for those in zoos.  Falcons work well in Egypt and the Middle East, but would not last in Antartica, or the southern coast of Argentina or Chile.

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