The India Nature Watch Meet

One of the great attractions of Bangalore is that one is never far away from the jungle; either a short drive or an overnight journey can take one into the lovely forests of the Western Ghats.

Four Bangalore-based nature-lovers, Kalyan, Sudhir,Vijay and Yathin (that’s in alphabetical order!) promoted India Nature Watch a year ago. Though based in Bangalore, they made it an all-India online forum to exchange photographs, field trip reports,and other wildlife-based information. Last weekend, the first birthday of INW was celebrated by having a meet in Dandeli, and nearly 70 amateur naturalists and photographers attended.

Though, of course, the majority of the attendees were from Bangalore, we had participants from as far afield as Pune and Mumbai as well.

Safaris were organized and all the participants were thrilled to get not just good sightings and photographs of many species of birds like the Malabar Trogon and the Orange Headed Ground Thrush right at the venue, but it was as if that endangered species, the Hornbill, had decided to put on a special life-documentary for us! When we went to the Dandeli Timber Depot area, we saw two Grey Hornbills, then spotted their nest right next to the road…and then the display started. The female went to the nest, kept putting in nesting material, and then got into the nest, after which the male came and regurgitated fruits and fed her, in the way he would after the eggs were laid and the female sealed herself into the nest for 3 or 4 months as is the norm!

And to top it all, we were treated to the sight of a pair of mynahs staking their claim to the nest while the Greys were away, only to have the femail hornbill come back and throw out all the nesting material that the female mynah had put in, and finally the grey hornbills chased the mynah pair away! It was a sequence worthy of any “K” serial that one could see on TV!

Because of INW’s ban on nest photography, not one of these thrilling moments can be brought to you as photographs…but if you want to see other stunning pictures of the endangered Malabar Giant Squirrel, the Malabar Pied Hornbill, and other sightings, do visit the INW website at

http://www.indianaturewatch.net

and if you are keen, you can also register and become a member.

I don’t need to attach pictures with this post…the superb photographs that INW provides are more than enough!

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