Saturday, November 15, 2014

Brahminy Kite (শঙ্খ চিল) - Haliastur indus

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Bengali Name : Shonkho Chil (শঙ্খ চিল).
Common Name : Brahminy Kite.
Scientific Name : Haliastur indus
Family : Accipitridae (diurnal raptor family)

একটা সময় গ্রামের দিকে মুরগির ছানাদের জন্য চিল ছিল আতঙ্কের একটা নাম... হঠাত করেই বলা নাই কওয়া নাই ছোঁ মেরে নিয়ে যেতো ছানাদের... মাঝে মাঝে দেখেছি মাছ নিয়ে উড়ন্ত চিলের পেছন পেছন গ্র্রামের ছেলে মেয়েদের ছুটতে... অপেক্ষা করতো কখন চিল দাবড়ানি খেয়ে হাপিয়ে যেয়ে মাছটি ফেলে দেবে আর তারা কুড়িয়ে নিবে... এসকল দৃশ্য এখন কমে গেছে... কমে গেছে চিলের সংখ্যাও... আমাদের প্রিয় কবি জীবনান্দ দাস তার কবিতায় সোনালী ডানার চিলের কথা উল্লেখ করেছেন... ইচ্ছা পোষণ করেছেন শঙ্খচিল হয়ে বাংলার বুকে আবার ফিরে আসার... আমার আজকের লেখা সেই শঙ্খ চিলকে নিয়েই... শঙ্খের মতন সাদা রঙের গলা, মাথা, ঘাড়, বুক আর খুব সহজেই চেনা যায়, তাই নাম শঙ্খচিল... এখনো বিলুপ্ত হয়ে যায়নি, তাই আগের মতন অত বেশী না হলেও মাঝে মাঝেই দেখা যায়...

Our today's bird is a very common one from our Indian subcontinent. Once upon a time it was vastly seen patrolling the sky over the wetlands. But these days their count has diminished unfortunately. This is Brahminy Kite, locally known as Shonkho Chil (শঙ্খ চিল). Scientific name is Haliastur indus and it belongs to the bird family Accipitridae.

Adult Brahminy Kites are medium sized raptor (bird of prey), adults are having a distinctive color that makes it more beautiful. The head, neck, chest/throat, upper part of the belly are bright white in color and the other parts are striking chestnut (dark brown) in color. But the juvenile one is not as easy to identity (as it can be confused with the Black Kites) as it doesn't have such distinctive white and chestnut color on it. The tail of Brahminy Kite is shorter and round in shape, by which easily it can be distinguished from it's close relative Black Kite. The adult has a lime yellow colored beak and circular nostril. Both sexes of this bird are same but the females are slightly larger than that of male.

Similar to other raptors the Brahminy Kites are having a very sharp eyes that can help them to locate it's food from high on sky during patrolling. It mainly looks for the dead fishes around the wetlands. Sometimes it snatches foods from the other birds. In our villages in Bangladesh, it uses to steal the baby chickens from it's mother. Villagers were anxious about the sudden strike from those raptors. But those days are gone by as their numbers have decreased from this country. From my observation the main reason behind this is the population growth in Bangladesh. We have expanded our houses and occupied their lands. They do not have too much free space for building nest, scouting foods, and feeding their babies. Hence they are now an engendered species from our country.

From the online resources I came to know that this bird makes it's nest on the high branches of a tree. They use to use the same nest year after year. Female lays 2 eggs. Both the parents use to feed the babies but only the female incubates and it takes around a month to complete.

Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) during the year 2014.

07 October 2014: Brahmanbaria (ব্রাহ্মণবাড়িয়া).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

শেষ বিকেলের পাখী, আমি যাযাবর

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