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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 29

posted image

2012-06-11 11:01:57 (29 comments, 0 reshares, 41 +1s)Open 

#birdpoker Woodpeckers curated by +Phil Armishaw 
The male of a confiding pair of Greater Flamebacks. I share a good relationship with them. The female can be seen here - https://plus.google.com/u/0/105080829848875955741/posts/YDuLaABBFyK
At a small bird sanctuary near Kolkata, India. The place is full of termite infested trees and these bird love termites. 

Most reshares: 9

posted image

2013-02-03 18:29:35 (17 comments, 9 reshares, 68 +1s)Open 

Close up of a Tawny Eagle - immature. Dark Morph.
Tal Chappar WLS, Rajasthan, India - last October.

Three immature birds, one pale morph and two dark morphs, were seen on a tree beside the main road inside the sanctuary. This one was too close to the car and parts of it went out of frame. This is a resized image and at 100%, I could see a mirror image of the car in the eye of the bird!

#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdsofpreysunday  by +Jeffrey Van Daele  +Diego Cattaneo  +Birds Of Prey Sunday
#eyesonsunday  by +Sonia Kalčić  +Eyes On Sunday 
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds... more »

Most plusones: 68

posted image

2013-02-03 18:29:35 (17 comments, 9 reshares, 68 +1s)Open 

Close up of a Tawny Eagle - immature. Dark Morph.
Tal Chappar WLS, Rajasthan, India - last October.

Three immature birds, one pale morph and two dark morphs, were seen on a tree beside the main road inside the sanctuary. This one was too close to the car and parts of it went out of frame. This is a resized image and at 100%, I could see a mirror image of the car in the eye of the bird!

#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdsofpreysunday  by +Jeffrey Van Daele  +Diego Cattaneo  +Birds Of Prey Sunday
#eyesonsunday  by +Sonia Kalčić  +Eyes On Sunday 
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds... more »

Latest 50 posts

posted image

2013-05-16 18:29:07 (17 comments, 5 reshares, 58 +1s)Open 

Long-tailed Wren Babbler / Naga Wren Babbler - male in full song
Spelaeornis chocolatinus
Earlier this month. Nagaland. India. 

This little birdy has a very restricted range - parts of Nagaland and North Manipur in North Eastern India - and a small and declining population. Rapid deforestation in its range keeps contributing to its decline. It is currently classified by IUCN as Near Threatened.

For #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Sandy Schepis +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher 
#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds

Long-tailed Wren Babbler / Naga Wren Babbler - male in full song
Spelaeornis chocolatinus
Earlier this month. Nagaland. India. 

This little birdy has a very restricted range - parts of Nagaland and North Manipur in North Eastern India - and a small and declining population. Rapid deforestation in its range keeps contributing to its decline. It is currently classified by IUCN as Near Threatened.

For #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Sandy Schepis +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher 
#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds___

posted image

2013-04-10 18:20:33 (15 comments, 0 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

Hoary-bellied Squirrel- shot last month near Siliguri. West Bengal.
A common squirrel of Himalayan foothills. Had seen this on countless occasions, but this was the first time at eye level with a decent background and distance. Kept feeding without paying much attention.  #wildlifewednesday +Wildlife Wednesdays   by +Mike Spinak  , +Morkel Erasmus 

Hoary-bellied Squirrel- shot last month near Siliguri. West Bengal.
A common squirrel of Himalayan foothills. Had seen this on countless occasions, but this was the first time at eye level with a decent background and distance. Kept feeding without paying much attention.  #wildlifewednesday +Wildlife Wednesdays   by +Mike Spinak  , +Morkel Erasmus ___

posted image

2013-04-06 11:53:27 (9 comments, 8 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

Common Pochard - male in flight.
Shot last month at Gajoldoba. West Bengal, India.

#birdpoker BIF curated by +Phil Armishaw  theme chosen by +Mike Haley 
#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds

Common Pochard - male in flight.
Shot last month at Gajoldoba. West Bengal, India.

#birdpoker BIF curated by +Phil Armishaw  theme chosen by +Mike Haley 
#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds___

posted image

2013-04-03 18:32:26 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

In the dark recesses of my mind, there are strange creatures 
Water Monitor for #wildlifewednesday +Wildlife Wednesdays  by +Mike Spinak  , +Morkel Erasmus  

In the dark recesses of my mind, there are strange creatures 
Water Monitor for #wildlifewednesday +Wildlife Wednesdays  by +Mike Spinak  , +Morkel Erasmus  ___

posted image

2013-02-07 18:00:19 (24 comments, 7 reshares, 53 +1s)Open 

This is one of my favorite birds – the Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta Formosa.  This bird is patchily distributed in the evergreen montane forests of North-Eastern India and parts of South East Asia. This one was shot in Eastern Himalayas, in Arunachal Pradesh, India.
In a way, this bird is quite representative of its habitat – spectacularly beautiful and vanishing fast. Deforestation resulting in degradation and fragmentation of its habitat has severely restricted its numbers.  It is categorized as vulnerable by IUCN. 
For #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Anette Mossbacher +Diego Cattaneo and +Sandy Schepis 
#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide curated by +R... more »

This is one of my favorite birds – the Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta Formosa.  This bird is patchily distributed in the evergreen montane forests of North-Eastern India and parts of South East Asia. This one was shot in Eastern Himalayas, in Arunachal Pradesh, India.
In a way, this bird is quite representative of its habitat – spectacularly beautiful and vanishing fast. Deforestation resulting in degradation and fragmentation of its habitat has severely restricted its numbers.  It is categorized as vulnerable by IUCN. 
For #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Anette Mossbacher +Diego Cattaneo and +Sandy Schepis 
#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds___

posted image

2013-02-05 17:33:58 (17 comments, 3 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

A female Pied Bushchat that chose an interesting perch. 

#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds

A female Pied Bushchat that chose an interesting perch. 

