Sexes alike. Olive-green above; rust-red fore-crown; buffy-white underbody; dark spot on throat sides, best seen in calling male; long, pointed tail, often held erect; central tail feathers about 5cm longer and pointed in breeding male. One of India’s best-known birds; usually in pairs together; rather common amidst habitation, but keeps to bushes in gardens; remains unseen even when at arm’s length, but very vocal; tail often cocked, carried almost to the back; clambers up into trees more than other related warblers.
Blyth’s Reed Warbler
Plain, olive or grey-brown warbler, with the long, sloping forehead and ‘linear’ look of the typical Acrocephalus warbler; short, diffuse buff-brown supercilium, not very visible behind eye; fresh plumage is olive brown above, pale below, with buff washed flanks, breast, vent; worn plumage is olive grey above, whiter below,
with grey wash; usually solitary; moves inconspicuously through undergrowth, bushes and trees; often flicks, flares tail.
Male: jet-black, spotted and marked white and fulvous; white cheeks; chestnut collar, belly and under tail-coverts. Female: browner where male is black; rufous nuchal patch; no white cheeks or chestnut collar. Solitary or small parties in high grass and edges of canals; emerges in the open in the early mornings; sometimes cocks tail.
Whitish-buff head; orange-brown plumage; in flight, orangish body, white wing-coverts, green speculum and blackish flight feathers distinctive; black tail and ring around neck (breeding). Female has a whiter head and lacks neck-ring. Young birds look like female and have some grey in wings. Pairs or small parties, rather wary; rests during day on river banks, sandbars, edges of jheels; prefers clear, open water.
Sexes alike. Grey-brown plumage; pink bill, legs and feet; white uppertailcoverts, lower belly and tip to dark tail; in flight, pale leading edge of wings and white
uppertail-coverts distinctive. Gregarious and wary; flocks on jheels and winter cultivation; rests for most of day and feeds during night, on water and on agricultural land, especially freshly sown fields. The Bar-headed Goose A. indicus breeds in Ladakh and winters in subcontinent.
Sexes alike. Olive-yellow above; short blackish stripe through eye; white eye-ring distinctive; bright yellow throat and under tail; whitish breast and belly. Small parties, occasionally up to 40 birds, either by themselves or in association with other small birds; keeps to foliage and bushes; actively moves amongst leafy branches, clinging sideways and upside-down; checks through leaves and sprigs for insects and also spends considerable time at flowers; calls often, both when in branches and when flying in small bands from tree to tree.
Sexes alike. Pale brown above; whitish supercilium and lores; dark wings and tail; long, graduated tail, with buff tips and white outer feathers; buff-white underbody; tawny flanks and belly. In winter, more rufous above. The Yellow-bellied Prinia P. flaviventris is olivishgreen above, with a slaty-grey head; yellow belly and whitish throat distinctive. Pairs or several move about in low growth; skulker, difficult to see; jerky, low flight, soon vanishing into bush; tail often flicked.
Sexes alike. Rich, ashy-grey above, with rufous wings and long, whitetipped tail; whitish lores; dull buffy-rufous below. In winter, less ashy, more rufousbrown; longer tail; whitish chin and throat. Mostly in pairs; common and familiar as Common Tailorbird in some areas; actively moves in undergrowth; often flicks and erects tail; typical jerky flight when flying from bush to bush; noisy and excited when breeding.
Sexes alike. Rufous-brown above, prominently streaked darker; rufous-buff, unstreaked rump; white tips to fan-shaped tail diagnostic; buffy-white underbody, more rufous on flanks. Diagnostic calls. Pairs or several birds over open expanse; great skulker, lurking in low growth; usually seen during short, jerky flights,
low over ground; soon dives into cover; most active when breeding, during rains; striking display of male, soaring erratically, falling and rising, incessantly uttering sharp, creaking note; adults arrive on nest in similar fashion.
Sexes alike. Dark sootybrown plumage; pale edges of feathers on back and breast give scaly appearance; darker head, with slight crest; almost black on throat; white rump and red vent distinctive; dark tail tipped white. Pairs or small flocks, but large numbers gather to feed; arboreal, keeps to middle levels of trees and bushes; a well known Indian bird, rather attached to man’s neighbourhood; pleasantly noisy and cheerful, lively and quarrelsome; indulges in dust-bathing; also hunts flycatcher-style.