Here is an essay on the ‘Birds of India’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on the ‘Birds of India’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on the Birds of India
- Essay on House Sparrow
- Essay on Crow
- Essay on Weaver Bird or Baya
- Essay on Common Myna
- Essay on Hill Myna
- Essay on Hoopoe
- Essay on Koel
- Essay on Large Indian Parrot
- Essay on Kites
- Essay on Vultures
- Essay on Owls
- Essay on Peacock
- Essay on Flamingo
- Essay on Woodpeckers
- Essay on Nilkanth
Essay on Bird # 1. House Sparrow:
Passer domesticus (Fig. 27.2) is commonly known as house sparrow and in Hindi it is called gauriyya. It is a small bird growing up to 10 cm to 16 cm in length. The upper surface is earthy brown streaked with blackish and fulvous and underparts are whitish. Sexual dimorphism is distinct. The female is ash white and the male is earthy brown with blackish throat and breast and white abdomen.
Beak is conical and eyes small. Feet are adapted for perching with three toes anterior and the first toe of hallux posterior. Sparrows are omnivorous but chiefly granivorous. Food consists chiefly of seeds and grain gleaned on the ground, but they also raid ripening crops of wheat and other cereals. It is an unfailing commensal on man.
In winter these birds collect in large flocks to feed in and around cultivation. Breeding occurs almost throughout the year 3 to 5 pale white greyish eggs are laid at a time and successive broods are often raised. These are useful to agriculture by destroying large number of insect pests. Nest is a collection of straw and rubbish stuffed into a hole in a wall. Passer domesticus is distributed world-wide except the Andamans and Nicobars.
Essay on Bird # 2. Crow:
Corvus splendens (Fig. 27.2) is commonly known as house crow in English and in Hindi it is called kowwa or kag. It is a most familiar bird of Indian towns and villages, growing in length from 32 to 42 cm. The body is covered with a more or less black plumage, while the neck and breast are grey coloured. Each leg bears 4 clawed toes, three directed forwards and one backwards. Feet are adapted for perching. Omnivorous.
It eats almost anything-dead rat, kitchen refuse, fish, eggs, locusts, termites, fruits and grain, etc. Nest is a platform of twigs with a cup-like depression lined with tow, coir fibre, etc. The koel commonly lays its eggs in the nests of crows. It is a useful scavanger and an unfailing commensal of man.
Although they destroy locusts and other injurious insects when they are swarming but also raid ripening crops such as wheat and maize and do considerable damage to fruits in orchards. Corvus splendens is distributed throughout India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Essay on Bird # 3. Weaver Bird or Baya:
Ploceus philippinus (Fig. 27.2) is commonly known as weaver bird or baya. It looks like sparrow and lives in flocks. It is among the world’s best nest builders. Elaborately woven bottle-shaped nests are commonly seen hanging from tree branches in the country-side. Weaver birds damage cereal crops.
Essay on Bird # 4. Common Myna:
Acriodotheres tristis (Fig. 27.2) is commonly known as common myna. It measures about 22.5 cm in length. The colour is perky dark brown getting paler on the under parts. Head, throat and breast are glossy black. Beak and legs are yellow. There is a small patch of bare yellow skin behind each eye. When it flies, a white patch or bar becomes conspicuous on each wing. Sexes are alike.
The ‘bank myna’ (Acridotheres ginginianus) or the ‘ganga myna’ in Hindi, is similar to common myna or ‘deshi myna’ (A. tristis), but its colour is pale bluish grey instead of brown and the naked skin around eyes is brick-red instead of yellow.
Mynas are carnivorous eating fruits, insects and kitchen scraps. A. tristis is said to be the grasshopper hunter. It is common throughout Indian Region. It is a confirmed associate of man and follows him wherever he opens new settlements.
Essay on Bird # 5. Hill Myna:
Gracula religiosa (Fig. 27.2) is commonly known as pahari myna or bolti myna in Hindi. The bird is about 30 cm in length. A glossy jet black myna with a conspicuous white patch on the wings, yellow bill (beak) and legs, and bright orange-yellow patches of naked skin and wattles on the head.
Both the sexes are similar. Hill myna is arboreal and seen in pairs or noisy flocks in hill forest. It feeds on the various wild figs in company with green pigeons, hornbills and other fruit-earing birds. It has a habit of settling on bare tops and dead trees in forest clearings at sunset and uttering its loud, sharp, creaky shrieks.
In flight the wings produce a metallic whirring noise, as in green pigeons. An accomplished mimic and talker, and much prized as a cage bird. Nesting season is March to October Nest is a collection of grass, leaves, feathers, etc., stuffed into natural hollows in lofty tree-trunks in forest, usually 10 metres to 20 metres up. Eggs are 2 or 3, deep blue sparsely spotted and blotched with reddish brown or chocolate.
