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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

…Watch a Robin in your area.”

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Have you ever traveled in a bullock cart? No, I guess. But I have.

Long ago when I was just in my High School, I had to attend my uncle’s marriage party and elders of the family sent me in a bullock cart. My grand father and one of my uncles except the cart driver were also with him. We had started very early in the morning. As early, as it was almost night. The east was not even slightly red by that time.

One the way I heard repeated call of a bird. So sweet and inspiring as it was that I have not forgotten it even now. I had no knowledge of birds at that time. But the call of the bird still echoes in my mind-even after thirty five long years!

A few months back while I was on my way through cropped fields to a river I was blessed to see that bird. It was a social ceremony after the death of my father and I had to collect water and throw away one small but most important thing of my mother who had passed away many years back but that thing was kept safely as my father was alive. Now, let me complete the story without going into details of that event.

Yes, as I was moving towards the river bank the bird came in my way again and again as if it was trying to stop me. It was producing the same sound that had been in my mind.” So it is a robin.” - I was confirmed in my mind. I identified the bird but was not familiar with its sound.  I studied a lot, searched on internet went through many books and came to know the behaviour of robin and all about it through study and observation.

Robin in India is called as oriental Robin or Magpie- Robin. In taxonomy it is called as Copsychus saulari. It is a trim deep blue coloured bird with white stripes at both wings. It has a locked tail which goes up and down as it sings.

Robin is one of the familiar birds about Indian villages and it is found in cultivated areas and open woodlands. It is very conspicuous during the breeding season when the male sings from poles or trees in very early morning and sometimes in late afternoon. Its song is punctuated by upward jerks of its tail. When the female robin lays eggs after compiling the construction of nest in a bush, the male bird guards the nest like a soldier. In early mornings when sound can move fastest through air and can reach to long distances, the male bird sings loudly. It announces and warns all possible intruders not to dare to pass through that area. Now I guess the bird was trying to stop me, while I was on my way to the river side as it might have constructed the nest in a nearby bush where the female bird was incubating its eggs. Try to watch a robin in your area.

Key Words : Robin, cropped fields, blue, river, eggs

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