Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Cotton Pygmy Goose or the Cotton Teal,[2] Nettapus coromandelianus is a small perching duck which breeds in India, Pakistan, southeast Asia and south to northern Australia. It is locally known as Girri, Girria, Girja (Hindi); Gurgura (Etawah); Bali hans (Bengal); Bhullia hans (Bangladesh); Dandana (Orissa); Ade, Atla (Ratnagiri); Naher, Keeke, Chuwa (Nowgong, Assam); Baher, Kararhi (Sind, Pakistan).

These are gregarious birds, forming large flocks in winter, often mixed with other diving ducks, such as other pochards. They feed mainly by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic plants, and typically upend for food more than most diving ducks.Red-crested pochards build a nest by the lakeside among vegetation and lay 8-12 pale green eggs. The birds' status in the British Isles is much confused due to the fact that there have been many escapes and deliberate releases over the years, as well as natural visitors from the continent. However, it is most likely that they are escapees that are now breeding wild and have built up a successful feral population. They are most numerous around areas of England including Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire. Wild birds occasionally turn up at places such as Abberton Reservoir, Essex.

The Coot is 36-42 cm long, and is largely black except for the white facial shield (which gave rise to the phrase "as bald as a coot"). As a swimming species, the Coot has partial webbing on its long strong toes.The juvenile is paler than the adult, has a whitish breast, and lacks the facial shield; the adult black plumage develops when about 3-4 months old, but the white shield is only fully developed at about one year old, some time later.This is a noisy bird with a wide repertoire of crackling, explosive or trumpeting calls, often given at night.

The Ruddy Shelduck is a distinctive species, 58-70 cm long with a 110-135 cm wingspan. It has orange-brown body plumage and a paler head. The wings are white with black flight feathers. It swims well, and in flight looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck. The sexes of this striking species are similar, but the male has a black ring at the bottom of the neck in the breeding season summer, and the female often has a white face patch. The call is a loud wild honking.In captivity this species is generally aggressive and antisocial and is best housed in pairs unless in a very large area. Then it may mix with other species, although it will still be feisty at breeding time.
The Common Teal is the smallest dabbling duck at 34-38 cm length with a 53-59 cm wingspan. The breeding male has grey flanks and back, with a yellow rear end and a white-edged green speculum, obvious in flight or at rest. It has a chestnut head with a green eye patch. It is distinguished from drake Green-winged Teal by a horizontal white scapular stripe, no vertical white bar on side of breast, and thin buff lines on its head.The females are light brown, with plumage much like a female Mallard. They can be distinguished from most ducks on size and shape, and the speculum, although distinguishing them from female Green-winged Teal is difficult.In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the female.

The Pintail or Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) is a widely-occurring duck which breeds in the northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America. It is strongly migratory in winters south of its breeding range to the equator. Unusually for a bird with such a large range, it has no geographical subspecies if the possibly conspecific Eaton's Pintail is considered to be a separate species.This is a fairly large duck, with a long pointed tail that gives rise to the species' English and scientific names. The male has a very distinctive brown, grey and white appearance, whereas the female has mainly light brown plumage and a shorter tail. The male's call is a mellow whistle, whereas the female quacks like a Mallard.The Northern Pintail is a bird of open wetlands which nests on the ground, often some distance from water. It feeds by dabbling for plant food and adds small invertebrates to its diet during the nesting season. It is highly gregarious when not breeding, forming large mixed flocks with other species of duck.This duck's population is affected by predators, parasites and avian diseases. Human activities, such as agriculture, hunting and fishing, have also had a significant impact on numbers. Nevertheless, this species' huge range and large population mean that it is not threatened globally.

The Greylag is a large goose, 74-84 cm (29-33 in) long with a 149-168 cm (59-66 in) wingspan and a body weight of 2.3-5.5 kg (5-12 lbs). It has a large head and almost triangular bill. The legs are pink, and the bird is easily identified in flight by the pale leading edge to the wing. It has a loud cackling call, kiYAAA-ga-ga, like the domestic goose.This species is found throughout the Old World, apparently breeding where suitable localities are to be found in many European countries, although it no longer breeds in southwestern Europe. Eastwards it extends across Asia to China.The geese are migratory, moving south or west in winter, but Scottish breeders, some other populations in northwestern Europe, and feral flocks are largely resident. This species is one of the last to migrate. One theory on the etymology of the name (American Heritage Dictionary) is that "-lag" derives from this "lagging behind", although the Oxford English Dictionary analyses "-lag" as a dialectical word for "goose", of unknown orig
The Bronze-winged Jacana, Metopidius indicus, is a jacana. It is the only member of the genus Metopidius. The jacanas are a group of waders in the family Charadriidae, which are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone.The Bronze-winged Jacana breeds in India and southeast Asia. It is sedentary apart from seasonal dispersion. It lays four black-marked brown eggs in a floating nest. The males, as in some other wader families like the phalaropes, take responsibility for incubation.These are conspicuous and unmistakable birds. They are 29cm long, but the females are larger than the males. They are mainly black, although the inner wings are very dark brown and the tail is red. There is a striking white eyestripe. The yellow bill extends up as a red coot-like head shield, and the legs and very long toes are grey.Measurements (from Rasmussen and Anderton, 2005) Length 280-310 mm Wing 150-197 mm (males 150-180mm , females 167-187 mm) Bill from tip to top of frontal shield 34-46 mm (adults) 32-38 (juveniles) Tarsus 61-76 mm Tail 40-52 mm

