Common Kestrel

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Falco tinnunculus
Nepali Name: बौंडाइ Baudai

1. Loves to hover or perhaps that is how its hunts. Drops straight down when it sights its prey.
2. Has a rather large altitudinal distribution. I have seen one as high as 5,000 m in Langtang (Central Mountains) and as low as 200 m in Dhangadhi (Western terai).
3. Scientists used to say earlier that this bird can detect infra-red emissions of its prey (mostly rats and voles). But now that “fact” is out the door and they say they detect the ultra-violet rays reflected from the scent marks left by voles and rats. I hope they experiment with X-rays soon.
4. Shows marked sexual dimorphism.

Black-throated Thrush

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Turdus atrogularis
Nepali Name: कालो कण्ठे चाँचर Kalo-kanthe Chaachar

Black-throated Thrush at Chobhar Kathmandu
Chobhar Bagmati, Lalitpur, Nepal. 1,270m. 25 February 2017. Photo: Ashish Shrestha.

Oriental Turtle Dove

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Streptopelia orientlais
Nepali Name: तामे ढुकुर Taame Dhukur

1. Common bird subject to altitudinal migration. Found as much around cultivation as in forests during winter.
2. Drinks frequently.
3. Breeds around June and the male has an interesting breeding display in which it flies into the air and comes down with outspread wings and tails.
4. As to why this bird is called “turtle dove”, well obviously I don’t think it has anything to do with turtles whatsoever. I guess that it must be an onomatopoetic rendition of its call. I can actually hear it go “turr turr turrtle….turr turr turtle….. Hear for yourself:
Here is a link to the call of its European counterpart, which seems to struggle to say the word turtle.


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Tichodroma muraria
Nepali Name: मुरारी पुतलीचरा Murari Putalichara

1. Altitudinal migrant.
2. Shows a beautiful flash of crimson when it flutters about.