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Birds and Butterflies of Delhi

Birds and Butterflies of Delhi
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Foreword Birds and butterflies are some of the most loved and admired taxa of animals, due to their beauty, colour, vivacity, diversity, fragility, accessibility and friendliness. Another reason for our admiration for birds and butterflies is their flying ability, which Man has always aspired to gain. Although we have reached the moon, we can only glide (that also with artificial ‘wings’), much life the ancestors of birds, millions of years ago. Which child does not desire to maje...
Foreword

Birds and butterflies are some of the most loved and admired taxa of animals, due to their beauty, colour, vivacity, diversity, fragility, accessibility and friendliness. Another reason for our admiration for birds and butterflies is their flying ability, which Man has always aspired to gain. Although we have reached the moon, we can only glide (that also with artificial ‘wings’), much life the ancestors of birds, millions of years ago. Which child does not desire to majestically soar like an eagle, high up in the sky, or dexterously flit from flower to flower, sipping the invigorating nectar!

Birds and butterflies are also good indicators of the quality of our environment - more of them means that the environment is still good, the air is breathable, trees and shrubs are surviving, open space has not been encroached upon, the wetlands are still not too polluted, and the crow and the cat population are under control. In UK, one of the parameters of the quality of life is the diversity of birds found around a house, a village or a town.

Being more or less harmless to us and found everywhere, bird and butterfly watching can be a very enjoyable hobby. Although, there is no age bar in developing this hobby, the best is to start early. A child-like inquisitiveness will teach you the difference between an Ashy Prinia and the Jungle Prinia, the difference between the call of the Rock Bush Quail and the Jungle Bush Quail, and the subtle plumage difference between the Tawny Eagle and the Greater Spotted Eagle.

This is Mehran Zaidi’s second book. I liked his first book Bird by Bird: Common Indian Birds. Certainly, a great achievement for a graduate student! I hope, like his earlier book, this book will also help in developing interest among youngsters, especially in particular. Can a person who enjoys the antics of a Tailor Bird or a Purple Sunbird in his garden be oblivious to the fifth which we generate, can a person who spends a lovely morning near a wetland while ducks fly all around him/her, remain unmoved by the pollution of the Yamuna, can a person who likes the Plain Tiger or a Danaid Eggfly allow unnecessary cutting of shrubs in his municipal garden?

Love of nature starts from knowing the life forms around you. And if you love nature, you would protect it. I hope this book would help in developing a young army of conservationists, which our country urgently required.

About the Author

Mehran Zaidi: The Youngest Ornithology enthusiast, Mehran started watching birds when he was just 10 years old. At 17 years he was a contributor to various National dailies on the subject of Birds and Bird watching. By the age of 19 he was already an author. Educated at the Modern School, New Delhi and topped his batch in history he is presently studying at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.

Mehran has done a one-year diploma course for Leadership in Biodiversity Conservation from the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), and was one of the few, besides being the youngest to be awarded a certificate. He is presently undergoing a one-year Ornithology course from BNHS. He is also a keen photographer and has completed a course in Advanced Photography from Bal Bhavan, New Delhi.

Mehran has interned has interned with the Hindustan Times NEXT to upgrade his journalistic skills. He was a regular contributor one ‘birds and other creatures’ for The Hindustan Times and The Tribune. He wrote a weekly column, ‘Spotted in my Neighbourhood’ for HT NEXT which was later moved to the main paper.

The Limca Book of Records acknowledges him as a contributor to the Nature and Transport section of their yearbook.

Mehran regularly undertakes interactive sessions and presentations in schools on nature, conservation and birdwatching.

He is actively involved in the Asola Wildlife Sanctuary at Tughlaqabad and ‘Delhibird’, with groups of birdwatchers and conservations.

His first book, on birdwatching, Bird (Scholastic India 2006) has received much critical acclaim. It has been extensively reviewed and appreciated, including a review from the celebrated writer, Khushwant Singh.

Birds and Butterflies of Delhi is his second book on the subject.

Mohd Anwar is a BFA from the prestigious B K College of Art & Craft, Bhubaneswar. His works have been exhibited in the Lokayat Art Gallery and just Art in 2002 & 2004 respectively. He has illustrated books for Ratna Sagar, Penguin and Scholastic. He specializes in nature, water colours being his favourite medium. He also does murals and collages.

Hans Ram Yadav is a graduate from College of Art, Delhi University and an MA in drawing and painting from Jiwaji University, Gwalior. Yadav illustrates for Ratna Sagar and Rupa and for various magazines and newspapers. He loves to share his talent and knowledge and hence teaches in a government school. He specializes in landscapes and portraits.

Publisher’s Note

I have always enjoyed working with the young and first-time writer, who in spite of their age and lack of popularity have shown great talent and professionalism in their respective fields of work and hobbies. They always bring a new and fresh perspective to any topic.

Mehran, is one such enthusiast who has a vast amount of knowledge in the field of Ornithology (study of birds). What he lacks in experience of his technical qualification (because of his age), he makes all efforts to compensate for with his in-depth research as a field observer. He considers Birds and Butterflies his friends and tries to understand their behaviour patterns as a non-technical observer. He tries to explain their place in nature and life around us - in simple words that other birdwatchers and nature lovers find easy to understand.

