SIDEBAR

The squabble

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Dec 01 2011
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Every summer, hundreds of River Terns nest on a small island in the Bhadra Reservoir at Lakkavalli, Karnataka. Migrating locally from different parts of Karnataka and beyond, these birds congregate here along with other birds like Small Pratincoles (Glareola lactea). Throughout the nesting season, there is activity throughout the day on these islands as birds try to find nesting spots (sometimes by unsettling other nesting birds), hunt for fish or go about raising their young ones. As the monsoons start, the level of water in the reservoir rises slowly and submerges the island. It would remain underwater till next summer.

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Vine snake on a vine

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Dec 01 2011
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The Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta) relies on its colour to camouflage itself from prey and predator. Common at Agumbe, they are often seen waiting patiently for prey to come along. They have been known to feed on other snakes and small birds too. They are mildly venomous to humans. When agitated, however, the snake reveals a lot more colors. It breaks into a checkerboard pattern and opens its mouth wide trying to scare away the intruder. When the threat passes by, they swiftly move through the branches to a more secure location.

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Collared Kingfisher

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Dec 01 2011
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Kingfishers are very easy to recognize in the field. Apart from the huge beak, they are very often strikingly colourful. The various shades of reds, greens, blues, violets, browns and, not to forget, black and white make them a birdwatcher’s delight. Collared Kingfishers (Todiramphus chloris)  is a widespread kingfisher, found across most of Asia. They are found in coastal areas, especially where there are mangrove swamps. This kingfisher was peeking through some foliage at Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal, India.

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Sprinting Blackbuck

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Dec 01 2011
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Blackbucks (Antilope cervicapra) are among the fastest terrestrial animals in India, capable of speeds upto 80kmph. The unique coloration of the males, with distinct black and white coats, makes them very easy to identify in the field. Although widespread across most of India, their shrinking habitat makes them a vulnerable species. Rollapadu in Andhra Pradesh has a healthy population of blackbucks, that can be seen in the wonderful grasslands there.

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Danger lurks

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Nov 30 2011
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Flowers are a plant’s advertisement to insects. As the insects draw nectar from the flower, the flower deposits some pollen on the insect.  When the insect flies to another flower (on another plant), the pollen is deposited on that flower thereby fertilizing it. As insects (like butterflies, flies and bees) are attracted to a flowering plant, predators like this jumping spider (Telamonia dimidiata) use their natural camouflage to wait in the flower for the opportunity to grab their next meal. Jumping Spiders don’t spin webs to catch their prey. They are, instead, active hunters that also count stealth as one […]

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Face-off (almost)

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Nov 30 2011
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Daroji Bear Sanctuary, near Hampi in Karnataka, is the first bear sanctuary to be established in India. This rocky and dry terrain is home to a good population of Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus), Indian Leopards, Indian Pangolins and a host of birds and reptiles. They feed on termites, honey bee colonies and fruits. They make a very loud huffing sound when they feed. This Sloth Bear had taken a break from its feast, when the Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) walked into the frame behind the bear.

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Sociable Lapwing

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Nov 30 2011
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The Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) is a Critically Endangered bird in the wader family. From their breeding grounds in Russia and Kazakhstan, the birds migrate south in winter, with a population heading to north-west India. They’ve been recorded from Kutch regularly; the sighting in Tal Chapar was the first one recorded in recent times. This bird was photographed one evening at Banni Grasslands in Greater Rann of Kutch, Gujarat.

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Dragonfly – Play of light

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Nov 30 2011
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Early morning and late afternoons are often said to provide the best light for photography. Sometimes, even close to mid-day, the play of light and shadows, and wonderfully contrasting colors can create photography opportunities. On a nature walk at River Tern Lodge (Bhadra Tiger Reserve), this Crimson Marsh Glider was perched on a beautifully curved branch. Along with the light and the colors, the flowers at the end of the branch were tempting enough to take out the camera and get a photograph.

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Hello there!

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Nov 25 2011
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In wildlife photography, surprises lurk everywhere. On a safari in Nagarhole National Park, this stealthy predator was seen walking amongst the woods. The coloration and the rosettes (spots on the leopard’s skin) make it almost impossible to detect this animal when it strides the forest. As he got onto the jeep track, he realized he wouldn’t be able to keep himself camouflaged. Cautiously, keeping an eye on the “visitors”, he got onto the track, walked across it and disappeared into the undergrowth. The smallest of the Big Cats, the Leopard has the widest distribution mostly due to its stealth, opportunistic […]

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Resting it out

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Nov 25 2011
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Crab Plovers (Dromas ardeola) are the only species in their family (Dromadidae). They are related to waders and their beaks have beem specialized to feed on crabs. These beautiful black-and-white birds migrate to India’s coasts in winters. Juveniles, born during summer, also undertake these migrations along with their parents. Here, a juvenile (the one on the left with the light-greyish plumage) is see resting out a warm winter afternoon with its parent at Modwa beach in the Gulf of Kutch.

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