Lifescapes Gallery

27 / Jul / 2011
The Alarm Clock of Coorg
Indian Pitta, Coorg Photograph: Dr. Bishan Monnappa Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

The Alarm Clock of Coorg

First we invite visitors to throw away their alarm clocks before coming to Coorg, so they could have a totally laid-back holiday. And then we go and provide them with our very own au naturale wake-up call that trills out unfailingly, at the crack of dawn, every day. This mellifluous two-note whistle has a special ‘surround-sound’ effect, with others taking up the call in a chorus when the originator tires. However, the visitor’s grumpiness on being awakened fades away rapidly, for never has a wake-up call sounded so sweetly, nor has the alarm looked so pretty. The Indian Pitta, on the rare occasions that one is sighted, is one of the most flamboyant expressions of the Creator’s art. Called Naurangi or the ‘Nine-Coloured-One’ in Hindi, this stocky, multi-hued avian also wears another sobriquet: the ‘Six-O-Clock Bird’, for its propensity to announce the break of day and dusk with clockwork precision. This fidelity to the clock is also reflected in his migratory patterns, as the Pitta faithfully follows the South Westerly monsoons, and is often a more accurate barometer of the weather than the Met Office. Living on the forest floor, he prefers the smell of wet earth which he can dig into for those succulent earthworms and grubs that are a delicacy. While the garish plumage may be a disadvantage for a floor dweller, the Indian Pitta’s brighter colours are on the underside and can be easily concealed from overhead predation. When he does get disturbed, he moves into the foliage with whirring wings, and sits motionless with only the tail wagging slowly up and down like a clockwork toy. Once the danger has passed, he resumes his scrounging, keeping a watchful eye on the clock, so he doesn’t miss his dusk deadline. For, the Sun in Coorg is never allowed to pass without the Pitta’s melodious call serenading its departure.

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, July 27th, 2011 at 9:52 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. sangita verma says:

    i have been to coorg and kabini and i really luv and admire the place and everything attached to them.
    keep it up.

  2. Ajay Kering says:

    AWSM Thats colour of LIFE

  3. Ayesha Goswamy says:

    Your paragraphs are really detailed and enjoyable.

  4. Mathew George says:

    Its a wonderful Image and write up. Admire the quality of the image….can witness the sunrise or sunset in the eyes of the bird. Keep up the good work.

  5. Sameer R Rao says:

    Colorful creation of nature wonderfully captured

  6. Vicky Robinson says:

    I love receiving the amazing Lifescapes shots and all the interesting info. from Orange County. Reminds me of the wonderful time I spent at the resort and the abundance of birds and wildlife. This is a spectacular shot! Thank you.

  7. Sandhana Arumugam says:

    Cool. Thank you for constant information.

  8. Milind says:

    Many thanks for your e-mail.

  9. Sandhana Arumugam says:

    Thank you once again it feels so peaceful to read about these wonderful creations.

  10. V.M. Rajasekhar says:

    Thanks for some truly wonderful write-ups and exquisite photographs!

  11. Ajit K Huilgol says:

    Fabulous image! Shows the merits of getting low!

  12. lakshmi vasudevan says:

    What a lively article!Brought a smile to my face and all imaginations to my mind. The Pitta is the apt one to make me get rid of my habit of rising late.

  13. Anupama Krishnamurthy says:

    Both, the photograph and the writeup on Naurangi is brilliant. I am looking forward to being there again and soak in the beauty of nature. Thank you.

  14. Vikram Nanjappa says:

    Another point to note is that migrant Pittas arrive locally almost to the date. Talk about punctuality ! They breed mainly in the sub-Himalayas and winter in southern India and Sri Lanka. The migration follows the rains, arrives in the south after the end of the rainy season and leaves before the start of the monsoon.

  15. Dr. Satish Sharma says:

    What a lovely bird. I’m sure I wont mind being disturbed by it. Fabulous image and beautifully narrated. Pls keep up the good work.

  16. ranjitha reddy says:

    Great work!! My deepest regards to all at orange county. Its a great job u guys are doing by bringing nature as close to us as possible. I await every fortnight for this mail. Great work guys.. Keep it going !! 😉

  17. Alka Sharma says:

    What a delightful bird and what a brilliant write up and photograph. Thank you for all this information.

  18. Narayanamurthy K says:

    Really absorbing the heart. Reading this, there is a desire to come over again there to hear musical alarm of Pitta.
    congratulations for nurturing nature.

  19. Ganesh H R says:

    Dear sir, Namaskara! What a brilliant job! Thank you so much to mother nature. Such beautiful bird and an exceptional photographer…! I just love your images, Sir. Now time has come to take a photo of the MALABAR TROGON. Regards, Ganesh H. R. Orange County, Coorg.

  20. Subbaiah says:

    I am a Kodava and so long unaware of the fauna of coorg . I think that what you do is brilliant ! keep it up . Nature wont last with us for ever and it is time we recognise our bounty .

  21. Harisankar Kurup says:

    Another brilliant nugget of information and a really beautiful image of the colourful Indian Pitta!!!

  22. Muhammed Nahar says:

    Incredible note on the Indian Pitta with awsome photograph ! Thanks indeed 🙂

  23. Vinod Kumar VK says:

    Wonderful text.. This beautiful Bird.. has so much beautiful colors.. and a melodious voice.. I seen it many times when gone to photography.. but as the light goes down and my camera says.. SORRY NO MORE CLICKS FROM ME..this beautiful bird comes in front of my cam and sings to say.. its time go home dude!!!

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