Hill myna is restricted and patchy in distribution.
In India proper in three distinct areas:
(i) Himalayan foothills to about 800 metres elevation from Almora to Assam,
(ii) Chhota Nagpur, Orissa and South East Madhya Pradesh,
(iii) Western Ghats north to about Mumbai. Also in Andamans, Sri Lanka and South Myanmar.
Essay on Bird # 6. Hoopoe:
Hoopoe or Upupa epops (Fig. 27.2) is known as ‘hudhud’ in Hindi. It is about the size of a myna. A reddish fawn coloured bird with black and white zebra markings on back, wings and tail. A conspicuous fan-shaped crest, and long, slender, gently curved bill (beak) which is about 5 cm long. Both the sexes are alike or similar.
Singly or pairs usually on the ground in lightly-wooded country. The hoopoe is found practically all over India. It is fond of lawns, gardens and grooves in and around villages and towns. It walks and runs with a quail-like but waddling gait, probing into the soil for food with bill partly open like forceps. When digging, the crest is folded back and projects in a point behind the head. It is flicked open and erected fanwise from time to time.
The hoopoe is often found pecking and feeding on insects on the ground. Its name echoes its distinctive calls “hoo-po” and hud-hud-hud. It emits a soft musical, penetrating hoo-po or hoo-po-po repeated in runs, often intermittently for 10 minutes at a stretch. It feeds on insects, grubs and pupae, hence, it is beneficial to agriculture.
Nesting season principally February to May. It nests in natural tree hollow or hole in wall or ceiling of a building. Nest is lined with straw, rags and rubbish. Eggs 5 or 6, white in colour. Both sexes share in feeding the young. Hoopoe is found throughout India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Essay on Bird # 7. Koel:
Koel or Kokila (Fig. 27.2) is known as Eudynamis scolopacea. Its body is slender with a longer tail measuring up to 42 cm in length about the size of a crow Sexual dimorphism is well marked. Male is glistening metallic black all over with a striking yellowish green bill or beak and crimson or blood red eyes. Female is brown profusely spotted and barred with white.
It is very common and widespread bird of gardens and groves, and is perhaps better known by its melodious voice than by its appearance. It is the male bird whose voice is often heard m summer during mango season. The female koel does not sing but utters a sharp and quick repeated ‘kik-kik-kik’. Food consists chiefly of banyan and peepal figs, various berries and hairy caterpillars.
Koel is a nest parasite and does not build a nest of its own but deposits its eggs in crow’s nest leaving them to be hatched, and the young to be reared, by the foster parents. It is entirely arboreal and never descends to the ground. During winter it is silent and, thus, often overlooked and presumed to have migrated and becomes noisy with the advance of hot weather. Koel is distributed throughout India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Essay on Bird # 8. Large Indian Parrot:
The Alexandrine or the large Indian parakeet, Psittacula eupatria (Fig. 27.2), is known as ‘hiraman tota’ in Hindi. It is about the size of a pigeon, with a slender body and a long pointed tail. The body is covered by a brilliant grass green plumage. The beak is short but stout, sharp-edged, deeply hooked and red. There is a conspicuous maroon patch on each shoulder.
The female is green all over, but the male has a rose-pink collar and black throat. Upper mandible is movable on the frontal bone of skull. Feet are adapted for grasping holding and climbing. There are 2 front toes and 2 hind toes. The outer hind toe is not reversible. Food consists chiefly of fruits. Parrots are gregarious with loud voices. Parrots can copy and speak some words like human being but not as distinctly as the hill myna.
Even then they are popular domestic cage birds as they are easily procured. Parrots affect wooded country, orchards and cultivation. Occasionally collects in large flocks which do considerable damage to ripening fruits and standing crops of maize and jowar. Voice deeper and more powerful than that of the commoner Rose-ringed species.
Nesting season is chiefly December to April, varying locally. Nest is an unlined hollow in a tree-trunk at moderate heights and up to 30 metres up. Eggs 2 to 4, white, blunt ovals. Both sexes share all domestic duties. Parrots are distributed practically throughout India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. In Pakistan apparently only in the environment of Karachi.
Essay on Bird # 9. Kites:
Milvus migrans (Fig. 27.2) is commonly known as pariah kite and in Hindi it is called cheel. It is quite large in size and grows up to 60 cm in length. It is brown in colour. The tail is forked, a distinguishing character from all other similar birds. No sexual dimorphism. Both sexes are alike and share in the domestic duties. Food chiefly comprises offal and garbage, earthworms, winged termites, lizards, mice and young birds, etc. It lives in the neighbourhood of human habitations.
