Friday, 21 December 2012

The Indian Pitta in My Garden

The regular migrant Indian Pitta is back in  my garden.

I maintain a woody patch in my backyard to host it. And it accepts my invitation every year. In addition to the allocated one, it frequents a new patch this season. It is 25-feet from my room in the front yard! This new patch is roughly 400 sq.ft in extent, and the bird spends the first half of the day there.

Now, I get to see it doing all sorts of thing from the comforts of room. And sometimes it moons.

The Indian Pitta is known as Aarumani-kuruwi in Tamil, which translates to "six-O'clock-bird" because of its tendency to call roundabout at 6.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. In October and November, still early on in its stay in Sri Lanka, its calling is dead on time.

Although it prefers the shady patches, every now and then, it emerges out to forage in sunnier edges.

During that, it basks to dry up and perhaps to get rid of parasites.

This year, the first sighting of it was on 20th October. Over the years, the earliest I have seen it is on 16th October and the latest that I have seen it is on 16th April.

Most birders who visit South India on birding trips see it at a sewage farm, undergoing trying conditions. The Pitta in this patch infamously came to be known as the pitta-in-the-shitta!

Over here in Sri Lanka, we do spare such torture for our visitors.
Har...har. :)
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