My Backyard Heroes: Birds, Butterflies And Bugs

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Shakti Bishnoi

Pune, February 14, 2021: Our households on the first floor have more than one treasure. Apart from feeling the earth beneath our feet, we found a healthy, fully grown peepal tree, fig tree, tamarind tree, mango trees, sandalwood trees, amla trees, hibiscus plants and a huge neem tree in the front yard area. These are the plants that are needed to provide food for the birds. We moved into the house just before the fruit of peepal and fig tree. We don’t have to travel across the country to be bird watchers. Just take a look around your house.

Their melodies and vivid colors will fill your heart with amazement. Birds are wonderful beings like us, the only difference is … they can fly. When you watch them, awareness of how intelligent and sensitive they are is evident. And the more you observe, the more you learn how important they are to our environment.

A wonderful number of birds live in our house, the coppersmith barbet, the white-cheeked barbet, the lined barbet, the white-bellied woodpecker, the larger flameback, the speckled piculet, the smaller flameback, the red ventilated bulbul, the whisker bulbul, the plum-headed parakeet , the Alexandrine Parakeet, the Orange-headed Thrush, the Fleckbrustfantail, the little minivet, the common Myna, the jungle crow, the Oriental magpie robin, the Indian robin, the purple sunbird, the purple sunbird Prinia, the yellow spotted owl.

Black-shouldered kite is seen through a clearing from our back yard hovering for prey. If you are an early bird and enjoy walking around your yard or the streets of the Military Institute of Technology (MILIT), you may have heard the melodious tweeting of the oriental magpie robin, which is also the national bird of Bangladesh.

They sing loudly and love the audience. The Indian robin too. Plum Parakeet displays unparalleled etiquette when it comes to eating. It holds the ripe fig in one hand and eats piece by piece while standing on one leg. Its feather colors match the fig tree and its subtle movement makes it impossible to recognize it, unlike the barbets flying over the fig tree and the peepal tree which leaps and drops the ripe fruit on the ground. The figs that fall to the ground are enjoyed by Myna, the squirrel. The peepal fruits, when wet with our sprinklers, were so juicy and tasty for honeybees that I never had them removed from my garden soil. Indian Roin n and his other feathered friends are also responsible for controlling urban insect populations and keeping life in balance. As beautiful as these creatures are, they are tempting to adopt as pets, but remember that all Indian birds are protected under the 1972 Animal Welfare Act and it is illegal to keep them in cages.

This was my experience with nature’s bird representatives and I am sure that you too can add color to your life, especially as we go through the pandemic. They will definitely inspire you on a daily basis and keep you stuck to their daily tasks as our tasks are no longer interesting. And it is best when they enjoy everything they do, whether they enjoy their meal or their afternoon siesta. Always aware of the mortality and dangers around them, they do not complain, they appreciate every flight and piece of food and live to the full.

(Shakti Bishnoi is a graduate student at the London School of Business Management. She is a skilled ornithologist, bird watcher and child counselor. She has raised more than 600 butterflies in her home and the journey continues. She believes in protecting nature through planting Trees.)

Shakti Bishnoi

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