#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds___

posted image

2013-02-03 18:29:35 (17 comments, 9 reshares, 68 +1s)Open 

Close up of a Tawny Eagle - immature. Dark Morph.
Tal Chappar WLS, Rajasthan, India - last October.

Three immature birds, one pale morph and two dark morphs, were seen on a tree beside the main road inside the sanctuary. This one was too close to the car and parts of it went out of frame. This is a resized image and at 100%, I could see a mirror image of the car in the eye of the bird!

#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdsofpreysunday  by +Jeffrey Van Daele  +Diego Cattaneo  +Birds Of Prey Sunday
#eyesonsunday  by +Sonia Kalčić  +Eyes On Sunday 
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds... more »

Close up of a Tawny Eagle - immature. Dark Morph.
Tal Chappar WLS, Rajasthan, India - last October.

Three immature birds, one pale morph and two dark morphs, were seen on a tree beside the main road inside the sanctuary. This one was too close to the car and parts of it went out of frame. This is a resized image and at 100%, I could see a mirror image of the car in the eye of the bird!

#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen
#birdsofpreysunday  by +Jeffrey Van Daele  +Diego Cattaneo  +Birds Of Prey Sunday
#eyesonsunday  by +Sonia Kalčić  +Eyes On Sunday 
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds___

posted image

2013-01-06 17:44:12 (8 comments, 3 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Another image of a Heuglin's Gull shot last November
Coastal West Bengal, India.

For #shorebirdsunday  curated by +Phil Armishaw 
#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and  +Walter Soestbergen
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds

Another image of a Heuglin's Gull shot last November
Coastal West Bengal, India.

For #shorebirdsunday  curated by +Phil Armishaw 
#hqspbirds  +HQSP Birds by +Marina Versaci
#Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All)
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
#BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and  +Walter Soestbergen
#birdPhotography #birdPhotographs #birds___

posted image

2013-01-05 16:37:58 (9 comments, 0 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

Wishing all a happy and bountiful 2013.
A Heuglin's Gull from Frazergung, Coastal West Bengal, India
11th Nov, 2012.

Wishing all a happy and bountiful 2013.
A Heuglin's Gull from Frazergung, Coastal West Bengal, India
11th Nov, 2012.___

posted image

2012-12-29 17:26:05 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

A very unusual unboxing
I have been in and out of hospitals since the 15th of this month (and at a stretch now since 20th). Pancreas problems - the root cause of which was finally thankfully identified and fixed. Hopefully will be out before new year.

Now when all this was taking place, a lens that I ordered a few days back finally arrived. This is the Canon 300mm f/2.8 IS II (the new model that they launched this year). It promises faster and superior optics, lighter weight (and thus handholdability - I hope), 4 stops of IS and better performance with TCs. Sounded custom made for a low light birder cum bird photographer who loves birding in the hills. Expensive, but what the heck, money is a fictitious innovation anyway.
A friend carrying the lens from the US arrived and visited me in the hospital yesterday. He brought the lens (and a 2x TC ) with him, and together we... more »

A very unusual unboxing
I have been in and out of hospitals since the 15th of this month (and at a stretch now since 20th). Pancreas problems - the root cause of which was finally thankfully identified and fixed. Hopefully will be out before new year.

Now when all this was taking place, a lens that I ordered a few days back finally arrived. This is the Canon 300mm f/2.8 IS II (the new model that they launched this year). It promises faster and superior optics, lighter weight (and thus handholdability - I hope), 4 stops of IS and better performance with TCs. Sounded custom made for a low light birder cum bird photographer who loves birding in the hills. Expensive, but what the heck, money is a fictitious innovation anyway.
A friend carrying the lens from the US arrived and visited me in the hospital yesterday. He brought the lens (and a 2x TC ) with him, and together we unboxed it on the table which generally has medication atop it. It was in one of those hard cases that Canon gives with large telephotos. I did not have a camera with me, and so could my test it, but even though I am recuperating and not exactly fully fit, the lens seemed handholdable alright. Have to work on my upper arm strength during the coming months.
Unfortunately this will not see much action during the coming months, and perhaps will not be used to it's full potential for several more. But I am already thinking of getting that Long-billed Wren Babbler which always chooses the darkest corner when it shows up.
This must be one of the most unusual unboxing of a lens of this nature and I wanted to share this image that I took from my cell.
+Sumit Sen +Kshounish Ray +Ateeb Hussain +Raj Phukan +Rajneesh Suvarna +Garima Bhatia +Suhaib Ayaz +Evelyn S. Lamprey +Mital Patel +Gaurav Mittal ___

posted image

2012-12-10 18:33:31 (13 comments, 1 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Monochrome of four Great Crested Grebes taking off in unison. 

I shoot birds mainly for documentation and in most of my images I strive to maintain natural colors. However this one was not making much impact in color - at least at a smaller scale fit for viewing on a monitor. BW looked slightly better for online posts.

#photographingindia  +PhotographingIndia  curated by +Lucille Galleli  and +Mukundh B 
#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome   by +Blake Harrold  +Rinus Bakker +Delcour Eric  and +Brian Dukes 
#MonochromeMonday +Monochrome Monday  by +Hans Berendsen +Jerry Johnson  +Manuel Votta  +Nurcan Azaz  +Steve Barge 

Monochrome of four Great Crested Grebes taking off in unison. 

I shoot birds mainly for documentation and in most of my images I strive to maintain natural colors. However this one was not making much impact in color - at least at a smaller scale fit for viewing on a monitor. BW looked slightly better for online posts.

