Lifescapes Gallery

7 / Mar / 2012
An Echo in the Woods!
Common Myna, Coorg Photograph: Sudhir Shivaram Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

An Echo in the Woods!

If the sheer beauty of Coorg moves you to poetry, and you feel like spouting a few verses aloud when you think you’re alone, you’d be wise to think twice. Chances are, you may not be as alone as you thought, and may hear your words thrown back at you, often with added acoustics in the form of clicks, croaks and the odd appreciative whistle. The culprit, most often, is not a supernatural, forest djinn, but a mischievous, yellow-beaked commoner with yellow stockings and war paint on his cheeks, who loves to flaunt his ability to mimic human speech. Sprinkled all over the subcontinent, but particularly charming when framed by the rolling hills of Coorg, the Common Myna is a garrulous and social party bird that loves to work hard and play hard. Like a lot of us, in this age of Facebook and Twitter, he’s totally into social networking, and begins before dawn, posting updates on his communal roost that could include Egrets, Crows, Starlings and Parakeets. This communal roosting serves as a forum to repel common predators, discuss flight routes, and exchange notes on food sources, especially the grasshoppers that form their staple. At dusk, he logs off and retires to his Common Myna group, where he lends his vocals to his local choir in rendering their ‘good night’ anthem. While he’s otherwise such a free-spirited extrovert, the Myna is a solid, dependable mate, and cases of divorce or polygamy that are endemic in the avian world, are conspicuous by their absence. When a Myna takes a partner, it is for life, and it is this sense of chivalry and fidelity to his better half that is legendary. For a change, this is one thing that we humans could well learn to mimic.

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 at 5:47 am and is filed under Birds . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. Franklin Tepper says:

    Very interesting points you have observed, appreciate it for putting up.

  2. Charitra says:

    Have always appreciated Orange County’s lifescapes. Kudos to the copywriter who paints stunning visuals in the readers mind with the right words. Keep up the good work.

  3. Jojo K Jose says:

    Just loved reading it…! Mr. Rajesh at his best again…!
    Thank you Orange County…! Feeling quite proud that I was part of this….

  4. Alka Sharma says:

    Thank you Rajesh for that wonderful insight on what I thought was a “common” myna. Beautifully written as always, accompanied by a fabulous picture by Sudhir Shivaram. Thank you both!

  5. Swati Aiyer says:

    Oh what a beauty and what vivid colours!!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Rajesh Ramaswamy says:

      Our pleasure, Swati…do se if u can make it here to check out the Myna and his network:-)

  6. Tarun Jacob says:

    Nice one 🙂 in a world where Roles are changing ie women want mens roles and Men want womens roles which leads to divorce and Ego… we all have a lot to learn from this humble bird.

  7. Ragoo Rao says:

    A Common bird, but Showcased Fabulously.

  8. Kavita Pathak says:

    Luckily I stay close to the National Park in Mumbai, which is slowing dying to the urbanization. We are lucky to see these Mynas outside our windows too…some pleasures we cherish….! Thanks for your mail.

  9. arun mehra says:

    What a great idea. How refreshing to see something so lovely.


    Wonderful read and an exquisite image from Sudhir Shivram!!

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