Farmers’ friend & auspicious bird : The Tribune India

New Delhi, January 4

It was early morning in Tal Chapar blackbuck sanctuary in Rajasthan. “Pull over” I shouted in pleasure and my buddy, veteran wildlife photographer Kamal Sahansi, braked onerous on the jeep. “Neelkanth, wow! Lovely… don’t make any sound. Simply click on,” stated Sahansi, sharing knowledgeable recommendation.

There it was, my favorite bird-the Indian curler on a perch, wanting up on the skies as if speaking with the almighty.

Known as the neelkanth in India, it’s thought of auspicious.

Individuals say when you get ‘darshan’ of neelkanth through the Navratra pageant, your want comes true.

In response to common perception, Lord Rama is claimed to have seen the neelkanth earlier than setting on his journey to combat Ravana.

Folklore says that sighting a neelkanth on Dussehra helps absolve folks of their sins.

To use this sentiment, poachers hunt the India curler and ‘exploit’ the devoted by organising ‘darshans’ in lieu of cash — which is against the law.

This was my first ‘encounter’ with the Indian curler and he sat quietly. It wasn’t serious about giving us an illustration of his great acrobatics from the place it will get its title from.

A flash of blue, a splash of orange across the eyes, and a fantastic roll within the air describe this beautiful chicken.

The curler rolls within the air in a flash of blue and ochre. It may very well be catching bugs, giving them a flash of its magnificence earlier than they disappear down its throat.

One wonders whether or not this chicken was given an opportunity to be thought of our nationwide chicken, a title that the peacock has received.

Whereas the species is discovered from Southeast Asia to the Arabian Peninsula, Indian rollers are generally discovered within the closely populated plains of India, due to this fact figuring prominently in native lore.

The title Neelkanth, means ‘blue throat’, a reputation related to Indian deity Shiva, whose blue throat resulted from consuming poison.

Different frequent names are ‘blue crow’ or ‘blue jay’, maybe as a result of rollers show crow-like attributes — being noisy, comfy round people, and omnivorous.

One can determine the Indian curler as a stocky, medium-sized chicken with an total drab brown look while perched.

The chicken is roughly 26-27 cm lengthy and each female and male Indian rollers look alike.

Male rollers carry out acrobatic aerial rolls throughout their courtship shows, and generally as a defensive tactic round their nests.


There are 12 species on this household. Rollers are crow-sized birds discovered within the heat areas of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the islands of the South Pacific and so they have small payments and medium to lengthy tail feathers.

Most rollers are a mixture of blue and brown in color. They fly straight up into the air, fold their wings and fall freely in the direction of the bottom; they then roll over and fly up once more!

They eat bugs whereas they’re in flight and infrequently perch on a department ready for prey to go by.

Indian curler is without doubt one of the most vibrant birds of India whose colors are seen throughout flight.

Discovered throughout the plains in India, it’s the state chicken of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Odisha.

Their calls, ‘chack-chack’ are crow-like and the frenzied flapping of their wings exhibits off their vivid colors.

European cousins

Their cousin, the European curler (Coracias garrulus) migrates to India throughout winter.

Predominantly blue, the European curler is a passage migrant and visits India briefly within the winter.

The dominance of the brown color is what helps to distinguish the Indian curler from the European curler.

“The European curler seems the identical as our neelkanth”, that was my first response after I noticed this species carefully in Sultanpur, close to Gurugram.

“See this in a flight and it seems stunning”, says my photographer buddy Vishal Chowdhary, who managed to get the flying shot.

“The Indian curler has lilac color marking on its face, whereas the European curler has a blue head. It has no marking on the pinnacle and possesses chestnut colouration on wing and again. Along with this, the Indian curler has bluish, lighter and darker blue wing color mixture.”

A threatened migratory chicken, the European curler is the one member of the curler household to breed in Europe.

Its blue and brown-coloured plumage is its most distinctive function. Till 2010, little was identified about this chicken’s migration patterns and wintering. For the primary time, scientists from 9 international locations found the routes taken by this species which is at the moment in a fragile state of conservation.

Researchers have been in a position to uncover this data with the assistance of geolocators and satellite tv for pc transmissions.

Every year, the European curler covers shut to 10 thousand kilometres all the best way from Europe to sub-Saharan Africa by way of India and repeats such an extended journey once more in spring.

Within the endangered listing

Whereas European rollers are within the listing of the endangered species, the Indian rollers are described as least involved by the IUCN.

Nevertheless, specialists really feel that Indian rollers usually are not so frequent today.

In actual fact, they’re going through a disaster resulting from indiscriminate searching by poachers and use of pesticides.

The federal government has launched a 10-year plan to assist in the conservation of birds and their habitat.

Capturing and displaying Indian rollers is against the law. They’re protected below Schedule IV of the Wildlife (Safety) Act, 1972 which carries a penalty of Rs 25,000 and imprisonment.

India can also be the president of the Bonn Conference (Conservation of Migratory Species of Wildlife, CMS) below the UN.

Practically 370 species of migratory birds go to India by means of three flyways – Central Asian Flyway (CAF), East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) and the Asian-East African Flyway (AEAF). India has been working by means of many programmes for the safety of those species.

Subsequent time you see these stunning birds, keep in mind they’re a boon for farmers as they eat bugs and worms from farmlands.

These birds are pure pest controllers. IANS

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