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Rock ‘n’ Roller

Indian Roller, Kabini -

Headbangers of the avian world unite. Come summer, and The Rolling Stones of Kabini are ready to put on a show like no other. The Indian Roller is not a bird that believes in silent, meaningful romances. When he goes courting, he needs to let the whole world know, by serenading his mate through a spectacularly noisy ‘Rock’ show that marks the Roller’s breeding season. This burst of aural exhibitionism leaves him disinclined to further activity, especially when it comes to the fruits of love’s labours. So the female has no choice but to outsource, and nests in holes and cavities built to order by obliging woodpeckers. While loud music may be food for the soul, food for the body is a more elegant affair. A flash of blue against the dry woods with twisting and turning aerobatics that earn the Roller his name, are followed by a lazy, billowing swoop as he parachutes down to daintily pick up his dinner off the ground. On the menu are insects, frogs, lizards, and other small prey that abound in the woods and cultivated fields of Kabini. A postprandial plunge and quick bath later, it’s time to chill out with buddies over a Kabini sundowner, discussing tunes for the coming season.

Photograph: Dr. Sameer Rao Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy



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