Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A few quick facts on birds

"I realized that If I had to choose,
I would rather have birds than airplanes"
- Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974),
Interview shortly before his death, 1974

Here's a compilation of a few quick facts about birds. I got to know about most of them through Mr. Harish Bhat's talk yesterday.
  • Total number of bird species in the world today = 8600
  • Number of bird species found in India = 1200
  • Number of bird species found in Karnataka = 525
  • Number of bird species found in IISc campus = 120
  • Number of bird species endemic to the Western Ghats = 14

A Pelican can carry upto five kilograms of fish plus two litres of water in the pouch under its beak.

 There are no parrots in India! What we commonly refer to as parrots are actually parakeets.

A couple of vultures reside on the IISc main building.

Many bird species migrate in V-shaped formations so that it is
 easier to cut through the air.

The Great Indian Bustard is an endangered species today with less than 400 of them left in India (out of which 10 are in Karnataka). There was a time in the mid 20th century when we had 15000 of them. A peculiar aspect about this bird is that it requires a 'runway' of about 50 metres before it can hurl itself into the air! The chief reasons behind its dwindling numbers are three-fold - poaching by man, predation by wolves, and slow reproduction (a female lays only one egg an year)

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