Lifescapes Gallery

16 / Jun / 2010
How to kill two birds with one stone!
Grey Heron, Kabini Photograph: Dr. Ajit Huilgol Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

How to kill two birds with one stone!

Meet a bird that not only teaches us the virtue of waiting, but also how to perform seemingly impossible tricks: catching two fish with one beak, for starters. What we see in the picture is a large Grey Heron poised dramatically over a shallow stretch of the Kabini River, plunging his beak in as a pair of fish swim up. What we don’t see is what happened next. The photographer of this stunning image recalls how the Heron swooped down in a flash and came up with two succulent fish and one mighty problem: how to eat one without dropping the other and letting it escape. The photographer, and lesser mortals like us, may have had our doubts, but our Hero(n) had none. He, after all, is the acknowledged Zen Master of Kabini, and solving this fishy issue was just a piece of cake for him. He sublimated the desire for instant gratification, and stood patiently, holding both fish for over ten minutes in his pinkish-yellow beak till they ceased struggling and went still. Then he dropped them both in the water, and calmly proceeded to pick up and swallow each, at his leisure. This patient poacher is found throughout the year in Kabini, but is most abundant when the water level is low. This provides the ideal setting for him to flourish. He can stalk his food when the mood seizes him, or revert to type and stand quietly waiting for fish, crabs, insects, turtle hatchlings, and the odd bird or duckling to be home delivered. After all, when you have a lifespan exceeding twenty five years, the one luxury you have…is time.

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, June 16th, 2010 at 10:00 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. Nicholas Garcia says:

    Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thank you

  2. k.s.umesh says:

    Amazing photogrph

  3. B.Lakshminarayana says:

    Nice photograph, properly timed.

  4. manisha says:

    i am now an ardent fan of ur’s. even i want to learn to write like this and photograph like this and live like this!

  5. Tim Durham, Partnership Travel Ltd, London says:

    Nice newsletter guys, keep em coming!!

  6. Pinky says:

    What a picture! i am amazed to been with OC – Orange county. I had very good times with them with my family.


  7. KARNIK SHAH says:

    Reflection in water with color!Beautiful photography with sense of humor!Just Amazing!

  8. Kumaravel says:

    Fine example of multitasking without losing focus!!!

  9. leela says:

    nice piture but a more descriptive write up

  10. Vineith says:

    Thats amazing zen master story!
    Bon appetite to the Hero(n)!

  11. Rohit Chitnavis says:

    If you had’nt told the story, the pictures tells an incomplete story!!! Normally a picture is more than words!!!

  12. Amir says:

    nice shot, thanks for sharing.

  13. Maria Mathews says:

    Wow! beautiful illustration of the situation.. one by a camera and the other by words..enjoyed both!

  14. Chokanda Sooraj Somaiah says:

    this one is awesome…

  15. KARNIK SHAH says:

    Lovely photography!Just Beautiful!

  16. devanand says:

    Wow! Zen and the art of sport fishing. And like how! This superstar bird certainly believes that two fish in beak is worth three in the slush. A true master of the maim, brilliantly brought to limelight by the master wordsmith, Mr Rajesh “Neil French” Ramaswamy. This man makes one laugh all the way to wisdom, all the time. The photo is excellent too.

  17. Ruby says:

    I look forward to Lifescapes .But cant decide which one I like more , the photography or the write up ! Great work !

  18. Revathy Uthaiah Chottekalapanda says:

    This is a brilliant shot! Excellent photography!

  19. Diwakaran Nair says:

    Outstanding image, once again. And the story is told so effortlessly well….I loved reading about this zen master and his philosophy of patience. Keep it up!!!

  20. Mahesh Shantaram says:

    Sorry to sound like an old fogey, but I feel this expression “killing two birds with one stone” should be abolished from our language. It may have been relevant many decades ago, but in this world of political correctness, and that too in a group of nature lovers, it sounds a bit discomforting.

  21. Emmanuel T. Ramapuram says:

    Its a awesome Picture.The speed and the splashing of the water is wonderful. I wish I could take such pictures with style and perfection.

  22. Neera Dhawan says:

    Absolutely beautiful capture of the moment. Write up, exquisitely explains the feat. Congrats! Great work, as always. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Kannan .K.V. says:

    The picture is exquisite,congrats Dr Huilgol!!!
    Write up, as usual, is informative ,lucid and served with subtle humor. Keep up the good work.

  24. Shylaja says:

    Beautiful Picture!

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