Lifescapes Gallery

3 / Apr / 2013
Tea for Two @ Coorg!
Pied Bush Chat, Coorg Photograph: Kiran Poonacha Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

Tea for Two @ Coorg!

We’ve all heard of the legendary hospitality of Coorg, and how the denizens readily share their table and cellar with any chance visitor. So, it won’t come as a complete surprise if you’re accosted in the woods with a whistled invitation to ‘tea for two’ even if, normally, coffee is the cup that cheers in these parts. Of course the invitation doesn’t hold good if you’re not female, or a passerine bird of the same feather, for this unique tune is naught but the mating call of the male Pied Bush Chat. Short, dark and handsome, with a rakish dash of white on his rump, wing patch and underbelly to set off his black raiment, this soulful singer is most voluble at dawn, peaking in the breeding season between March and June. Some naturalists, though, have stirred up a storm in the teacup by suggesting that territory, and not romance, is his muse. They’ve pointed out how paired males continue singing even if their mates have been captured, suggesting that the dawn chorus is used more to mediate territorial relationships with other males. We, however, think it’s the naturalists who need an infusion of romance; who knows, the poor lad may actually be lamenting his lost love and pining away in avian verse! While music may be the food of love, the food for the body is more prosaic: ground dwelling insects are their staple meal! If you’re looking for expert advice on hunting insects, though, you’re certainly going to be given some tips….to sit on! These birds, like those quintessential images of Indian yogis sitting on a bed of nails, prefer sitting on the sharp, pointed tips of bushes that serve as a vantage point. So if you’re dropping in to tea, we’d suggest you first practise balancing on a ‘pin-cushion’ stool and see if you can whistle at the same time. Bon Appetit!

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, April 3rd, 2013 at 6:13 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. shy says:

    what a beauty! Kiran sure has some eyes (and sure skill) to freeze moments. The notes competes with the image- which better. Tough call!. I am not from tourism industry, but my little sis is. She religiously fwd me your articles on my request. And I read through always..

  2. Dr.U.Ravi Rao says:

    Enjoyed seeing the beautiful photograph of the pied bush chat & reading the narrative of Rajesh Ramaswamy. Please keep up the wonderful job both of you are doing.
    Ravi Rao

  3. Dr. B S Susheela Rani says:

    Lovely bird, lovelier picture and even more fantastic story about the bird! I enjoy reading your mails from the Lifescapes Gallery.

  4. Thomman says:

    Would like to receive lifescape’s stories/write ups.

  5. Bharat Bhushan says:

    Awesome photograph and great note. Congratulations and best wishes.

  6. Uravshi Verma says:

    wow great.

  7. Julie Calvert says:

    Fantastic! Thank you.

  8. Anand Kapur says:

    Very informative. Thanks

  9. Shamsher Singh Mann says:

    Out of all the hotels and their websites, your newsletter is THE ONLY one that I like to receive and in fact read through. Excellent images and very well written articles. Look forward to more. Cheers

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