Human-Associated Birds

1. House Sparrow Passer domesticus

House Sparrow

House Sparrow

One can see House Sparrow all around the city and town. They feed on rice and grains and also build the nests in crevices in the houses and buildings. House sparrow is a small sized bird. Adult male has grey crown, chestnut nape, and black colour throat. Females look similar to male, but it has paler buff supercillium, dark brown streaking on buffish mantle and unstreaked greyish white feathers without black throat. It has a short and stout bill to feed on cereals, grains, tender shoots and kitchen scraps.

2. House Crow Corvus splendens

House Crow

House Crow

No one needs an introduction to crows. They are stout perching birds. Crows have fairly long straight bill, very strong feet and legs, and a tuft of nasal bristles extending over the base of the upper beak. House Crow has black crown face and throat contrasting with paler nape, neck and breast, giving rise to collared appearance. The grayish neck part distinguishes it from its close relative Jungle crow which is fully black. They are well adapted to human settlements and an indicator of insanitation and does the sanitation work for us. They are the major scavenger of human habitations all over the world. It is a communal rooster, roosts in huge numbers in trees and grooves.

3. Rock Pigeon Columba livia

Rock Pigeons are our commensal adapted well to human life, calm with stout compact body, short neck, and a small head and bill. It looks bluish grey in colour with glistening metallic green, purple, and magenta shine on upper breast and around the neck. Tail is grey in color and has blackish band with short broad black bars. They live in colony and roost in cliff ledges within cliff gaps and remains. They are living in and about buildings in towns and cities. They feed chiefly on seeds and green shoots. They are long distant flyers.

4. Common Myna Acridotheres tristis

Mynas are found everywhere in human settlements and seen in flocks. These birds have a strong yellow bill and legs, moderately long wings and a squared tail. Common Myna has yellow skin around the eyes, glossy black on head and breast merging into maroon brown on rest of the body. It has large white patch on wings, tail tip and white vent. They generally feed on insects, kitchen scraps and sometime scavenge on garbage. They roost communally often with crows. These are fearless and fly swiftly and for far distances. They build nest in the natural holes of the trees.

5. Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopacea

Asian Koel - male & female

Asian Koel – male & female

Asian Koel is a brood parasitic bird that means it lays eggs in Crow’s nests and destroys the rightful owner’s eggs. Koel has an elongated body with a long graduated tail and decurved bill. Male is glossy black all over the body with a dull lime-green bill and brilliant red eye. Female looks brown above with faint glossy green color and it is spotted and barred with white color buff all over the body. It is strongly barred with dark brown color. The eggs are brooded by crows and young ones are taken care by crows. It is usually found in and around human habitation in gardens, groves etc. They are frugivorous and occasionally feed on insects.

6. Purple-rumped Sunbird Nectarinia zeylonica

Purple-rumped Sunbird

Purple-rumped Sunbird – male & female

Male sunbirds have sparkling colors of plumage and the female usually being much duller and without metallic luster. Sunbirds feed mainly at the blossoms of flowering trees and shrubs. Purple-rumped sunbirds male has metallic green crown and purple throat and rump and bright yellow lower breast and belly with distinctive greyish white flanks, narrow maroon band across upper breast. Female has greyish white throat, olive rump, yellow belly and grayish brown upper parts.

7.Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer

Red-vented Bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul

Bulbuls are medium sized birds with soft, fluffy feathers. It has short and round wings with a long tail and short, weak legs and looks smaller in size than Myna. Red-vented Bulbul has crested black head and white rump and white tipped black tail and red vent. They feed on berries and other fruits, insects, buds of trees and shrub

8. Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicata

Indian Robin

Indian Robin – male & female

Indian Robins show sexual dimorphism. An adult male of Indian Robin has glossy black under-parts and white shoulder patch. Adult female has greyish-brown upper-parts and pure grey under-parts and lacks white shoulder patch; wings are uniform grey-brown and has plain black head. It is a familiar bird, hanging round the haunts of men, the outskirts of villages. They forage mainly by hopping about on the ground in search of prey, or by perching on a low vantage point. Frequently flips the tail and has a habit of holding it vertically over the back.

9. White-browed Wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis

White-browed Wagtail

White-browed Wagtail

Wagtails have long legs, relatively long toes and a thin, pointed bill. It is a black and white bird with black head, neck, mantle and breast with white eyebrows. It frequently wags its tail up and down and generally has a strong undulating flight. They feed mainly by picking insects from the ground as they walk along, or by making short rapid runs to capture insects they have flushed. It is seen in wetlands and marshy areas and nearer to water bodies.

10. Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis

Greater Coucal

Greater Coucal

Coucals are large skulking birds with long graduated tail with weak flight. Coucals are terrestrial birds, frequently seen in dense undergrowth, bamboo forests, tall grasslands or scrub jungle. It is easily identified by its large size with glossy black head, body and tail, contrasting chestnut wings, and red eye. Immature and juvenile Coucal differ from adult by having brownish black head and body, with chestnut spotting on crown and nape and has barred flight feathers. Although, it is a member of Cuckoo, they are non-parasitic brooder and they build nests. They feed on small mammals, lizards, snakes, frogs, nestlings, eggs, insects and spiders.

11. Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius

Common Tailorbird

Common Tailorbird

Tailorbird is smaller than a sparrow. It is a small active bird with a long, decurved bill, short wings and a graduated tail. It is a yellowish green warbler with whitish under-parts and rust-colored crown. It is readily identified by long tail. Breeding male has elongated central tail feather and female also have similar characters but has a fan shaped tail. Mostly found singly or in pairs and active near human habitation. It keeps hopping energetically with erect tail in herbage and undergrowth. It constantly flicks its tail from side to side. They are always busy in hunting insects. Tailorbirds are named for their habit of sewing leaves to form a cup, in which the egg is laid.

12. Spotted Owlet Athene brama

Spotted Owlet

Spotted Owlet

Owlets are smallest among the owls. They have a large round head, big forward facing eyes surrounded by a facial disc, and a short tail. They are nocturnal and coloured in camouflaged pattern. Spotted Owlet is the most common Owlet seen everywhere and screaming during night times on nearby places. It has a pale facial and pale hind collar. It has prominent white spotting on crown, mantle and wing coverts, and brown spots on under-parts. It mostly hides in tree hollow, shady branch of a mature tree or in a chimney or under roof. It used to congregate frequently around streetlight at night and hunt insects.

13. Black kite Milvus migrans

Black Kite

Black Kite

Black Kite is a large dark brown bird, easily distinguished by its forked tail, easily noticeable during its flight. These Kites used to perch on electric poles, palm trees and often soaring on thermals and drifting with the wind on motionless wings in day times. They feed on wide variety of food like fishes, poultry chicks, lizards, amphibians, and garbage. Black Kite is troublesome birds to poultry owners, as they seize the opportunity to consume the unguarded poultry chicks. Their feeding ground includes dump yards, slaughterhouse. Kites are efficient scavengers, working in towns, villages.