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Bling on the Wing

Emerald Dove, Coorg

We all know about women and diamonds, but emeralds are some birds’ best friends. We are, of course, talking about the ‘Emerald’ Dove that struts around bejeweled, with her trademark emerald green under parts, accessorized with a black and grey banding on the back. The male of the species is not shy of flaunting his jewels either, and complements his emerald adornment with a grey crown and white shoulder patch, which are denied the female. He, however, ensures that any ruffled feathers are smoothed by performing an elaborate bobbing dance to court her, and more often than not, it works. This dove doesn’t bring a message of peace to termites, who form a tasty though insubstantial, aerial snack. Normal a-la-carte meals are, however, usually on terra firma. Grains, seeds and fallen berries are the staple, though if you were to invite one to a ‘lantana lunch’, you’d earn her eternal gratitude, and she’d let you know in that soft, moaning ‘coo’ of hers.

Photograph: Kiran Poonacha Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy



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