#photographingindia  +PhotographingIndia  curated by +Lucille Galleli  and +Mukundh B 
#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome   by +Blake Harrold  +Rinus Bakker +Delcour Eric  and +Brian Dukes 
#MonochromeMonday +Monochrome Monday  by +Hans Berendsen +Jerry Johnson  +Manuel Votta  +Nurcan Azaz  +Steve Barge ___

posted image

2012-11-29 18:26:03 (5 comments, 2 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

Bengal Slow Loris Nycticebus bengalensis
A vulnerable species for #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Anette Mossbacher +Diego Cattaneo and +Sandy Schepis 

Slow Lorises are nocturnal primates that spend their lives in dense canopies of evergreen forests of South Asia and Indochina. There are 6 species, all of which are threatened to various degrees. Deforestation, pet trade and traditional medicine have been the primary culprits. Pet trade, in particular, has recently emerged as a major problem in SE asia, China and Japan. They look super cute with their big round eyes. Videos of pet Lorises are among the most frequently watched on youtube. This flip side of this cuteness is that everyone wants a pet Loris and since it is difficult to breed them in captivity, capturing them from the wild is the only recourse. When captured from wild, they are initially quiteaggr... more »

Bengal Slow Loris Nycticebus bengalensis
A vulnerable species for #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Anette Mossbacher +Diego Cattaneo and +Sandy Schepis 

Slow Lorises are nocturnal primates that spend their lives in dense canopies of evergreen forests of South Asia and Indochina. There are 6 species, all of which are threatened to various degrees. Deforestation, pet trade and traditional medicine have been the primary culprits. Pet trade, in particular, has recently emerged as a major problem in SE asia, China and Japan. They look super cute with their big round eyes. Videos of pet Lorises are among the most frequently watched on youtube. This flip side of this cuteness is that everyone wants a pet Loris and since it is difficult to breed them in captivity, capturing them from the wild is the only recourse. When captured from wild, they are initially quite aggressive and have a nasty bite. Thus their teeth are pulled out with nail-clippers (like this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nycticebus_tooth_removal_01.jpg ) often causing infection and death. 

I photographed this Bengal Slow Loris  last Sunday at Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctaury in Assam, India. It is a difficult animal to find in the wild (most photographs are of captive animals). It sleeps throughout the day in tree cavities and comes out only after it is completely dark - its large, bulging eyes providing excellent night vision. One has to wander through the forest in potential areas searching dense canopies with torchlight in the hope of seeing one, and it often takes days to find one. I considered myself quite lucky when one was spotted just after an hour of searching. I was told it was a pregnant female. It became familiar with our presence after a while and started feeding. It was extraordinary to watch this primate – so different from us apes in every aspect (I believe I looked quite strange to her as well). We speak of evolutionary arms race and how it makes the Cheetahs and the Gazelles faster and stronger. Here is an animal that has evolved to be deliberately slow- and perhaps growing slower.  Pure miracle. And we don’t know how long they will be with us. ___

posted image

2012-11-08 17:33:45 (4 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Amur Falcons are small raptors that breed in North China and SE Siberia and winter in East and South Africa. Large flocks - numbering in tens of thousands - pass through North Eastern India every day during the peak migration season (late Oct and early Nov) . During those months, in many parts of NE India, particularly in the state of Nagaland, they are killed en masse for consumption and commercial sale. This bird seems to be headed in the same direction as the Passenger Pigeons - from abundance to extinction.

This phenomenon of mass killing of Amur Falcons in Nagaland was known for long and was largely overlooked as something that the Naga tribals have done for ages. Only recently we have come to understand the true scale of this, thanks to commendable efforts by an organization called Conservation India. Check out this video and the accompanying article for more details
more »

Amur Falcons are small raptors that breed in North China and SE Siberia and winter in East and South Africa. Large flocks - numbering in tens of thousands - pass through North Eastern India every day during the peak migration season (late Oct and early Nov) . During those months, in many parts of NE India, particularly in the state of Nagaland, they are killed en masse for consumption and commercial sale. This bird seems to be headed in the same direction as the Passenger Pigeons - from abundance to extinction.

This phenomenon of mass killing of Amur Falcons in Nagaland was known for long and was largely overlooked as something that the Naga tribals have done for ages. Only recently we have come to understand the true scale of this, thanks to commendable efforts by an organization called Conservation India. Check out this video and the accompanying article for more details

http://www.conservationindia.org/campaigns/amur-massacre

Warning - the video becomes heart-wrenching after a while, even to one who is not completely unfamiliar with bush meat. One can well imagine the state of mind of +ramki sreenivasan , +shashank dalvi and others after a day of shooting such stuff. 

For #threatenedthursday  by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Sandy Schepis and +Anette Mossbacher 
+finch wench ___

posted image

2012-11-05 17:57:08 (7 comments, 6 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

The cigarette vendor

I photographed this little girl on a morning during the biggest festivities of the year in these parts (Durga Puja). She did not seem like much of a participant.
Kolkata, India. 

#photographingindia  +PhotographingIndia  curated by +Lucille Galleli and +Mukundh B 
#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome  by +Blake Harrold +Rinus Bakker +Delcour Eric  and +Brian Dukes 
#MonochromeMonday +Monochrome Monday by +Hans Berendsen +Jerry Johnson +Manuel Votta +Nurcan Azaz +Steve Barge

The cigarette vendor

I photographed this little girl on a morning during the biggest festivities of the year in these parts (Durga Puja). She did not seem like much of a participant.
Kolkata, India. 

#photographingindia  +PhotographingIndia  curated by +Lucille Galleli and +Mukundh B 
#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome  by +Blake Harrold +Rinus Bakker +Delcour Eric  and +Brian Dukes 
#MonochromeMonday +Monochrome Monday by +Hans Berendsen +Jerry Johnson +Manuel Votta +Nurcan Azaz +Steve Barge___

posted image

2012-11-04 17:02:15 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

A swooping Pallid Harrier - juvenile female
Shot on a late afternoon. About 20-25 of Pallid, Montagu's and Marsh Harriers were circling over the grassland, about to roost. 
Tal Chappar, Rajasthan, India. Oct, 2012.

For   #BirdsOfPreySunday +Birds Of Prey Sunday  curated by +Jeffrey Van Daele  and +Diego Cattaneo 
#BirdsInFocus   #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
  #BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen 

A swooping Pallid Harrier - juvenile female
Shot on a late afternoon. About 20-25 of Pallid, Montagu's and Marsh Harriers were circling over the grassland, about to roost. 
Tal Chappar, Rajasthan, India. Oct, 2012.

