About 500 years ago, the area we call as Kolkata was a rich land of tropical forests and exotic animals. The land was very fertile and that made men to settle here. Today this big city accommodates millions of people from all over the world.
We do not consider metro cities to be ‘birdable’ spots. Surprisingly, Kolkata still has a lot left for the nature lovers.
The best advantage of the city is that it has ample water in the soil that was once an extremely fertile due to the Hoogly River, a branch of the mighty Ganga. That is why evergreen trees grow easily throughout the year. And where there are trees, there is life. And if you manage to have a nice quiet garden, you will have the little wonders visiting you in little time.
Apart from the migratory birds and the common natives like sparrow, parrot and doves, Kolkata is lucky to be home to many more beautiful avians.
Here is the list of our favourite ones –
#1 Common Hoopoe
Common Hoopoe is called the Mohonchura in Bengali. A very pretty bird, it can be seen in parks and wooded gardens in Kolkata. They can be seen digging in the ground for their lunch.
#2 Indian Roller
The Neelkantha named after the beloved deity is truly a treat for the eyes. Want to see it firsthand? Try Botanical Garden or Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary. Another way is to keep a few plants yourself and leave some bird food. You will surely attract some of these beauties in future.
#3 Blue-throated Barbet
This colourful bird is not from the exotic Amazon or the Caribbean. Village folks in Bengal call it Nilgala Bosonto Bauri. Keep an open and curious eye on nature in Nalban Fishery complex and you could spot one.
#4 Red Avadavat
The Lal Munia is adorably cute. If you have a few trees in the neighbourhood, these birds can be easily spotted. If you want them closer, leave food and water for birds.
#5 Greater Flameback Woodpecker
The Kaththokra is very commonly seen in Kolkata. Multiple species of woodpeckers live in the city. Be curious and listen quietly to nature and you will find one.
#6 Common Kingfisher
People who go for morning walks can easily spot one. Along with Chotto maachranga, many other types of kingfishers can be seen in Kolkata. Trees growing around khaals are its favourite roosting spot.
#7 Green Bee-eater
This richly colored bird is called Banshpati in Bengali. They like to eat, of course bees and also ants and flies. A common bird, it can also be tamed. If you rise up early morning and watch outside, there is a fair chance you might spot one of these.
#8 Greater Coucal
This is a close relative of the cuckoo. Locally people call it kubo or harichacha. A big and strong bird, you might see it walking around your house.
#9 Brahminy Kite
Chances are you might have heard than seen a Sankha cheel. It might be directly above your head and keeping an eye on you. Brahminy kites are truly powerful and regal birds. They can be seen often hunting fish in the numerous bheris (like East Kolkata wetlands such as Nalban and beyond).
Image credits: kolkatabirds.com, Pinterest, Flickr, Dev Wijewardane, Wikimedia, Zul Ya