Male: bright golden-yellow plumage; black stripe through eye; black wings and centre of tail. Female: yellow-green above; brownish-green wings; dirty-white below, streaked brown. Young male much like female. Solitary or in pairs; arboreal, sometimes moving with other birds in upper branches; regularly visits fruiting and flowering trees; hunts insects in leafy branches; usually heard, surprisingly not often seen, despite bright colour; seen only when it emerges on bare branch or flies across.
very local resident
Indian Golden Oriole
Sexes alike. Glossy black plumage; slender, blackish-green, down-curved beak; red warts on naked black head; white shoulder-patch; brick-red legs. The Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus is deep maroon-brown above, with purple-green gloss from head to lower back; feathered head and lack of white shoulder-patch distinctive. Small parties; spends most time on the drier edges of marshes and jheels; when feeding in shallow water, often feeds along with other ibises, storks, spoonbills.
Sexes alike. Ashy-brown above; distinct throat, white with two dark cheek-stripes and a third stripe from chin; white nape-patch, white eyes and orangeyellow cere visible from close quarters; in flight, a pale shoulder-patch from above; from below, the pale underside of roundish wings against a darkish body distinctive. Solitary or scattered pairs; seen on exposed perches, trees, poles or telegraph wires; seems to prefer certain sites; soars high and does aerial displays when breeding.
Sexes alike. Very light grey above; jet-black cap and nape, when breeding; white below; narrow, pointed wings; deeply-forked tail; bright yellow, pointed beak and red legs diagnostic. In winter, black on crown and nape reduced to flecks. Solitary or small flocks, flying about erratically; keeps to riversides, calm waters, large tanks; scans over water, plunging if possible prey is sighted; rests on river banks, noisy and aggressive, especially at nesting colonies (March to mid-June).
Sexes alike. Brown forehead; sandy-grey above; during breeding has black stripe from eye to beak; white, squarish tail, tipped black; smoky-brown underbody has a rufous wash; whiter on lower breast and abdomen; long, narrow wings and short legs. The Collared Pratincole G. pratincola is larger, with a forked tail and black loop on the throat. Gregarious; large flocks over an open expanse, close to water; very swallow-like in demeanour; strong and graceful flight over water surface, catching insects on wing; flies high in late evening.
Sexes alike. Black forehead, crown, crest drooping over back; sandy greybrown above; black and white wings; black chin and throat, bordered white; grey-brown breast-band; white below with black patch on belly; black spur at bend of wing. Usually pairs in close vicinity; may collect into small parties during winter, sometimes with other waders; makes short dashes or feeds at water’s edge; often remains in hunched posture, when not easy to spot; slow flight; often swims and dives.
Sexes alike. Jet-black cap, bordered with white; sandy-brown upper body; black band in white tail; in flight, white bar in black wings; black chin and throat;
sandy-brown breast; black band on lower breast; white below; yellow lappets above and in front of eyes and yellow legs diagnostic. Solitary or in pairs, rarely small gatherings; sometimes with the more common Red-wattled Lapwing V. indicus; as a rule, prefers drier habitat; quiet and unobtrusive; feeds on ground, moving suspiciously.
Polyandrous. Breeing female: metallic-olive above, thickly marked buff and black; buff stripe down crown centre; chestnut throat, breast and sides of neck; white below breast. Breeding male: duller overall; lacks chestnut. Sexes difficult to distinguish when not in breeding plumage. Crepuscular and nocturnal; solitary or a few scattered birds; feeds in squelchy mud but also moves on drier ground; runs on landing.
Sexes alike. Purplish-blue plumage; long red legs with oversized toes distinctive; thickish red beak; bald red forehead (casque); white under stumpy tail, seen when tail flicked up; bald red patch on forehead smaller in female than male. Small parties amidst reeds and other vegetation on marsh and jheels; sometimes large gatherings on vegetation-covered waterbodies; walks on floating growth, rarely swims; rather tame in some areas.
Sexes alike. Lacks ear tufts. Darkish brown above, barred rufous and white; flight feathers barred rufous and black; white moustachial stripe, centre of
breast and abdomen; remainder of underbody barred dark rufous-brown and white. The Asian Barred Owlet G. cuculoides (23cm) of the Himalaya is slightly larger and has abdominal streaks. Solitary or in pairs; crepuscular, but sometimes also active and noisy by day; otherwise spends day in leafy branch; flies short distance when disturbed.