RV Matters - 28 August 2019

There were three of them up in the sky that morning against the background of a cloudy sky, flying and circling, accompanied by the loud calls. The Oriental Honey Buzzard is usually a quiet bird but in the months of July-August when it is in the breeding phase, the birds become more vocal and take to the skies. We were trying to discern the various features by which the bird could be distinguished from its relatives and for over 15 minutes, we watched their antics in the air. Even as we watched, we could see one of the birds climb in the air, above the Cave Rock, uttering its calls and then lift its wings vertically over its back and clap them a few times. We saw this at least on four occasions. We also saw them dive down a few metres. The gathering clouds and the sheet of rains that slowly came our way forced us to beat a hasty retreat and head to the Dining Hall for hot, crispy dosas. I manged to click a few pictures (see above and below) which I hope will help our young birders locate the key features of this bird to identify it when they see it the next time.

Dr Santharam