The Winged Wonders...

Feb 28, 2010

Each time we write an article, we try to bring something new to readers of DaijiWorld. This article is an eye opener to the world of flamingos and ducks so majestic and regal. Where would one possibly find the world’s highest density of flamingos? Possibly, the flamingo concentrations of the rift valley in Kenya and Tanzania. Apart from Africa, large concentrations of Flamingos can also be seen in the wild in the heart of the Western Ghats at Bhigwan. Thanks to the efforts of Ashley Rasquniha, we introduce you to a unique birding spot named Bhigwan. (Pune). 

Today, with birds threatened as never before, we need to redouble our efforts to protect bird habitats. It is evident from the declining numbers of bird species that birds cannot adjust to man. Instead, man should adjust to them.
In addition; the need to write this article is 
To assist and introduce nature loving citizens, to unique and rare bird sanctuaries.

The pictures with the bird captions and flight patterns will enable people from all walks of life to easily identify birds in the wild and distinguish them from resident and migratory birds.

To aid both students and teachers to take up practical projects and inspire future generations on the urgent need for bird conservation.


Birds are part of our existence; they are part of us. Birds have helped men for the very beginning of civilization. History reminds us that the warning cries of the geese saved Rome. In China and other parts of the world, canaries were used to warn coal miners of methane gas leakage. Today, birds are used as indicators to warn us of pollution, and toxic chemicals in the atmosphere. 

It is a well established fact that global warming, due to human activities has impacted birds to an extent that many note worthy species are on the brink of extinction. Even though, man has not realized the full scale impact of climate change, it has resulted in the collapse of other ecosystems world wide which supports birds and other wild life species. The distribution of many bird species all along the length and breadth of the western gnats is quickly changing. Breeding seasons are coinciding with rapid floods, destroying nests, eggs and young hatchlings and the upbringing of chicks coincides with the drought period where the supply of food is on the decline. At times the local or resident birds adapt quickly to these changes and multiply in great numbers, threatening the food supply of migratory birds.

A vast majority of us are unaware of the fact that globally threatened birds occur world wide and their numbers are highest in tropical Countries which support maximum biodiversity. The Western Ghats, consisting of dense evergreen forests, wetlands, scrublands, grasslands and shoals play a vital role in creating sensitive ecological niches which support bird species which make their homes at particular altitudes.

Birds are basically divided into two groups.

NIDIFUGOUS BIRDS: The young ones belonging to this group are independent at birth and follow their parents, within a few hours of hatching. The young ones are capable of finding their own food and they rely on their parents only for protection. E.g. Ducks.

NIDICOLOUS BIRDS: The young ones are fully dependent on the care of their parents for food, shelter and protection. E.g. Cormorant.


It is often easy to identify different bird species, by observing their flight pattern. Each bird species has a characteristic flight pattern, depending on the shape of the wings and wing surface. For e.g. Birds capable of rapid and sustained flight have long and narrow wings. Depending on whether the birds are resident or migratory in nature, each species has evolved a set of white and red flight muscles. The white flight muscles are designed to provide explosive bursts of speed for short distances. For such birds, flight is strictly a means of escape. Red flight muscles are found in long distance fliers and migratory birds. They provide endurance and prevent the body from overheating.


The arrival of the migratory bird population also coincides with the boom in the insect population. This is a way by which the insect pests are effectively controlled by biological means rather than by dangerous chemicals. We need to realize that Nature has provided a perfect food chain for plants, animals, insects, birds and man.  In this web of life insect populations are efficiently maintained in some sort of equilibrium and not completely eliminated. Birds of prey like the eagles and hawks exhibit diurnal pattern of behavior. They hunt between sunrise and sunset, on the other hand owl’s exhibit nocturnal behavior. They hunt at nights.

BIRD COMMUNICATION: Birds communicate in a variety of ways like voice, action, display of plumage or adornment. Each bird species has a unique way of calling. It is like stamping their very own signature. Depending on the tone and pitch, one can decipher that the birds are either expressing their social instincts or simply communicating with each other. Each tone has a distinct message. A shrill tone is an indicator proclaiming territory rights or aggressiveness, a melodious call is to invite a partner for courtship and so on.

