March 25, 2010 | |

Mumbai Birds: The Crow

The baby crow sat in my hand and clutched onto to me. His disproportionate huge head to his little body did not take away his defense mechanism of opening his big beak every time I petted him on the head. After a while, he got used to me and sat quietly in the taxi for the ride from Mani Bhavan at Gamdevi to Fort. I was attending one of the hundreds of calls in the year that the WSD (Welfare of Stray Dogs) receives to rescue city-birds… mostly crows, pigeons, cuckoos, owls and kites; sometimes parrots, sparrows, egrets and herons. I am not a bird-enthusiast and cannot distinguish a heron from a magpie… but yes, I love our everyday city birds. The Indian House Crows are a subject unto themselves. You will see them all over Mumbai - cawing away, sitting coolly atop BEST buses, following garbage trucks and riding on top of fisher-folk’s baskets. Look around, especially before the rains and you will see them toiling away – gathering twigs, wires and anything they can get their hands or beaks on, to build their nests on trees amidst the traffic and busy streets.

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