Lifescapes Gallery

27 / Aug / 2015
Man in Red
Red Avadavat, Coorg Photograph: Dr. Bishan Monnappa Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

Man in Red

Our songs have always immortalised the ‘Lady in Red’, but in the animal kingdom, it’s the Lad in Red who never goes to an empty bed. Nowhere is it more true than in the hills and dales of Coorg, where a little male bird has captured a disproportionate share of female attention. It’s said that a male Red Avadavat in a romantic mood is a sight for the Gods, especially when a ray of sunlight catches him in its beam, resplendent in his incredibly bright plumage that transforms from a dull brown to a vibrant red, as he soaks in the adulation of the lasses, much like the Hindu God – Krishna, amidst his admiring Gopis (female shepherds). As if this weren’t enough, he turns on the charm offensive by holding a blade of grass or feather in his mouth, bowing deeply to the ladies (guaranteed to work with two-legged birds too) and pirouettes and dances for them. To make it a triple whammy, much like Lord Krishna, he uses the seductive strains of music to charm his way into women’s hearts. And what a song it is! An ecstatic, tinkling, thin, sustained warbling, that starts high and rather hesitant, and then tumbles forth in airy descent, cascading over rapid trills, slurred clear notes and the odd squeaky chortle. While the whole courtship ritual is flirtatious, the male is loyal to the one he finally chooses, and the couple is monogamous for the entire breeding season. The Red Avadavat is named after the city of Ahmedabad in India, from where these birds were exported into the pet trade in days bygone, and it isn’t hard to imagine our hero being the soul of Gujarat’s Dandiya Raas, a folk dance celebrating the Raas Lila of the amorous Krishna cavorting with his Gopis.

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 Thursday, August 27th, 2015 at 4:37 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. Dr.Apoorva Dutt says:


  2. rajesh says:

    beautifully written. love reading these stories. are you bringing out a compilation?

  3. Gunjan says:

    Had an awesome relaxing time staying in Coorg…and this information is also great read…short and sweet…do keep it up…

  4. Venugopal says:

    I have been an avid reader of your stories and I must assure you they are really great. The photographs are very real, the text is well burnished and edited to perfection. Great! Do keep it up

  5. Mrs. Nawaz Vijayakumar says:

    Though I could not afford a stay at Orange County on my visit to Coorg in January 2015 . I really appreciate these little nuggests of Coorg that you keep sharing with me. I even look forward to them. Thank you

  6. Sameer R. rao says:

    Beautiful bird and image

  7. Angelee Deodhar says:

    Fascinating and fantastic thanks for sharing best wishes love and light angelee

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