Monday, May 14, 2012

The Robin - "Mirror, mirror on the Car, Who’s the Bird that has no Par?"

Yellamma Lake birding was a fulfilling experience for me; partly, because I happened to find a little friend who was interested in something I owned. A little Indian Robin was hovering near my parked car. I spotted this beautiful creature when I came back from an uneventful lakeside walk trying to capture some water birds on camera. This was a visual treat for me.



What surprised me was that this Robin was not afraid of me. He came quite close to me. Guess he discovered I wasn’t a threat to his presence and games. I set up my tripod a distance from my car and stood behind the camera waiting for the perfect shot. I didn’t have to wait long.


The Robin flew down from the electric wire and sat on the left mirror. He bent down, looked into the mirror, saw himself and started pecking at it. He jumped down on to the window, hopped closer to the mirror and started fluttering up towards the mirror, screaming all the while. Well, that was the perfect picture.



I had always heard of birds being attracted to shiny objects. Here was a ‘big’ shiny object; and, it caught the Robin’s attention. This bird played with the mirror (seemingly admiring himself with each look and attacking the other bird who looked cuter) saying (perhaps), “Mirror, mirror on the car, who’s the bird that has no par?” I wish Snow White was around. Her evil queen might have got some good competition.


After 15-20 minutes of waiting, I moved on into the reeds to get a closer look at some Purple Moorhens. It took me about 15 minutes to get back to the car. The bird was still in action. While I enjoyed the antics of the bird, I didn’t like the poop that he left all over the windows (he played with the other mirror too!) and mirrors. However, I didn’t want to spoil his fun.


I had to move on. I got into the car and started it. I edged along slowly towards the exit of the compound. What I saw surprised me again. The Robin followed. I parked the car to get some shots of a Drongo and some Green Bee-Eaters (photos coming in another post). The Robin still played.


Finally, it was time to leave. I felt sorry for the little fellow (who, by the way, followed my car to a certain distance before turning around), but I had to go.

If you happen to spot a Robin anywhere. Be patient. You might just experience something like never before.


Robin Facts:

  • Black plumage (brownish – females)

  • White stripes or patches near the shoulder area (only males)

  • Chestnut (color) undertail

  • Tail raised upright

  • Commonly found in scrub areas

  • Northern India Robins are more brownish, Southern Indian Robins are black


Let me know when you spot a Robin.


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