Friday, September 18, 2009

Eagle's paradise

Croc Bank has a large heronry of EgretsNight herons and a few Cormorants. Bird watchers and enthusiasts who come here for a visit love the sight of these birds especially on trees of enclosure # 8 & 10, where there are maximum number of nests. 

Somebody actually compared this to 'snowflakes'!

It is a great sight for sure but we can seriously do better with less number of birds. I will get to why later in the article but what made them settle here? Firstly, they get an undue advantage living here. They don't have to go far or work hard for food. They raid the croc ponds for fishes, plus they also go for the leftover food of crocodiles. They have got enough 'shelter' in Croc Bank and there are no predators! They initially were using Croc Bank as a feeding ground but then looking at all the luxuries here, they started breeding. Now they breed throughout the year, though the peak breeding season is crazy. There are babies everywhere and the sound that they make. It is funny for the first 15 minutes or may be half an hour but surely not  throughout the day. And night! It gets a bit irritating then. A bit? REALLY IRRITATING.

Getting back to why they are a problem: All the fence walls of our tortoises off-exhibit enclosures are white, I mean spotless white; not with paint but... yes you guessed it right - with bird droppings. Most of the benches for visitors are also very often covered in white. When you have to go to the library from the education office or to the main office, you have to walk/run very tactfully, dodging the small white showers. On an average, you can get 'pooped' on about 2-3 times at least, everyday! The smell of the droppings (mainly ammonia) is blinding near the tortoise enclosures, especially after the first rains. The ammonia levels in some of the croc ponds are also way too high due to the constant  droppings. This is not good for the animals at all. But how do we tackle this problem?

On 16 September 2009 we got a striking answer from nature!

A Booted Eagle Aquila pennata with its catch!

I love Eagles!

By the way, we also get a weird and crazy answer from nature sometimes. Click on the answer to find out!

No comments: