Sexes alike. Pinkish grey-brown plumage with black-andwhite chessboard on sides of foreneck; white tips to outer-tail feathers and broad grey wing-patches best seen in flight; small size distinctive. Pairs or small flocks; associates freely with other doves in huge gatherings at harvest time; feeds mostly on ground, walking about silently.
Large brownish buff, cryptically marked, forest nightjar, with large head, long, pointed wings, long, broad tail; warmer colours, stronger markings than
Grey; bold black streaking down brownish grey crown; white moustache and throat patch; buff nape collar; prominent black-centred scapulars; buff-edged coverts; male has white spots on four primaries and tips of two outermost tail feathers; crepuscular and nocturnal; gregarious; roosts and nests on ground on leaf-litter; settles on forest paths, roads.
Sexes alike. No ear tufts. Greyish-brown plumage, spotted white. Yellowish eyes; broken whitish-buff nuchal collar. Young birds more thickly-marked white; darkish streaks below breast. Pairs or small parties; roosts during day in leafy branches, tree cavities or cavities in walls; active in some localities during daytime; disturbed birds fly to neighbouring tree or branch and bob and stare at intruder.
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.
Indian Eagle Owl
Sexes alike. Brown plumage, mottled and streaked dark and has light; prominent ear tufts; orange eyes; legs fully feathered. The Brown Fish Owl Ketupa
zeylonensis (56cm) is darker and has a white throat-patch and naked legs. Solitary or pairs; mostly nocturnal; spends day in leafy branch, rock ledge or an old well; flies slowly but considerable distances when disturbed; emerges to feed around sunset, advertising its arrival with its characteristic call.
Collared Scops Owl
Sexes alike. Small ear tufts and upright posture. Greyish-brown above, profusely marked whitish; buffy nuchal collar diagnostic; buffy-white underbody, streaked and mottled dark. The very similar Indian Scops Owl O. bakkamoena is mostly distinguished by its call. Solitary or in pairs; remains motionless during day in thick, leafy branches or at junctions of stems and branches; very difficult to spot; flies around dusk.
Sexes alike. Blackish plumage; white rump and throat diagnostic; short, square tail and long, sickle-like swift wings. The large Fork-tailed Swift A. pacificus (18cm) has a deeply forked tail. Highly gregarious; on the wing during day, hawking insects, flying over human habitation, cliffs and ruins; strong fliers, exhibiting great mastery and control in fast wheeling flight; frequently utters squealing notes on the wing; retires to safety of nest colonies in overcast weather.
Male: grass-green plumage; short, hooked, red beak; rosy-pink and black collar distinctive (obtained only during third year). Female: lacks the pink-and-black
collar; instead, pale emerald-green around neck. Gregarious; large flocks of this species are a familiar sight in India; causes extensive damage to standing crops, orchards and garden fruit trees; also raids grain depots and markets; large roosting colonies, often along with mynas and crows.
Male: yellowish-green plumage; plum-red head; black and bluish-green collar; maroon-red wing shoulder-patch; white tips to central tail feathers distinctive.
Female: dull, greyer head; yellow collar; almost non-existent maroon shoulder-patch. Pairs or small parties; arboreal, but descends into cultivation in forest clearings and outskirts; sometimes huge gatherings in cultivation; strong, darting flight over forest.
Male: rich grass-green plumage; hooked, heavy red beak; deep red shoulder-patch; rose-pink collar and black stripe from lower mandible to collar distinctive. Female: smaller and lacks the collar and black stripe. Yellow under tail in both sexes. Both small flocks and large gatherings; feeds on fruiting trees in orchards and on standing crops, often causing extensive damage; strong flier; roosts along with other birds at favoured sites.