Nesting season from September to April. Nest untidy platform of twigs, iron wire, tow rags and rubbish up in a large tree or on roof or cornice of a building. Eggs 2 to 4, dirty pinkish white, lightly spotted and blotched with reddish brown. Milvus (kite) is found throughout India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
In India, we have two kinds of kites, the common pariah kite (Milvus migrans) and the brahminy kite (Haliaster indus Fig. 27.2). The Brahminy kite is smaller than the other and much handsomer. Its head, neck and breast are pure white, while the rest of the plumage is rich chest-nut brown, its tail is rounded and not forked or wedged. Largely a scavenger in sea ports. Food chiefly comprises offal, fish, frogs, small snakes, etc. Winged termites emerging from rain-sodden ground are hawked in the air.
Nesting season principally December to April. Nest is a loose platform of twigs, lined with green leaves, etc., built up in a large peepul, banyan or similar tree growing near water. Eggs 2, greyish white, speckled and blotched with dingy reddish brown. Both sexes share in the domestic duties. The brahminy kite is found throughout India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Essay on Bird # 10. Vultures:
Two species of vultures are common. The black Pondichery or king vulture Sarcogyps calvus (Fig. 27.3) is commonly known as ‘raj gidh’. A huge, black turkey-like vulture measuring about 2 metres across the wings. Its deep black colour is relieved by two white patches on upper thighs, a white band on underside of wings, and a white collar at the base of neck.
The naked head, neck and legs are blood red in colour. The stout bill (beak) is hooked at the tip and bears a soft naked cere at the base. The feet are adapted for grasping with sharp claws. Both the sexes are alike. A carrion-feeder, it is timid, cowardly and repulsive-looking. Nesting season December to April. Nest is a massive platform of twigs in the top of a large tree 10 to 13 metres up often close to a village. Egg is single, white, fine textured roundish oval. It is found throughout India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar. It is not found in Sri Lanka.
The commonest Indian vulture is the whitebacked or Bengal vulture Pseudogyps bengalensis (Fig 27.3) called ‘gidh’ in Hindi. A heavy, dirty blackish brown vulture with scrawny, naked head and neck. At rest and while banking in the air, the white back is diagnostic. In overhead flight a whitish band stretching along the underside of wings.
Sexes are alike. It is our commonest vulture A carrion-feeder and useful scavenger on the countryside and in the environs of towns and villages. It collects in large gatherings to demolish animal carcasses with astonishing promptness and incredible speed. Nesting season October to March. Nest is a large untidy platform of sticks in the top of a banyan, tamarind or similar tree, often along roadsides or near villages. Egg single, white occasionally speckled and spotted with reddish brown. It is found throughout India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar. It is not found in Sri Lanka.
Essay on Bird # 11. Owls:
There are many species of owl. Two important species are described here. Bubo bubo (Fig 27.3) is commonly known as ‘great horned owl’ and in Hindi it is called ghughu. It is a large, heavy and robust bird, measuring up to 60 cm in length. The colour is dark brown streaked and mottled with tawny buff and black. Head is large and bears two conspicuous black ear tufts or horns.
Two prominent feather tufts above head look like ears, hence, the name ‘great homed owl’. The beak is short, parrot-like. The eyes are large, round, yellow and directed forwards .The legs are fully feathered, which are diagnostic of horned owl. Food consists mainly of small mammals, birds, lizards and other reptiles; also large insects and occasionally even fish and crabs.
The bird spends the day resting on the ground under shelter of a bush or on some shady rock projection in a ravine or river. It is mainly nocturnal but it is frequently seen on move during the day time. By maintaining a constant check on the rodents and other destructive vermin they are of great economic value to agriculture and deserve the strictest protection.
Nesting season principally November to April. Eggs 3 or 4, creamy white, broad roundish ovals with a smooth texture. Laid without nest on bare soil, on ledge of cliff, or under shelter of bush on level ground. Bubo bubo is distributed throughout India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar. It is not found in Sri Lanka.
Brown fish owl (Bubo zeylonensis) or ‘ullo’ in Hindi. It is similar to the homed owl in all respects, but its legs are un-feathered which is diagnostic. Sexes are alike. A similar variety is the barn owl or screech owl (Tyto alba) about the size of jungle crow. It has a large round head with a monkey-like face, but no ear projections. Sexes are alike. The barn owl is also found throughout India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Essay on Bird # 12. Peacock:
Pavo cristatus (Fig. 27.3) is commonly known as common peafowl or peacock. In Hindi it is called mor or mayur. It is the national bird of India and to kill it is penal crime. Sexual dimorphism present. The male bird is about the size of a vulture, very gracious and beautifully coloured. Its ornamented gorgeous ocellated tail is about 1 or 1.5 metres long.
