Friday, October 14, 2016

Paddy Bird (Wee Kurulla), My Dog's Woolly hair and Leaves of Havari Nuga


Paddy Bird (Wee Kurulla), My Dog's Woolly hair and Leaves of Havari Nuga and dried up leaves of grass 
 
I wanted to write about global warming and constipation but my readers are spared of ignominy thanks to the Paddy Bird.
Let me deal with a copyright issue first.
I wanted to put a picture of my favourite bird with this piece and searched for a free photograph.
I found one but it was copyrighted.
I know this guy has a good camera and never cared for a paddy bird let alone take the husk out of a rice seed (which birds are experts).

He is so selfish he tries to own this birds picture.
He is a sordid bird watcher.
I of course (my wife too) for the last 15 years trying to encourage breeding of these birds in our garden.
I never thought that my rooftop garden (birds' paradise in all other respect with water and insects including dragonflies) was conduce for their breeding.

Couple of weeks ago I was watering the water plants and a paddy bird flew across my ear in an aggressive manner.
I just ignored it and did not give any eye contact.
Thanks to my wife's effort lot of birds visit our mulberry tree daily.

With scorching temperatures, hitting 95 outside most of my terrestrial plants including the two cocoa plants are shedding their leaves at a rate that alarmed me to my bones.

I decided to do an overall and reduce the numbers of plants to the minimum to cut down on our water bill which was above the electricity (which is also very high) first time in my life.

For the last three days, with a planned strategy to ease my blind dog's night prowl (no prey but jasmine flowers and spirit weed to sniff) around the trees, I made a wide pathway so that he does not bump against the plant pots.

On the third day (today) I wanted to uproot the second but the tallest tree (hawari nuga and the tallest is an exotic local plant the name I do not know- I got it from a local gardener who is an expert on medicinal plants) but I could not.

Then I looked at it in a meditative mode, this does not deserve an unnatural death and looked at its long leaves.

Presto!

Empty bird's nest.

Owned by the paddy bird few weeks ago but discarded having got its brood out.

It was made of my dog's woolly soft hair (90%) and few grassy bits and a single leaf of a Havari Nuga.

I thought for a moment not only he contributes his liquid fertilizer to my gardening efforts but gives comfort cushion to avi-fauna's young ones.

He got lovely treat for his indirect contribution.

Birds of feather fly together.

In other word nature nurtures nature.

I hope the guy who sells the photos of birds reads this in full.

In a different note if Europeans did not come and G.B.Henry did not tabulate our avi-fauna, this guy would not know how to name a bird.

Series of reproduction from WiKipedia 

Hair of the dog", short for "Hair of the dog that bit you", is a colloquial expression in the English language predominantly used to refer to alcohol that is consumed with the aim of lessening the effects of a hangover.
The expression originally referred to a method of treatment of a rabid dog bite by placing hair from the dog in the bite wound.
Ebenezer Cobham Brewer writes in the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898): "In Scotland it is a popular belief that a few hairs of the dog that bit you applied to the wound will prevent evil consequences. Applied to drinks, it means, if overnight you have indulged too freely, take a glass of the same wine within 24 hours to soothe the nerves. 'If this dog do you bite, soon as out of your bed, take a hair of the tail the next day.'" He also cites two apocryphal poems containing the phrase, one of which is attributed to Aristophanes. It is possible that the phrase was used to justify an existing practice, and the idea of Latin: similia similibus curantur ("like cures like") dates back at least to the time of Hippocrates and exists today as the basic postulate of classical homeopathy. In the 1930s cocktails known as Corpse Revivers were served in hotels.

Alstonia macrophylla or Hard alstonia, Hard milkwood or Big-leaved macrophyllum is a species of plant in the Apocynaceae family.
It is native to Indonesia (Kalimantan and Sulawesi), Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. It was introduced to Sri Lanka, where it is known as hawari nuga by local Sinhalese people.
Alstonia macrophylla is a tree with a straight trunk and a high, narrow crown. It can become up to 30 meters tall. The trunk and branches contain a white latex. The bark is smooth and has a light grey color. Leaves are in whorls of three to four, simple, penni-veined, membranous, and glabrous above. Leaf-blades are 10 to 50 centimeters long, 5 to 15 cm wide, widest in or above the middle, and cuneate at the base. Flowers are about 7 mm in diameter, white, with narrow corolla tube, placed terminal on twigs. Fruits are about 30 centimeters long, green and filled with many small hairy seeds that are dispersed far and wide by the wind. The heartwood is yellowish, with a straight and shallowly interlocked grain with a moderately fine to rather coarse texture.

The common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) is a songbird found across tropical Asia. Popular for its nest made of leaves "sewn" together and immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in his Jungle Book, it is a common resident in urban gardens. Although shy birds that are usually hidden within vegetation, their loud calls are familiar and give away their presence. They are distinctive in having a long upright tail, greenish upper body plumage and rust coloured forehead and crown. This passerine bird is typically found in open farmland, scrub, forest edges and gardens. Tailorbirds get their name from the way their nest is constructed. The edges of a large leaf are pierced and sewn together with plant fibre or spider silk to make a cradle in which the actual nest is built.
Like most warblers, the common tailorbird is insectivorous. The song is a loud cheeup-cheeup-cheeup with variations across the populations. 
The disyllabic calls are repeated often

Scaly-breasted Munia/Spotted Munia (Lonchura puntulata)


Very common resident bird of grasslands, gardens and paddy fields throughout the island. It lives as flocks of about ten birds and feeds on grass seeds and paddy. Scaly-breasted Munia breeds throughout the year though most nests are found in the period of October to May. The nest is a ball of grass blades in trees or shrubs. 
Thorny trees like lime or orange and sometime areca palm flowers are much favored nesting sites.




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