One of the major wildlife sanctuaries attractions of Uttar Pradesh, Nawabganj Birds Sanctuary is a great weekend trip from Kanpur and Lucknow. The small sanctuary, spread in an area of 2.246 sq km, attracts hundreds of migratory birds species during winters. The sanctuary is mainly the area around a shallow lake The lake forms a perfect place for the migratory and water birds for a long stay. As a part of conservation of lake and its surroundings, Government of Uttar Pradesh declared the area as a sanctuary in 1984, since then this scantuary is being managed and protected under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. The picturesque sanctuary is an ideal for photographers and picnic lovers. To enhance the knowledge of visitors regarding birds, an Interpretation Centre is established in the Sanctuary. It has the provision of film shows related to wildlife. A motel, restaurant and small eateries around the sanctuary makes it an ideal location for a great weekend trip. Wildlife Attractions Avian PopulationThe avian population here comprises a mix of residents as well as migratory birds. The birds migrate across Himalayas from Tibet, China, Europe and Siberia during winters. Some of these birds fly over 5000 km and above 8500 mts. high to reach here. Some of the major migratory birds during the season are Greylag Goose, Pintail, Cotton teal, Red Crested pochard, Gadwall, Shoveller, Coot and Mallard. Some major local migratory and residential birds are Spotbill, Sarus crane, Painted Stork, Peacock, White Ibis, Dabchick, Whistling teal, Open billed stork, White necked stork, Pheasant tailed jacana, Bronze winged Jacana, Purple moorhen, Lapwing, Tern vulture, Pigeon, King crow, Indian roller and Bee eater. Deer ParkA small park, comprising the deers has been established in the vicinity of the sanctuary. There are Spotted deers in the park. It is one of the main attractions in the sanctuary. ReptilesThe major reptiles found in the sanctuary are Cobra, Viper, Krait, Ratsnake and Water snakes as well as some turtles. Getting ThereThe Nawabganj Birds Sanctuary is 45 Km from Kanpur railway station. Amausi Airport, Lucknow is 35 Km and Lucknow railway station is 55 Km from the Sanctuary. One can very easily get taxis and buses from these places to sanctuary.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

नवाबगंज पक्षी विहार में आपका स्वागत है

वन्य प्राणियों की विविधता एवं प्रचुरता उत्तर प्रदेश की बहुमूल्य प्राकृतिक विरासत है। शीतकाल में स्थानीय तथा प्रवासी पक्षियों के झुण्ड प्रदेश की झीलों का मुख्या आकर्षण हैं। पारिस्थितिक संतुलन बनाये रखने में पक्षियों का महत्वपूर्ण योगदान है। विश्व में लगभग १०,००० पक्षी प्रजातियाँ विद्यमान हैं। जिनमें से हमारे देश में लगभग १३०० प्रजातियाँ पायी जाती हैं। इन्ही में से लगभग २०० से अधिक प्रजातियों के पक्षी हिमालय पर्वत की असीम ऊँचाईओं को पार कर यूरोप, साइबेरिया, मंगोलिया, मध्य एशिया आदि से १० हज़ार किमी० तक की दूरी पार कर प्रकृति की विभिन्न विषम परिस्थितियों से बचने हेतु हमारे देश में शीत कालीन प्रवास हेतु आते हैं। नवाबगंज पक्षी विहार लखनऊ-कानपुर राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग पर नवाबगंज कस्बे के निकट स्थित है। वर्ष १९८४ में स्थानीय एवं प्रवासी पक्षियों, उनके प्राकृतिक आवास तथा जलीय वनस्पतियों, जीवों के समुचित संरक्षण के उद्देश्य से नवाबगंज पक्षी विहार की स्थापना की गई। यह पक्षी विहार बॉम्बे नैचुरल हिस्ट्री सोसाइटी की आइ० बी० ए० साईट भी है। इस पक्षी विहार का क्षेत्रफल २.२४६ वर्ग किमी० है एवं इसके चारों ओर विभिन्न वृक्ष वन का आभास कराते हैं।