For   #BirdsOfPreySunday +Birds Of Prey Sunday  curated by +Jeffrey Van Daele  and +Diego Cattaneo 
#BirdsInFocus   #BirdSpeciesLink +Birds in Focus  curated by +Risto Talman 
  #BirdLoversWorldwide +BIRD LOVERS Worldwide  curated by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen ___

posted image

2012-10-18 18:29:22 (13 comments, 4 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

A Yellow-eyed Pigeon Columba eversmanni - photographed last Saturday
This bird is categorized as vulnarable in IUCN 3.1

A resident of Central Asia, it visits the North-western Indian subcontinent  in the winters. Till early 20th century, they used to visit their wintering grounds in huge  flocks, numbering in thousands, and were common all over Northern India and more so in the North West. Large scale habitat loss and hunting took its toll. The numbers declined and the wintering range shrunk. Now flocks of hundreds are very rare, occasionally evidenced only in a small sanctuary in Rajasthan - Tal Chappar - where this image was taken (though this particular flock only had around 20 birds).

One interesting fact about this decline is its dependence on cultivated crops and how that has affected the population.  It is generally believed that a shift from thecultivatio... more »

A Yellow-eyed Pigeon Columba eversmanni - photographed last Saturday
This bird is categorized as vulnarable in IUCN 3.1

A resident of Central Asia, it visits the North-western Indian subcontinent  in the winters. Till early 20th century, they used to visit their wintering grounds in huge  flocks, numbering in thousands, and were common all over Northern India and more so in the North West. Large scale habitat loss and hunting took its toll. The numbers declined and the wintering range shrunk. Now flocks of hundreds are very rare, occasionally evidenced only in a small sanctuary in Rajasthan - Tal Chappar - where this image was taken (though this particular flock only had around 20 birds).

One interesting fact about this decline is its dependence on cultivated crops and how that has affected the population.  It is generally believed that a shift from the cultivation of pulses and mustard to wheat and rice in its wintering grounds have affected its quality of habitat. 

For #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher and  +Sandy Schepis
+Threatened Thursday 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink  curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER +Walter Soestbergen ___

posted image

2012-10-04 18:29:54 (16 comments, 1 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

The last of its clan
A  White-rumped Vulture  Gyps bengalensis
Critically Endangered
This bird has undergone a population decline of 99.9% in the last 15 years! Once considered the most abundant bird of prey, numbering in millions, the current global estimate is less than 10000 individuals. This decline, a fate shared with all Gyps vultures, is primarily a result of feeding on carcasses of animals treated with the veterinary drug diclofenac.
A small population survived in a grassland near Kolkata, India till late 2011. This rather worried looking individual, sitting on a lamppost, was among the last. We have not seen any vultures in that locality this year. 
For #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher and +Sandy Schepis 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink  curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus #birdlov... more »

The last of its clan
A  White-rumped Vulture  Gyps bengalensis
Critically Endangered
This bird has undergone a population decline of 99.9% in the last 15 years! Once considered the most abundant bird of prey, numbering in millions, the current global estimate is less than 10000 individuals. This decline, a fate shared with all Gyps vultures, is primarily a result of feeding on carcasses of animals treated with the veterinary drug diclofenac.
A small population survived in a grassland near Kolkata, India till late 2011. This rather worried looking individual, sitting on a lamppost, was among the last. We have not seen any vultures in that locality this year. 
For #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher and +Sandy Schepis 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink  curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER and +Walter Soestbergen ___

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2012-09-15 16:39:40 (21 comments, 4 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

Brown Shrike - a winter visitor in these parts. This one is from last season - a "first-winter" bird. They have started coming back. 
For #songbirdsaturday  curated by +John Briggs 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink # curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER   and +Walter Soestbergen 

Brown Shrike - a winter visitor in these parts. This one is from last season - a "first-winter" bird. They have started coming back. 
For #songbirdsaturday  curated by +John Briggs 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink # curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER   and +Walter Soestbergen ___

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2012-09-13 18:20:00 (12 comments, 4 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

The Nilgiri Wood Pigeon Columba elphinstonii is an endemic of Western Ghats of Southwestern India. This beautiful bird - an inhabitant of moist deciduous forests and high altitude evergreen forests of the region (called sholas) - is classified as Vulnerable . Large scale destruction and fragmentation of its habitat has caused significant damage to its numbers. 
From Nandi Hills, Karnataka, India. March, 2012.
For #threatenedthursday curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher +Sandy Schepis 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink  curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen 
#exploreindia 

The Nilgiri Wood Pigeon Columba elphinstonii is an endemic of Western Ghats of Southwestern India. This beautiful bird - an inhabitant of moist deciduous forests and high altitude evergreen forests of the region (called sholas) - is classified as Vulnerable . Large scale destruction and fragmentation of its habitat has caused significant damage to its numbers. 
From Nandi Hills, Karnataka, India. March, 2012.
For #threatenedthursday curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher +Sandy Schepis 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink  curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER  and +Walter Soestbergen 
#exploreindia ___

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2012-09-07 07:08:12 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

Resharing a post from yesterday which I had forgotten to make "public" :-|

This is the vulnerable Bristled Grassbird Chaetornis striata - a niche inhabitant of the swampy grasslands and reedbed. Like many other grassland bird species of South Asia, it is under threat due of loss and degradation of its habitat through drainage and conversion to agriculture.
While occurring mostly in Indo-Nepal Terai, they are patchily distributed throughout the country and occasionally turn up in least expected areas. This individual was photographed a couple of years back by  +Sumit Sen +Kshounish Ray and myself, at a grassland just south of the city of Kolkata, barely a couple of miles from where I live. 
For #threatenedthursday curated by +Sumit Sen +Anette Mossbacher +Diego Cattaneo and +Sandy Schepis +Threatened Thursday 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink  curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER and +Walter Soestbergen 
#exploreindia ___Resharing a post from yesterday which I had forgotten to make "public" :-|

