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Monday, June 13, 2016

Announcing the arrival of the Malabar whistling Thrush in the Native Place Garden


Folks – they have arrived!  We spotted a pair last week scouting around the Nirvana Cottage Wing for a nesting space. Heard the predawn song a few days ago a sweet whistling and had an easy spotting soon after. Watched the pair happily at work – seems like they too are happy to be back (they have been nesting here for a few years now) We will now have the pleasure of watching them as they select a nesting spot and build their nest, bring new chicks into he world and then work hard together to feed the young chicks who have voracious appetites.
Ah – so looking forward to this ! J
Also known as the ‘Whistling Schoolboy’ for the whistling calls that they make at dawn  - a slow soft mellifluous call with a sense of aimlessness about it.  Sounds like a carefree schoolboy whistling to himself as he strolls along.
The species is said to be resident in the Western Ghats although it visits the Native Place Garden to breed and raise its young.  I have read that they can be spotted near rocky streams and in riverine habitats either in the shady undergrowth or in a really difficult to spot location and are usually most active at early dawn or dusk making them difficult to photograph

This large thrush appears blackish with shiny patches of blue on the forehead and shoulders. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects. crabs, frogs, earthworms and berries.


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