Feb 272014

New Delhi is one of the busiest cities in the world, but it does have its space for fresh air for the city folks tired of pollution! The Delhi Ridge is your ultimate companion here for fresh breathing and even better – bird viewing! It is sometimes called the green lungs or the green cover because of the immense protection it provides by blocking hot winds from Rajasthan. The ridge in divided into four separate zones – Old Delhi and Northern Ridge, New Delhi or Central Ridge, Mehrauli or South-Central Ridge, Tughlaqabad or Southern Ridge. But that which makes Delhi stand out is that it is the world’s second most bird-rich city in the world – the first being Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Out of the 202 species, here is a list of bird species found in the Delhi Ridge and the places where you can find them:

5. The Out of Ordinary Birds at JNU!

The Delhi Ridge is a favorite of both the aged and the young! It is an attraction which many cannot resist! If you are a lover of birds, the exotic species which are not always seen, then this is the place for you! The Jawaharlal Nehru University is home to a whooping 127 species of birds! Being for about 13.8 sq km it is the abode of birds like the Blue Throat, Black Redstart, Red Throated Fly Catcher, Lesser White Throat, Yellow Wattled Lapwing, Alexandrine Parakeets, Sirkeer Malkoha, Plum Headed Parakeets, Grey Indian Hornbill, Common Hawkand the Cuckoo! Finding these birds on any other part of Delhi is a rarity! Take a camera and rush!

4. Pigeons galore everywhere!

You are bound to find if not more at least two of these beauties – the Rock Pigeon and the Yellow-footed Green pigeon! The Yellow-footed green pigeon is sometimes known as wearing a parrot’s suit! They are bright green in colour and their legs have yellow feather! Mostly living in the woods, they can be spotted in many parts of Delhi! The rock pigeon on the other hand has a grey colour on their body and found mostly in urban areas and the domes of temples and mosques.

3. The Housemen – House Sparrow and House Crow!

Well, the saddest part is that the sweet house sparrows are dangerously dwindling in Nature. But you can spot them in abundance at the Delhi Ridge, the Asola Sanctuary and the Jamia Nagar! They were the first discovered avians, but are getting eradicated at an alarming rate. Much less is to be told about the house crows! They are, to begin with, very different from other birds in terms of appearance! Intelligent and unscrupulous, they are the most cunning hunters in town! Rather than viewing their body it’s far more amusing to watch them look for food!

2. The Policeman!

The Black Drongo is also known as the ‘sheriff’ or ‘police’! It is black in colour (as the name suggests!) and has a slender, thin tail with a slit in the middle! They are known to be extremely ferocious to fellow birds who try to come enter their areas! They also chase away eagles! You can look for them in abundance at the Okhla and Asola Sanctuaries. But, maintain a distance while clicking!

1. Move over eagles, it’s the Kite!

No, those brown big birds with forked tails are not eagles, as you knew it! The tails are the signifiers! Vultures, as you know, are on the verge of extinction, so these kites are to dominant species in the sky! They fly the highest and again are capable of viewing at great lengths in search of food! They are also a treat to watch when they hunt for food and especially the ones which have babies! It is a bit difficult to spot them but once found they are remarkable to follow! It is especially very appealing to watch the black-shouldered kite! When it is saving its prey it can even fight birds bigger than its size! Under no circumstances is it ever ready to part with its prey! You can try to capture it from a close distance but if you a little too close – be ready to lose it! The kite will understand your vicinity and fly away within seconds!

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