Monday, June 7, 2010

Changing nesting patterns

Thiruvananthapuram: Birds in the Punchakari-Vellayani wetlands here are exhibiting unnatural nesting behaviour to survive the destruction of their habitat.

Indiscriminate reclamation of wetlands and loss of trees have forced birds to adapt to new environments and seek out the most unlikely places to build nests.

Bird watchers C. Susanth and S.S. Anooj of Warblers and Waders recently came across such a nest at Punchakari. During their weekly bird studies, they saw a Black Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis) incubating eggs inside a nest built atop an electric post.

�This is the first time the Black Drongo has been observed nesting in an unnatural habitat in the wetlands here, says Mr. Susanth.

Located about 20 ft. from the ground, the nest was cup-like and made of fibre and twigs.

The Black Drongo is a glossy, jet-black bird with long, deeply forked tail. It is locally known as �Aanaranji and builds its nest on forked tree branches with thick foliage. At Aakkulam, the study team saw the bird nesting on mango and jackfruit trees.

�The severe habitat degradation at Punchakari-Vellayani is the main reason for the unusual nesting behaviour of Black Drongos. The presence of migratory and local birds is diminishing due to habitat loss,� Mr. Susanth observes

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