More Balcony Birding

Our house is located on the 7th floor of a building in a large apartment complex in a busy locality in Koramangala, but we are lucky to be in a quiet corner which still has quite a few trees. My desk where I work overlooks a large eucalyptus tree (which incidentally was nearly chopped down, but that is another story!). A decade ago I had a fantastic view of an overgrown plot from my balcony, which used to attract an amazing variety of birds (as documented in my blog post from 2009), and was in fact responsible for my (renewed) interest in birding after moving to Bangalore. There is now a monstrously ugly half-constructed building that occupies that space, so I have to make do with the eucalyptus tree and a few more trees in the adjoining residential complex.

The good news, though, is that there are still quite a few birds that I see routinely from my balcony. The Indian Paradise Flycatcher made a brief appearance a few months back, but the Ashy Drongos and Indian Golden Oriole are regular winter visitors. I am often woken up at night by the screeching of the resident Barn Owl or the busy chattering of the Spotted Owlets. This year a Blue Rock Thrush seems to have adopted the neighbourhood, and taken a particular liking to the balcony railing just outside my window, and from this perch he sings his heart out every morning! (you can listen to his lovely song here)

But this note isn’t about them. This note is about one of the tiniest birds in India – the Pale-billed Flowerpecker, which is only 8cm in size and probably weighs a few grams. This bird is a frequent visitor to ‘my’ tree. I’ve made up a little story about him below (read the captions). There is so much beauty all around us – we just need to open our eyes and see it!

A flowerpecker once came to a eucalyptus tree

This looks like a juicy fruit, said he

And so he tried to take a bite….
But it wasn’t quite right…

Because it was a bud, not a fruit, silly!

This flowerpecker, though, he was really quite bright

He then sipped the nectar, this time he did it right

But alas! He went overboard…
And he poked and he poked…
Until the bud burst open and gave him a fright!
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