Winged Beauties of Northeast India
(A photoblog on the bio-diversity of Northeast India — Part I)
An Encounter with Red-breasted Parakeets
It was a cold winter morning in December 2020, when I was on my usual rounds of birding in my village Morigaon in Assam. And, all of a sudden a large flock of Red-breasted Parakeets flew over and docked on a rice field situated a few metres away. Overwhelmed by the size of the flock we simply forgot to take any pictures. I followed them silently to the paddy field and waited for an hour or so, to see see flying again. We captured this flying shot right when they took their flight.
It is not an unknown fact that such large flocks of birds can cause some damage to the ripe crops. However, it was so heart-warming to see them, and the kind of love-care relationship farmers share with them that I couldn’t stop myself from embracing that sight.
I was lucky to capture the sight of Wreathed Hornbill
Wreathed Hornbill also known as bar-pouched wreathed hornbill is an old world tropical bird. This bird has been listed among the vulnerable species in the IUCN Red List since 2018 due to threats on its global population. They are found in the north-eastern India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia on Sumatra and in some islands of south-east Asia.
I witnessed the flight of a Wreathed Hornbill through the heart of Kamlang Tiger Reserve, Lohit District, Arunachal Pradesh, India. This is one of the oldest and pristine rainforests of our country. This image shows the importance of conserving these forest habitats where such beautiful creatures flourish and not to allow this majestic flight lone in future.
I spotted a pair of Spotted Owlet preening each other on a sunny morning in Silchar, Assam India. An owlet is a small owl that resides in open habitats like farmlands. Adapted to living in the cities, they are also found in the tropical regions of Asia, mainland India to Southeastern Asia and roost in the hollows of trees or in the cavities.
I captured the adorable pair expressing preening behavior, a way to show affection towards each other.
The word “hornbill” reminds me of the “Hornbill Festival,” a sought-after music festival of Nagaland that attracts tourists from across the globe. The “Festival of Festival” is named after the Indian hornbill, a large and colourful forest bird that distinctively appears in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes.
Great Hornbill, also known as concave-casqued hornbill, is the largest species of hornbill found on the Indiana subcontinent. They are usually found in good and healthy natural forests. Habitat loss is one of the key threats that is accelerating the dip in their population in the past decades. IUCN has marked Great Hornbill’s conservation status as ‘near-threatened’.
These birds act as the prime seed dispersers of the forest. I took this photograph of male Great Hornbill in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India.
Buff- chested Babbler
Buff-chested Babbler is a small skulking bird from the babbler family. It is found in South-east Asia and can be traced as a species of bird in the Old World babbler family. I took this photograph during my visit to Thenzawl, Mizoram, India.
I found these Bee eaters in a cold early morning near my house in Morigaon, Assam. They were huddling and waiting for the sun to rise and shine on them. Bee-eaters are usually late risers, and possibly because insects only get humming and airborne once the sun is properly up.
They can be found huddling together in rows (in a disciplined way) on the branches or telephone wires. They love to have body contacts with one another.
About the Author
Garuab Talukdar is a Climate Reality Leader trained during Global Training in 2020. He is bird enthusiast, nature photographer and filmmaker from Assam, India. He has pursued Masters in Economics from Assam University, Silchar, Assam. He has played an active role in human-elephant conflict mitigation programs with communities, providing awareness in schools and wildlife rescues. He is also a Green Hub Fellow (2018), where he learned documentary filmmaking and conservation issues.