Encourage setting up of bird clubs

In sensitive eco zones pertaining to large scale nesting of birds, Oil tankers should be banned.
Plan for bird watching festivals, on the limes of the International kite watching festivals.
Individuals or Group of people can sponsor a bill board on National highways, Cities, towns, highlighting the presence of local and migratory birds and their importance.
All the bird pictures have been provided by Ashley Rasquinha, DIRECTOR – TECHNICAL, Electropneumatics & Hydraulics (India) Pvt. Ltd. Ashley is an avid bird watcher and makes it a point to spend his weekends, discovering birding hotspots. These pictures are from a unique birding spot named Bhigwan. (Pune)


A paradise for migratory water birds, Bhigwan is located 95 kms from Pune on the Pune – Solapur highway. The backwaters of the Ujjani dam spreads into thousands of acres of back waters and marshlands making it the perfect habitat for migratory & resident water birds. The bird species includes varieties of ducks like Teals, Shovellers, Comb ducks, Brahminy ducks, coots, grebes etc. Storks like Painted, white necked, glossy & black necked Ibis, egrets, grey & purple herons, spoonbills etc. In addition flamingoes are a pretty site and have to be viewed by taking a boat ride with the local fishermen. Also found are Marsh harriers flying close above the water looking for prey, wading birds like Stilts, Godwits, Terns etc.

The two main areas to visit are the villages of Khumbargaon and Diksal. These villages are on opposite sides of the backwaters and each has its own variety of bird life.

For bird lovers, this is the place to be … Bhigwan, the Big one, the Bhagwan !

Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira - Archives

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by Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira
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Comment on this article

  • Lionel D Silva, Rosario/Kuwait

    Thu, Mar 04 2010

    It is a marvellous article of course beautiful pictures are there but information was tremendous. Normaly people will not get this information easily you have to read books like "Time life" package it is quiet expensive. Thanks Dr. Anand & Geetha Periera, Daiji

  • Noah ,Haney, Dubai

    Tue, Mar 02 2010

    I liked the amazing pictures.It is of great help for my science project.It is a good article.

  • Jatinder Singh, Virginia, USA

    Tue, Mar 02 2010

    Dr. Anand and Geeta, As always a very informative writeup.

  • Girija, Cochin/kerala

    Tue, Mar 02 2010

    As a student and teacher of biological sciences, this article is an eyeopener to both students and faculty, to devise new approaches towards conservation. excellent article and pictures.

  • Ina Karmelita D'Souza, Thottam/Bahain

    Tue, Mar 02 2010

    Dear Anand and Geeta. This is an excellent article on birds and also the photographs. God bless you both for this one and your future contributions. Will look forward.

  • Della Rego, Doha, Qatar

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Thank you once again Dr. Anand & Mrs. Geetha for the wonderful pictures and good informations about the birds.

  • Winster, Toronto,Canada

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    We must admit that your numerous articles and varied pictures over the past few years have enlightened us all on the importance of wildlife and the need to conserve all biological diversity. If only cities and towns hold talks on wildlife,for interested public, once a month by inviting specialists, it would definitely help. Thank you for dedicating your precious time for the benefit of mankind.

  • Ivan Frank, Mangalore

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    The article titled "The Winged Wonders" will be a treat for the Bird watchers and nature lovers. Data provided in the article will be very useful to those who are interested in the study of birds. Excellent photos Ashley.

  • adshenoy, mangaluru

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Bhagwan's creations. protect them.

  • Liza Gina Pais, Mysore

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Dear Dr Anand & Geeta,I enjoyed your article & assure that one day you will be well rewarded for all the efforts you & Geeta Aunty have put to make such knowledgable articles for Daiji World,Keep up the good work & we will be always waiting for your articles in Daiji World.Regards-Liza Gina Pais (Mysore)

  • Leander Pais, Mangalore

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Dear Dr Anand & Geeta,The article on winged wonders is a very nice & informative article on birds that will difinitively help me in my school project work,I am wondering where you have managed to click such beautifull images,I used to imagine that birds are only in Ranganathitu or kukkarahhalli lake,Thank you very much for the Contrbution-Leander Pais (Mysore)

  • Leona Pais, Pune

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Dr Anand & Geeta,Beautifull photograhpy & wonderfull images,We do aquire a lot of knowledge reading your articles in Daiji world,now we are able to name the birds during our frequent visits to the Bird santuary or the Zoo's,Thank you both for the lovely contribution of articles in Daiji world.Leona Pais-Mysore

  • Allen.J.Pais, Siddapur

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Dear Anand & Geeta,Each picture in this article speaks for it self & verifies the explanation of the flying wonders,Each time i go through your article the photo images that have been input are performing better & better,I some times wonder when you have the time to spend with these wonderfull flying wonders,The destinations that you would have visited to capture these beautifull flying wonders are simply remarkable,Wishing both of you all the best-Allen.J.Pais (Anamincka-South Australia)

  • Dr. Zita Lobo, Rak Medical and Health Sciences University

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Simply fascinating and breathtaking!! The photography is excellent too.

  • Marilena, Goa

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing those lovely pictures with us..... Wish they would visit my bird bath!

  • pushpa and thams, siddapur/coorg

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Indeed the information and photos are very much impressive and is a good source of knowledge to everybody. GREAT WORK.

  • Payal, mangalore

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Uncle Ashley, Your pictures are superb. Great work. You are a source of inspiration.

