Birds in Flight

Date: 23rd March 2009
Place: Karanji Lake, Mysore

I have always loved photographing Birds mid air – there is a certain thrill in freezing time as a Bird elegantly glides across.

Anhinga Melanogaster (Darter Bird):
Karanji Lake has turned out to be an ideal habitat for the Darter; I see more and more Darters in action with every visit. Though they are excellent swimmers, it’s quite an ordeal for them to get airborne. Unlike Ducks their feathers are not waterproofed by oil, so they dry their feathers for a few seconds by hanging it out of water and then with a big push they kick the water and start flapping their wings. With wings beating hard they still have to virtually hop on the water for quite a distance before taking to the air.
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Painted Stork:
There were plenty of Storks around busy in building nests and generally flying around.
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Chamundi hill radio tower in the background.

Indian Cormorant:
The Cormorant catches fish in a similar way as the Darter Bird, i.e. underwater; ergo even this bird has no waterproofing for its feathers and struggles in the same way to take flight as the Darter.
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The Cormorant above, it appears, has gone loony; I have never seen or heard of a Cormorant catching fish this way. Well, it might note be trying to catch fish (beats me what else it was up to), but it sure was zipping across the water surface – had to pan my camera in a hurry to catch this shot.

Median Egret:
Have seen many of these winged beauties before but never had I managed to capture any mid-air shots –
Reason 1. These birds are quite timid and take to flight before I get near
Reason 2. Their coat is made up of the shining white variety, very difficult to get the ideal lighting and background to get a decent photo.
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This bird flies by pulling back its neck.
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A painted stork maneuvering down to its nest.

Comments

  1. Shalini Surendran says:

    >Anoop…
    A picture is worth 1000 words..
    But, I would say, ur photographs are worth 10,000 words! 🙂
    So.. do I need to say more?! 😉

    Cheers,
    Shalini

  2. P Kalyan says:

    >All are good…first one is awesome!

  3. Rohini Kamath says:

    >My fav is no. 4! So difficult to get, very shy birds. Btw, its an egret.
    A median egret also called intermediate egret in non-breeding plumage, to be precise.

    How to tell them apart:
    Little egret looks almost the same, but has conspicuous yellow feet and a black beak.

    Great Egret also looks the same, but is much larger and has a longer neck, so it has a noticeable curve in it. Has yellow beak, black legs.

    Breeding plumes: During breeding season, the median egret’s yellow beak becomes black and it grows long decorative plumes behind its head. ( little egret also gets these plumes )

    Fortunately for us, sexes look similar. ( thank god )

  4. >Shalini: Thanks for the very high praises!

    P Kalyan: The Anhinga is my fav bird. I like the first and the last shots.

    Rohini: Corrections made! Good that I have your Eagle eye watching over my amateurish mistakes in naming birds 😉
    I sorta knew I was not sure about which bird this was. Btw, how do you distinguish a Heron and an Egret?

  5. Rohini Kamath says:

    >My pleasure, as always. Heres some interesting stuff on egrets and herons.

    Herons are the larger group of birds. Herons as a group are divided into egrets, herons and bitterns ( for reasons that I don’t know yet. )

    I remember it as: all the white birds in the heron group are called egrets. ( Cattle egret is almost all white, with orange parts on neck and head) Indian reef egret (Ive seen it in Malpe) is an exception – its all grey in color.

    Common Herons that we have in india are :
    Pond heron, night heron – smaller birds
    ( both have similar structure but colouring is different )
    Night heron : Grey and white.
    Pond Heron : Brown and white

    Grey Heron, Purple Heron (large birds, not that common ):
    These look like Great egrets in structure, but one is grey ( actually very light grey ) and the other is purple respectively.

    Bitterns (there are many types) : not commonly seen, Ive only seen one : look like pond heron but with different colours and patterns.

    The herons ( all 4 types can be seen in lalbagh )
    Ive seen a bittern in Dandeli.

    More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heron

  6. Mithun U says:

    >Great pictures, Hope I will also one day learn to take shots of flying birds.:)

  7. >Rohini: thanks again for all the information.

    Mithun: Thanks. All you have to do is go to Karanji Kere and spend a few hours, I’m sure you can get such pics.

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