His new book, Birds & Butterflies of Delhi is one such creation targeted at the vast general population that notices all these different variety of birds and butterflies in the areas of Delhi and its environs but do not have the time to follow their pattern and natural cycle through the year. Mehran’s new book provides enough information for the first time observer to identify and understand the birds and butterflies around them.

We have tried to keep the detailing simple by showing the observation grounds (outline map of Delhi) where these variety of birds can be found through areas highlighted on the maps along with every variety of bird given. However a general map of the Delhi area (see Figure 1) that identifies the North/South/East/West break-up of the region is given on this page as a guide.

Back of the Book

Watching birds and butterflies can be a very enjoyable hobby. Though, there is no age to bird watching, it is best to start early. A child-like inquisitiveness will teach you the difference between an Ashy Prinia and the Jungle Prinia, difference between the call of the Rock Bush Quail and the Jungle Bush Quil, and the subtle plumage difference between the Tawny Eagle and the Greater Spotted Eagle.

Birds and butterflies are good indicators of the quality of our environment - the more of them seen in our everyday lives means that the environment is still good, the air breathable, trees and shrubs are surviving, there are still open spaces and the wetlands are still not too polluted.

The world over one of the parameters of the quality of life is the diversity of birds found around a house, a village or town.

The young Ornithology enthusiast Mehran’s new book Birds & Butterflies of Delhi is a landmark to his dedication to a cleaner environment and the no-so-popular hobby of birdwatching in Delhi.

Contents

Non-Water Birds (section)
House Sparrow 3
Ashy Prinia 5
Purple Sunbird 7
Oriental White-Eye 9
Red-Vented Bulbul 11
Baya Weaver 15
Common Myna 17
Brahminy Starling 19
Magpie Robin 21
Indian Robin 23
Blue Rock Pigeon 25
Spotted Dove 27
Ring Dove 29
Rose-Ringed Parakeet 33
House Swift 37
Hoopoe 39
Jungle Babbler 41
Coppersmith Barbet 43
Brown-Headed Barbet 45
Common Tailorbird 47
Lesser Golden-Backed Woodpecker 49
Paradise Flycatcher 51
Red-Breasted Flycatcher 53
Small Minivet 55
House Crow 57
Greater Coucal 59
Koel 61
Common Hawk Cuckoo 63
Pied Crested Cuckoo 65
Black Drongo 67
Grey Francolin (Partridge) 69
Eurasian Golden Oriole 71
Indian Peafowl 73
Spotted Owlet 75
Shikra 77
Common Kestrel 79
Oriental Honey-Buzzard 81
Booted Eagle 83
Peregrine Falcon 85
Western Marsh Harrier 87
Indian White-Backed Vulture 89
Small Bee-Eater 91
Bay-Backed Shrike 93
Common Woodshrike 95
Eurasian Wryneck 97
Bluethroat 99
Brown Rockchat 101
Black Redstart 103
Pied Bushchat 105
Lesser Whitethroat 107
White-Throated Munia 109
Wire-Tailed Swallow 111
Common Indian Nightjar 113
Paddyfield Pipit 115
Large Pied Wagtail 117
White Wagtail 119
Water Birds (section)
Cormorants 123
Darter 127
Great White Pelican 129
Purple Heron 131
Indian Pond Heron 133
Painted Stork 135
Asian Open-billed Stork 137
White Ibis 139
Black Ibis 141
Eurasian Spoonbill 143
Greater Flamingo 145
Lesser Flamingo 147
Greylag Goose 149
Bar-Headed Goose 151
Brahminy Shelduck 153
Cotton Teal 155
Gadwall 157
Mallard 159
Northern Shoveler 161
Spot-Billed Duck 163
Common Coot 165
Pheasant-Tailed Jacana 167
Bronze-Winged Jacana 169
White-Breasted Waterhen 171
Common Greenshank 173
Common Redshank 175
Black-Winged Stilt 177
White-Breasted Kingfisher 179
Whiskered Tern 181
Sarus Crane 183
Grey Heron 185
Cattle Egrets 187
Common Sandpiper 191
Butterflies (section)
Blue Pansy 195
Common Bluebottle 197
Common Castor 199
Common Cerulean 201
Common Crow 203
Common Grass Yellow 205
Common Gull 207
Common Evening Brown 209
Common Emigrant 211
Common Pierrot 213
Common Mormon 215
Common Wanderer 217
Danaid Eggfly 219
Grass Jewel 221
Indian Cabbage White 223
Lime Butterfly 225
Peacock Pansy 227
Plain Tiger 229
Pioneer 231
Salmon Arab 233
Striped Tiger 235
Yellow Orange Tip 237
Yellow Pansy 239
White Orange Tip 241
Item Code: IHK083 Author: Mehran Laidi Cover: Paperback Edition: 2010 Publisher: Tara Press ISBN: 9788183860550 Size: 8.0 inch X 5.0 inch Pages: 262 (Illustrated Throughout In Color) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 532 gms
Price: $27.50
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