Monday, July 4, 2016

We have three species of Bulbuls residing in our garden. The red-vented Bulbul, the Red whiskered Bulbul and the shy and rarely seen, but always heard White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus) that is featured today.
Despite the relentless shower that we are experiencing, a few birds do not miss their daily bath routine. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to socialize or it’s just habit. They come in completely soaked wet, take bath in the birdbath and dry themselves under a nearby tree. It is also a time when they drink water. Which reminds me of the various ways in which I have seen some of these birds drink water.
Birds like Woodpeckers and sparrows, fill their beaks with water and tilt their heads back to let it run down their throats. Pigeons and Doves drink fast with pumping action and birds like the swallow, which spend a large time flying, drink water by skimming the water surface.
Seabirds of the ‘tube-nose’ group- such as giant petrels, albatrosses and fulmars which rarely touch land- have a long tubular nostril and the top of their bills. Excess salt from ingested sea water is transferred from the blood to the large nasal glands at the bill base; these excrete a concentrated salt solution, giving the birds, perpetual running nose!!

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