  • Suresh, Bangalore

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    Many species of birds have already been extinct and many more are on the verge of extinction. This very informative article throws light on various aspects of conservation, if only we allow nature to rebuild itself.

  • John Tauro, Mangalore / Kuwait

    Mon, Mar 01 2010

    On behalf of all birds and other living beings, I personally thank Dr. Anand & Geetha as well as Ashley Rasquinha for their commendable work you do for their protection and preservation.

  • Veeresh, New york, U.S.

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Time and again Dr.Anand and Geeta have brought out the faunal diversity that India is blessed with. This type of bioidiversity is hard to find in the western Countries. I am grateful to all, dr.anand, Geeta, Ashley and Daijiworld.

  • Akarsh, Bangalore

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Very nice way of educating people on the need for conservation. excellent stuff. Thank you

  • Rakesh, Bangalore

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    I love trekking and spend quite sometime exploring wild life habitats. the article highighting the flamingoes and ducks clearly shows that the western Ghats is a unique place that needs to be protected from human development. Thank you Dr.anand, Geeta and Ashley for giving us a glimpse of nature.

  • Romola pereira, Sakleshpur/Kadri

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Pleasure to the eyes . Thank you Ashley for the soul searching pictures.
    Anand and Geeta continue your good work and daijiworld will support you in educating the youth.

  • Prasanna, Bangalore

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    We are fortunate to see these winged wonders. Eco tourisim IS one good way in sensitizing people to safeguard nature. If Dr.Anand, Geeta and Ashley are conducting any such tours, I would like to pay for it and be a part of it.Kindly let me know. thank you for your time.

  • Arpitha, Colarado.U.S.

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Birds have fascinated me all my life. The Western ghats is an area very close to my heart. It is not only a rare hot spot of diversity, but the only place on earth which has contiguous forests. This gem of an article and pictures is a true testimony of the richness of Indias wildlife. Congrats and look forward for more of such articles.

  • Arun, Madras

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Birds act as bio agents in controlling the pest population. I have seen in many western Countries,the recorded calls of predatory birds to scare away insects and other small animals from attacking crops. The article is atimely reminder to protect, the little tht we have. Thank you Dr.anand, Geeta and Ashley.

  • sa,adi, ujire

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    very nice pictures thanks daijiword

  • Ramanand, New york, U.S.

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    The winged wonders has brought to light the wonders of the western ghats. Ashley has shot some incredible pictures. Thank you Dr. Anand and Geeta for the lovely write up.

  • Anjali, Perth, Australia

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    The very sight of birds is soothing to the eyes.What a riot of colors-simply superb. Thank you Drs.Anand and Geeta for your dedication towards nature. Thank you Ashley and Daijiworld too.

  • Nameita , Bangalore

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    We have met both Dr. Anand and Geeta personally. Their commitment towards wildlife protection is something phenomenal. We are indeed fortunate that they are unlocking the mysteries of nature. Thank you Sshley for sharing your pictures too along with Daijiworld.

  • suguna, Bangalore

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Dr. Anand, Geeta and Ashley,have simplified bird behaviour and the relationship they hold with the environment. We need to make compromises for the sake of birds.

  • Sathyanarayan, Texas u.s.a

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Very educative article.
    Many thanks to all concerned

  • Hamsa, Perth, Australia

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Birds belong to all of humanity. They cris cross continents in search of food and to escape the harsh environmental conditions. WE need to have a global plan put in place to safe guard their breeding places. The message in the article is loud and clear that time is running out and the pictures speak for themselves.

  • Nimoo, Bangalore

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    I was amazed to learn that Flamingoes migrate into the western ghat habitat. This article is packed with alot of relevant information for all nature lovers. Thank you.

  • Jacintha colaco, Mangalore

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    We were very happy to see the very many birds that flock the Western Ghats.It is important to protect thweir habitats.
    Thank you Dr.Anand, Geeta and Ashley.

  • madan, coorg

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    I'm sure God has taken time in creating these "bright colors of nature",and thanks again to Him that He's sent a person like U who can show them to the world !


    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Thank you for such an excellent article and amazing pictures. Your article is very informative and has helped me to enhance my knowledge in this field. Thanks once again.

  • sharat, coorg

    Sun, Feb 28 2010


  • shilpa, coorg

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Nice pictures from the wild and I hope to have the opportunity one day to take some pictures myself from this beautiful wild forest.

  • Hancy P, mangalore

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    great album with narration. I love your article sir and madam

  • Sudhakar Pai, Udupi

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Very informative article. Pls promote such articles regularly. I am a nature lover.

  • shainy Wilson, Kuwait

    Sun, Feb 28 2010

    Dear editor, this is a calss A article, these kind of articles we get to read only on Wonderful article and pictures. Thanks to authours

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