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2012-08-22 10:56:34 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

A very belated Happy Birthday +Sumit Sen 
Just found out about it from posts of fellow G Plussers. Wish you have many more happy birthdays and birddays. 
Here's an image that I thought no one on G+ will like more than you. 
#happybirthdaysumitsen 

A very belated Happy Birthday +Sumit Sen 
Just found out about it from posts of fellow G Plussers. Wish you have many more happy birthdays and birddays. 
Here's an image that I thought no one on G+ will like more than you. 
#happybirthdaysumitsen ___

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2012-08-20 19:22:44 (9 comments, 2 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510 etc.
Wish I had shot it with less dof but whats done is done. 
#macromonday   curated by +Kerry Murphy +Kelli Seeger Kim and +Jennifer Eden 
+Macro Monday 

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510 etc.
Wish I had shot it with less dof but whats done is done. 
#macromonday   curated by +Kerry Murphy +Kelli Seeger Kim and +Jennifer Eden 
+Macro Monday ___

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2012-08-20 18:06:29 (16 comments, 1 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

Yellow-cheeked Tit
Mishmi Hills, NE India. 
#Birdpoker  on a branch curated by +Phil Armishaw 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER 
#exploreindia 

Yellow-cheeked Tit
Mishmi Hills, NE India. 
#Birdpoker  on a branch curated by +Phil Armishaw 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER 
#exploreindia ___

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2012-08-18 15:26:25 (15 comments, 1 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

Pale-billed Flowerpecker
Flowerpeckers are the smallest birds of India. The size of this one is the same as a Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
#songbirdsaturday  curated by +John Briggs 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER 
#exploreindia 

Pale-billed Flowerpecker
Flowerpeckers are the smallest birds of India. The size of this one is the same as a Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
#songbirdsaturday  curated by +John Briggs 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#birdloversworldwide  by +Robert SKREINER 
#exploreindia ___

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2012-08-06 16:56:58 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

#BirdPoker Mostly Black curated by +Phil Armishaw 
Another Watercock. This is an unusual image of a bird which is generally considered somewhat reclusive. I wish the background was better. 

#BirdPoker Mostly Black curated by +Phil Armishaw 
Another Watercock. This is an unusual image of a bird which is generally considered somewhat reclusive. I wish the background was better. ___

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2012-08-06 08:02:46 (9 comments, 0 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

#BirdPoker Mostly Black curated by +Phil Armishaw 
Last monsoon, at a grassland near Kolkata, India.
Shot on a very wet morning from a car window while it was pouring outside.
This was a very unusual but pleasing birding experience. Throughout the morning we could not leave the car because of the rain, and all of birding and photography was done from car windows. Watercocks were in abundance and we got to see them engaging in courtship displays.

#BirdPoker Mostly Black curated by +Phil Armishaw 
Last monsoon, at a grassland near Kolkata, India.
Shot on a very wet morning from a car window while it was pouring outside.
This was a very unusual but pleasing birding experience. Throughout the morning we could not leave the car because of the rain, and all of birding and photography was done from car windows. Watercocks were in abundance and we got to see them engaging in courtship displays.___

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2012-08-04 17:31:31 (20 comments, 0 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Finally managing to get back on G+ after a long time. 
A Striated Yuhina for #songbirdsaturday  curated by +John Briggs 
The most scarce of this group of crested hill bird - this one is from Mishmi Hills in Eastern Himalayas. 
#birdpoker Songbirds curated by +Phil Armishaw 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#exploreindia 

Finally managing to get back on G+ after a long time. 
A Striated Yuhina for #songbirdsaturday  curated by +John Briggs 
The most scarce of this group of crested hill bird - this one is from Mishmi Hills in Eastern Himalayas. 
#birdpoker Songbirds curated by +Phil Armishaw 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#exploreindia ___

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2012-07-12 18:05:47 (17 comments, 2 reshares, 36 +1s)Open 

An Oriental Darter  demostrating why it is called so. 
There are four species of Darters / Anhingas worldwide. Three of these - the ones found in Africa, Americas and Australia, are relatively safe. But Oriental Darters, categorized by IUCN as Near-threatened, are in sharp decline. 
Sundarbans, India, June, 2011
For #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher and +Sandy Schepis 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#exploreindia 

An Oriental Darter  demostrating why it is called so. 
There are four species of Darters / Anhingas worldwide. Three of these - the ones found in Africa, Americas and Australia, are relatively safe. But Oriental Darters, categorized by IUCN as Near-threatened, are in sharp decline. 
Sundarbans, India, June, 2011
For #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher and +Sandy Schepis 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus 
#exploreindia ___

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2012-07-05 18:37:18 (16 comments, 2 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

A male Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra for #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher and +Sandy Schepis . This graceful antelope is Near-threatened.
From Tal Chappar, Rajasthan, India - Aug, 2011. 
+Threatened Thursday 

A male Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra for #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher and +Sandy Schepis . This graceful antelope is Near-threatened.
From Tal Chappar, Rajasthan, India - Aug, 2011. 
+Threatened Thursday ___

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2012-07-04 17:08:02 (18 comments, 0 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

A Grey-headed Lapwing, shot on a late winter afternoon while balancing on a precarious, wobbly, water-filled rowboat.
Near Jalpaiguri, India - Jan, 2011.

#wildlifewednesday   curated by +Mike Spinak and +Morkel Erasmus 
#wadingbirdwednesday  +Water Bird Wednesday by +Ray Bilcliff +Sherry McBriar and +Margaret Tompkins 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus  (discovered  #BirdSpeciesLink yesterday and I think its a great idea)
#exploreindia 

A Grey-headed Lapwing, shot on a late winter afternoon while balancing on a precarious, wobbly, water-filled rowboat.
Near Jalpaiguri, India - Jan, 2011.