The gorgeous oscillated or eyed trail of cock is actually not his tail but abnormally elongated upper fail coverts. Cock has also fan-shaped crest, brilliant metallic blue head, neck and breast. The hen is crested like cock, but lacks the trail and is a sober mottled brown with dull metallic green on the lower neck. Hen lays 3 to 5 eggs.
Head bears eyes, nares at the base of short bill (beak) and ear openings. The feet are adapted for scratching and running. Peacock inhabits crop fields, dense scrubs, forests having streams and rivers. Peacocks are shy and polygamous birds usually living in a party or drove of one cock and 4 to 5 hens. They feed on grain, vegetable shoots, insects, lizards, snakes, etc.
At night they roost up in lofty trees, and at early dawn the jungle resounds with loud ugly screaming may-awe calls of the cocks. The dance of male peacock with its gorgeous tail coverts spread like a fan is very famous. The peacock dances specially on cloudy and rainy days to attract hen. Peacock is found throughout India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Essay on Bird # 13. Flamingo:
Phoenicopterus (Fig. 27.3) is commonly called ‘Flamingo’ and ‘Boghans’ or ‘Charaj baggo’ or ‘Rajhans’ in Hindi. It is a pale rosy-white bird, stands one and a half metres high. Wing coverts are brilliant scarlet with black wing-border.
It has elongated bare pink legs, long sinuous neck and heavy pink bill (beak) turned down at an angle (broken) from about half of its length. The toes are webbed like ducks. Head bears eyes, nostrils at the base of beak and decurved beak. The fleshy tongue works like a plunger sieving out the water through the comb- like fringes or lamellae along the edge of the mandibles, leaving the minute food particles behind.
The method of procuring food is to wade into shallow water and feed with their long necks bent down and head completely immersed. Flamingos fly with fairly rapid wing beats in V-formation like geese. The slender neck is stretched in front, while the long red legs trail behind. The nest is cone-shaped mound of scrapped-up and plastered semi-liquid mud which becomes hard and sun-baked and has an average height of about 30 cm.
A flat pancake-like depression is tamped on the top in which the eggs-2 or only 1- are laid. The incubating flamingo sits on this with its legs folded under and not standing astride the mound. The only known breeding place of flamingo is the Great Rann of Kutch whose vast numbers collect between October and March when water conditions are favourable.
Flamingos live in flocks at jheels, brackish lagoons, on tidal mudflats, ponds and lakes. They wade in shallow water and feed on worms, small molluscs, crustaceans, insect larvae and seeds, etc. They fly rapidly. Flamingos are resident more or less throughout India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, France, East Africa, Siberia, etc.
Essay on Bird # 14. Woodpeckers:
Dinopium benghalense (Fig. 27.3) is commonly known as golden- backed woodpecker and in Hindi it is called kath-phorwa. It is a small bird and is about 22 cm in length. Upper plumage is distinctive golden yellow and black, while lower is buffy white streaked with black.
The entire crown and occipital crest is crimson in male only, partly so in the female. Head bears large eyes, nostrils, ear openings and long stout pointed beak adapted for wood-chiselling and piercing. The tongue is protrusible and barb tipped. Toes are four, two directed in front and two behind. The tail is stiff and wedge-shaped. Dinopium (Woodpecker) inhabits the grooves, gardens and light scrub in villages.
It ascends to tree trunks tapping on the bark and peer into cracks for ants, grubs, wood-boring beetles and other insects injurious to trees for its food. It is found in village groves, gardens and in lightly wooded country. Dinopium is distributed throughout India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
The golden-backed woodpecker (Brachypternus or Dinopium) is about the size of a myna. The yellow fronted pied or Mahratta woodpecker (Dryobates or Dendrocopos mahrattensis Fig. 27.3) is much smaller, about the size of a bul bul.
Essay on Bird # 15. Nilkanth:
Coracias benghalensis (Fig. 27.4) is commonly known as Indian roller or blue jay and in Hindi it is called nilkanth or sabzak. It is an Oxford and Cambridge blue bird about the size of a pigeon. Head is big with heavy and black bill. The breast is rufous brown and pale blue abdomen and under tail. The dark and pale blue portions of the wings show up as brilliant bands in flights. Sexes alike.
Food chiefly comprises crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and other insects but occasionally lizards, mice and frogs are also eaten. Nesting season chiefly March to July. Eggs 4 or 5, glossy white roundish ovals. The nest is a collection of straw, feathers and rubbish in a natural tree hollow. It is essentially an inhabitant of open cultivated countryside and avoids dense forests.
It is usually seen perched on an exposed tree stump or telegraph wires. The bird does great service to agriculture by destruction of some injurious pests. Coracias benghalensis (nilkanth) is distributed throughout India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.