Karnataka is blessed with some thick jungles, rightly hidden from the mainland. Apart from the population of tigers and leopards, the avian fauna is adequate, since geographically it falls on the Western Ghats. As a learner and a lover of woods, I have ventured into some of the jungles of Karnataka, purely for the abundance it has, and the unfathomable mystery, that these silent trails of the woods take me to. One such beauty is BR Hills. While I was stationed in India, I used to frequent this particular jungle because the music of nature, had brought me to a complete pause, especially in BR Hills. There are chirps, hisses, and if lucky one can hear roars of big cats, from the cottages. The verandas of cottages, of jungle lodges and resorts at BR Hills, offers perfect views, as antelopes hop around right in front of the eyes.
As my joyous journey of watching birds began with the wetland and largely shrub or ground birds, the interest towards raptors just happened. Raptors or birds of prey are those with sharp vision to sight birds from a distance; claws- to clutch the prey; beaks to tear apart the kill. Owls, falcons, harriers, eagles, hawks, ospreys are some that fall into this category of birds. Raptor, raptor next few posts!
On one such safari, just passing a leopard at BR Hills, on a high branch was perched a Crested Hawk Eagle, since when raptors caught my attention. I could spend decent time watching the bird, because of the proximity. We brought the jeep to a complete halt to take few moments of the bird. Belonging to the birds of prey, that is a hunting family, it primarily breeds in India, Sri Lanka and the Himalayas. They are huge birds, hard to miss even in thick canopies. The Hawk Eagle is dark brown in color with long wings and tail. Some species have a crest and some do not. They are found perched in open woods, high up, generally looking for pheasants, hares and fowls. It pounces and attacks them. A very sedentary bird (noticed to station on one perch) that has a confined hunting ground.
Visit BR Hills to listen to the kli- kli- kliii of the raptor.
Sharing a click!
- Species name: Crested Hawk Eagle, Nisaetus Cirrhatus
- Place of shoot – BR Hills, Karnataka