#wildlifewednesday   curated by +Mike Spinak and +Morkel Erasmus 
#wadingbirdwednesday  +Water Bird Wednesday by +Ray Bilcliff +Sherry McBriar and +Margaret Tompkins 
#BirdsInFocus #BirdSpeciesLink curated by +Risto Talman +Birds in Focus  (discovered  #BirdSpeciesLink yesterday and I think its a great idea)
#exploreindia ___

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2012-07-01 21:03:42 (22 comments, 1 reshares, 40 +1s)Open 

#birdpoker  Blue curated by +Phil Armishaw 
Yellow-billed Blue Magpie.
Mayodia. Eastern Himalayas. 

#birdpoker  Blue curated by +Phil Armishaw 
Yellow-billed Blue Magpie.
Mayodia. Eastern Himalayas. ___

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2012-06-28 18:09:44 (8 comments, 1 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Resharing a reprocessed & reuploaded image of the nominate race of Spotted Creeper Salpornis spilonotus spilonotus for #threatenedthursday curated by +Sumit Sen , +Anette Mossbacher , +Sandy Schepis and +Diego Cattaneo 

This bird is quite rare and patchily distributed in India, and all recent reports are from a small region in the NW Indian state of Rajasthan. It is particularly partial towards one tree - Prosopis cineraria, and this niche preference of habitat and restricted range keeps the numbers low. Consequently it is one of the most sought after birds for Indian birders, and tops many wishlists.

Spotted Creeper is also Least Concern according to IUCN 3.1!  So what’s with that?

To be a threatened species, a bird population has to be threatened as well as a distinct ‘species’. For birds, the IUCN evaluations are done at a specieslevel. The... more »

Tal Chappar, 2011___Resharing a reprocessed & reuploaded image of the nominate race of Spotted Creeper Salpornis spilonotus spilonotus for #threatenedthursday curated by +Sumit Sen , +Anette Mossbacher , +Sandy Schepis and +Diego Cattaneo 

This bird is quite rare and patchily distributed in India, and all recent reports are from a small region in the NW Indian state of Rajasthan. It is particularly partial towards one tree - Prosopis cineraria, and this niche preference of habitat and restricted range keeps the numbers low. Consequently it is one of the most sought after birds for Indian birders, and tops many wishlists.

Spotted Creeper is also Least Concern according to IUCN 3.1!  So what’s with that?

To be a threatened species, a bird population has to be threatened as well as a distinct ‘species’. For birds, the IUCN evaluations are done at a species level. The Indian population of spotted creeper, though rare, is a subspecies. There is a much larger African population (with a number of other subspecies) which is distributed over a fairly large range. The threat perception to the species as a whole is low, and Spotted Creeper is technically not endangered – yet. 

Now the fun part – recent research based on genetic evidence suggests that the Indian and the African birds, having undergone long geographic isolation, have evolved in two distinct species genetically quite divergent from one another.The moment this gets generally accepted by the scientific community, Spotted Creepers of India will become a full species and will be reevaluated and acknowledged as threatened. It is interesting how molecular phylogeny -and not the number of individuals or rate of decline or environmental factors - will dictate whether to consider these birds threatened or not. 

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2012-06-27 10:41:17 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

Resharing for #Birdpoker  drinking curated by +Phil Armishaw 

There exists a very small sanctuary to the south of the city of Kolkata, India, where, in the months of summer, the only source of water is a small puddle at the base of a handpump. During hot summer afternoons, provided one does not mind the heat, it is a good place to watch and photograph the birdlife of the sanctuary (which is considerable despite the small area).
Among the many species of birds that bathe and drink there, the Emerald Dove is the most wary and timid. One can see its fleeting glimpses in the bushes behind the puddle, where it waits for other cacophonous groups to depart. Only when the ripples have died down and the puddle is empty, it cautiously approaches the water, dips its beak and drinks to its hearts content.

I am not sure whether this image qualifies for #ThirstyThursdayPics or not as it does not have lakes, rivers or seas in it (and I will remove the tag if +Giuseppe Basile thinks it does not). But to me, the bird seemed to exemplify “thirst” and thus I thought it might.___Resharing for #Birdpoker  drinking curated by +Phil Armishaw 

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2012-06-27 10:39:13 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

This is important. Please read. 

There is a serious threat faced by Narcondam Island and the endemic and endangered Narcondam Hornbill. There is a proposal from the Indian Coast Guard to build a RADAR installation and a diesel power generation station on the island which could seriously threaten this tiny island and its hornbill population.___This is important. Please read. 

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2012-06-27 10:38:14 (17 comments, 1 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

A Ruddy-breasted Crake from East Kolkata.
Shot in early morning light, at a small marsh well within the periphery of the city. 
For #wildlifewednesday   curated by +Mike Spinak , and 
#wadingbirdwednesday  curated by +Ray Bilcliff 

A Ruddy-breasted Crake from East Kolkata.
Shot in early morning light, at a small marsh well within the periphery of the city. 
For #wildlifewednesday   curated by +Mike Spinak , and 
#wadingbirdwednesday  curated by +Ray Bilcliff ___

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2012-06-12 16:13:45 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

For #birdpoker  black & white curated by +Phil Armishaw 
A White-browed Wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis
Rajasthan, India. August, 2011

For #birdpoker  black & white curated by +Phil Armishaw 
A White-browed Wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis
Rajasthan, India. August, 2011___

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2012-06-11 11:01:57 (29 comments, 0 reshares, 41 +1s)Open 

#birdpoker Woodpeckers curated by +Phil Armishaw 
The male of a confiding pair of Greater Flamebacks. I share a good relationship with them. The female can be seen here - https://plus.google.com/u/0/105080829848875955741/posts/YDuLaABBFyK
At a small bird sanctuary near Kolkata, India. The place is full of termite infested trees and these bird love termites. 

#birdpoker Woodpeckers curated by +Phil Armishaw 
The male of a confiding pair of Greater Flamebacks. I share a good relationship with them. The female can be seen here - https://plus.google.com/u/0/105080829848875955741/posts/YDuLaABBFyK
At a small bird sanctuary near Kolkata, India. The place is full of termite infested trees and these bird love termites. ___

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2012-06-07 18:31:05 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

Laggar Falcon Falco jugger
This beautiful raptor is near-threatened - mainly due to spread of cultivation in its range and rampant use of pesticides - which affects its prey base. 
Resharing for #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Anette Mossbacher +Diego Cattaneo +Sandy Schepis 

Laggar Falcon at Tal Chappar.
We encountered this bird moments before sunset. It was a lifer, just about 20 feet away, busy tearing off an unfortunate Desert Jird. But the light was low, and this turned out to be the only reasonably sharp one from among 20 shots.
The previous picture in this album shows the (most possible) species that the bird was feeding on.___Laggar Falcon Falco jugger
This beautiful raptor is near-threatened - mainly due to spread of cultivation in its range and rampant use of pesticides - which affects its prey base. 
Resharing for #threatenedthursday  curated by +Sumit Sen +Anette Mossbacher +Diego Cattaneo +Sandy Schepis 

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2012-06-03 16:27:02 (20 comments, 0 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

For #shorebirdsunday curated by +Phil Armishaw 
Greater Sand Plover from Coastal West Bengal, India.
Feb, 2012.
[See whether you can spot the differences with Lesser Sand Plover - which is the previous image in this album]

For #shorebirdsunday curated by +Phil Armishaw 
Greater Sand Plover from Coastal West Bengal, India.
Feb, 2012.
[See whether you can spot the differences with Lesser Sand Plover - which is the previous image in this album]___

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2012-06-02 16:19:49 (25 comments, 0 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis from Neora Valley National Park, India (~8000 ft)
For #songbirdsaturday  curated by +John Briggs 

Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis from Neora Valley National Park, India (~8000 ft)
For #songbirdsaturday  curated by +John Briggs ___

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2012-05-31 18:17:56 (15 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

For #threatenedthursday curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher +Sandy Schepis - a species that almost faded away.
Mother and baby Asian One-horned Rhinoceros from Kaziranga.

These were once common herbivores which ranged free all over the riverine grasslands of Northern and North eastern India. Habitat loss was perhaps always a major problem, but large scale trophy hunting during the 19th century made it suffer the same fate as the American Bison – only worse. At the turn on the century there were less than 100 left in the wild. Since then they have bounced back, primarily due to excellent protection in some National Parks, and now there are almost 3000. But pressure from poachers still remains a major threat and it has succeeded in wiping out entire populations even within some protected areas –like the Manas National Park on Indo-Bhutan border. K... more »

For #threatenedthursday curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Anette Mossbacher +Sandy Schepis - a species that almost faded away.
Mother and baby Asian One-horned Rhinoceros from Kaziranga.

These were once common herbivores which ranged free all over the riverine grasslands of Northern and North eastern India. Habitat loss was perhaps always a major problem, but large scale trophy hunting during the 19th century made it suffer the same fate as the American Bison – only worse. At the turn on the century there were less than 100 left in the wild. Since then they have bounced back, primarily due to excellent protection in some National Parks, and now there are almost 3000. But pressure from poachers still remains a major threat and it has succeeded in wiping out entire populations even within some protected areas –like the Manas National Park on Indo-Bhutan border.
Kaziranga National Park, one of the oldest protected areas of the country, is a success story. From just 12 rhinos in 1905, the population has grown to more than 2000 today. About two-third of the world population lives here (not a good thing altogether, a catastrophic event here would destroy most of the species).

Kaziranga, Assam – Feb, 2011.___

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2012-05-27 14:26:21 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

For #shorebirdsunday curated by +Phil Armishaw
Lesser Sand Plover from Coastal West Bengal, India.
Feb, 2012

For #shorebirdsunday curated by +Phil Armishaw
Lesser Sand Plover from Coastal West Bengal, India.
Feb, 2012___

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2012-05-27 13:42:20 (13 comments, 0 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

#BirdPoker Gray curated by +Phil Armishaw
Grey-crested Tit - a high altitude tit. This was shot at ~12,000 feet in Eastern Himalayas.

#BirdPoker Gray curated by +Phil Armishaw
Grey-crested Tit - a high altitude tit. This was shot at ~12,000 feet in Eastern Himalayas.___

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2012-05-26 11:23:57 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Black-hooded Oriole
Common bird around here, but I love it for its striking colors and melodious call.
For #songbirdsaturday curated by +John Briggs
+SongbirdSaturday

Black-hooded Oriole
Common bird around here, but I love it for its striking colors and melodious call.
For #songbirdsaturday curated by +John Briggs
+SongbirdSaturday___

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2012-05-26 11:08:57 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

For Lee Daniels.
Please read, share, and if you feel like, donate.

A call out to kindness

There are many things I need to be thankful for this year. One of those is the amazing list of friends and opportunities that I've been gifted with by being part of this community. Friends like +Lee Daniels, photographer, co-curator of #womenwednesday and as of last week, a lung cancer patient. Lee's battle has just begun and as you can imagine she will need some support. I have setup a website to help with the fundraising. Visit:

http://hashtagcure.org

You may help Lee directly by using the donate button on the upper right hand side of the page. You may also grab one of the fundraising t-shirts that have the site's logo and Lee's name. All proceeds will go to help Lee down the uphill road she has ahead.

Remember there's no worse than doing nothing because you can only do a little. Every last bit helps...___For Lee Daniels.
Please read, share, and if you feel like, donate.

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2012-05-25 16:47:08 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

#BirdPoker Rare, curated by +Phil Armishaw
This is a male Eyebrowed Thrush - a major rarity in this part of India. Seen for about a week in late April, 2009 in the southern outskirts of Kolkata, which was the only time the bird was seen in South Bengal, very likely on passage migration.
It used to come to drink water from a small pool at the base of a handpump, and repeated vigils on summer afternoons in front of this spot finally paid off.

#BirdPoker Rare, curated by +Phil Armishaw
This is a male Eyebrowed Thrush - a major rarity in this part of India. Seen for about a week in late April, 2009 in the southern outskirts of Kolkata, which was the only time the bird was seen in South Bengal, very likely on passage migration.
It used to come to drink water from a small pool at the base of a handpump, and repeated vigils on summer afternoons in front of this spot finally paid off.___

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2012-05-24 18:35:04 (17 comments, 0 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Chestnut-backed Laughingthrushes Garrulax nuchalis for #threatenedthursday curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Sandy Schepis and +Anette Mossbacher. These birds are classified as Near-theatened
The image is not a very good one, but I suppose the rarity of these birds will make up for that to some extent. Digboi Oilfields, in Upper Assam, where this image was taken, is one of the very few places where these are seen with some regularity. This oilfield (the first one of India, now largely abandoned), with its rusty old rigs and heavy smell of crude is a very unusual birding location – and these are the star birds there. There are almost no records in recent times outside of this oilfield and very little is known of their status.
+Threatened Thursday

Chestnut-backed Laughingthrushes Garrulax nuchalis for #threatenedthursday curated by +Sumit Sen +Diego Cattaneo +Sandy Schepis and +Anette Mossbacher. These birds are classified as Near-theatened
The image is not a very good one, but I suppose the rarity of these birds will make up for that to some extent. Digboi Oilfields, in Upper Assam, where this image was taken, is one of the very few places where these are seen with some regularity. This oilfield (the first one of India, now largely abandoned), with its rusty old rigs and heavy smell of crude is a very unusual birding location – and these are the star birds there. There are almost no records in recent times outside of this oilfield and very little is known of their status.
+Threatened Thursday___

posted image

2012-05-17 18:30:07 (22 comments, 3 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Stoliczka's Bushchat or the White-browed Bushchat Saxicola macrorhynchus - a vulnerable species. This is a male coming out of its breeding plumage.

This was photographed at a small sanctuary called Tal Chappar, on the fringes of the Thar Desert. Some areas in and around this desert are strongholds of the Stoliczka's Bushchat, which is endemic to the NW Indian subcontinent.

The Thar, which mostly lies within the Indian state of Rajasthan, is one of the largest subtropical deserts. The population density is very low compared to the rest of the country and yet it is one of the most heavily populated desert areas in the world. In the last few decades, major canal systems have come into existence which has brought about a “green revolution” by transforming arid scrubland into lush green agricultural fields (one of which is in the background of this image).Agr... more »

Stoliczka's Bushchat or the White-browed Bushchat Saxicola macrorhynchus - a vulnerable species. This is a male coming out of its breeding plumage.

This was photographed at a small sanctuary called Tal Chappar, on the fringes of the Thar Desert. Some areas in and around this desert are strongholds of the Stoliczka's Bushchat, which is endemic to the NW Indian subcontinent.

The Thar, which mostly lies within the Indian state of Rajasthan, is one of the largest subtropical deserts. The population density is very low compared to the rest of the country and yet it is one of the most heavily populated desert areas in the world. In the last few decades, major canal systems have come into existence which has brought about a “green revolution” by transforming arid scrubland into lush green agricultural fields (one of which is in the background of this image). Agricultural productivity and improved living standards for people have come at a cost - transformation of the natural habitat of those creatures that thrive in the arid scrub and the desert, like this bird. Widespread use of pesticides in these fields and overgrazing of the pastures also keeps contributing to its vulnerability.

Nowadays this bird is seen with some regularity at Tal Chappar, a few locations in the neighboring state of Gujarat, and is a major rarity elsewhere. Its present breeding locations are not well known.
For #threatenedthursday curated by +Sumit Sen +Sandy Schepis +Anette Mossbacher and +Diego Cattaneo
+Threatened Thursday___

posted image

2012-05-16 18:23:58 (8 comments, 1 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

Large-tailed Nightjars are not very uncommon around here, but one always finds them in shady places amidst lots of dead vegetation. This was a welcome exception.
Southern outskirts of Kolkata. March, 2012.
For #wildlifewednesday curated by +Mike Spinak

Large-tailed Nightjars are not very uncommon around here, but one always finds them in shady places amidst lots of dead vegetation. This was a welcome exception.
Southern outskirts of Kolkata. March, 2012.
For #wildlifewednesday curated by +Mike Spinak___

posted image

2012-05-10 18:08:29 (21 comments, 1 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

For #ThreatenedThursday curated by +Diego Cattaneo , +Sumit Sen , +Anette Mossbacher and +Sandy Schepis

A rather worried looking Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala. This is by no means a rarity in South Asia. They are among the most visible features of many wetlands of peninsular and western India, often living in large, noisy colonies. Inspite of being apparently abundant, they are classified as Near Threatened acc. to. IUCN 3.1, and you just have to look at the numbers to see why. The estimates from 1994 are that of ~15,000 individuals in South Asia and <10,000 in SE Asia. When paired with the fact that even this small population is in rapid decline, one can see why there is cause for concern. The main threats are drainage of wetlands, pollution and hunting.
Acc. to the IUCN report "Although it is considered one of the most numerous and secure of Asian storks,... more »

For #ThreatenedThursday curated by +Diego Cattaneo , +Sumit Sen , +Anette Mossbacher and +Sandy Schepis

A rather worried looking Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala. This is by no means a rarity in South Asia. They are among the most visible features of many wetlands of peninsular and western India, often living in large, noisy colonies. Inspite of being apparently abundant, they are classified as Near Threatened acc. to. IUCN 3.1, and you just have to look at the numbers to see why. The estimates from 1994 are that of ~15,000 individuals in South Asia and <10,000 in SE Asia. When paired with the fact that even this small population is in rapid decline, one can see why there is cause for concern. The main threats are drainage of wetlands, pollution and hunting.
Acc. to the IUCN report "Although it is considered one of the most numerous and secure of Asian storks, this is more a reflection of the rarity and endangerment of most storks in the region, than the security of this species" . The moral , at least for me, is that a species may seem abundant just by the virtue of being large, obvious and easy to observe, but it still may be a threatened one and vanish altogether after a few years.
At Ranganathittu, near Bangalore. March, 2012.___

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