White-throated Ground-Thrush (കുറിക്കണ്ണന്‍ കാട്ടുപുള്ള്)

KURIKKANNANKATTUPULLU
Orange-headed thrush / Zoothera citrina cyanota / Kurikkannan kattupullu

White-throated Ground-Thrush  /Orange-headed thrush/  Zoothera citrina cyanota /Kurikkannan kattupullu

White-throated Ground-Thrush /Orange-headed thrush/ Zoothera citrina cyanota /Kurikkannan kattupullu

”A bird came  down the walk,

He did not know I saw,

He bit an angle-worm in halves

And ate the fellow raw.

And then he drank a dew from the convenient grass,

And then hoped side wise to the wall,

To let a beetle to pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes,

That hurried all abroad,

They looked like frightened beads,

I thought,

He stirred his velvet head.

White-throated Ground-Thrush  /Orange-headed thrush/  Zoothera citrina cyanota /Kurikkannan kattupullu

White-throated Ground-Thrush /Orange-headed thrush/ Zoothera citrina cyanota /Kurikkannan kattupullu

Emily Dickinsons  bird could be a ground thrush or some other bird of her favourite locality or of her imaginative landscape.It is perhaps the`first bird of its kind that I have ever met ,the most secretive and the shiest.We can see that  the bird has a fancy for a secluded secretive life like Emily Dickinson.It is found walking on the rain drenched semi dark grounds of thickly wooded sacred groves during the last leg of monsoon season.Each of its slow movements was underlined by silence.The thrush has a deep fancy for shady damp areas .

White-throated Ground-Thrush  /Orange-headed thrush/  Zoothera citrina cyanota /Kurikkannan kattupullu

White-throated Ground-Thrush /Orange-headed thrush/ Zoothera citrina cyanota /Kurikkannan kattupullu

As I went close to the thrush feeding on the ground in dense under growth of the sacred grove , the bird”bit an unknown worn in halves, remained  motionless contrary to my expectation .. But it would be wrong to say that it has a very short flight initiation distance. Anyway  I felt this characteristics unique.Moments later that flew away without making any fuss before i could take  snaps.It has  a swift silent flight’.The colour  appeared   strange in the dim light of the sacred grove. august 2010.

 

White-throated Ground-Thrush  /Orange-headed thrush/  Zoothera citrina cyanota /Kurikkannan kattupullu

White-throated Ground-Thrush /Orange-headed thrush/ Zoothera citrina cyanota /Kurikkannan kattupullu

I was gazing casting my eyes on  the available infinite sky to relieve myself from a  holiday afternoon nap drowsines. Faint dapple of the weak sun trickled through the Hamelia leaves by the window.My eyes spotted a bird that remained still upon the  curved branch of Hamelia.I made out the figure that I found in June . I took the snaps of the bird as it was searching the tiny fruits of  Hamelia.It has a n orange coloured head.The throat is white, face sides have a unique design with two black stripes running downwards from below the eyes. The  snaps revealed uniformly grey  upper parts and wings.Plumage bears a  distinctive under  wing pattern with a white band..It has a slate coloured bill and legs.

I sent the photographs to  ornithologist Ramakrishnan kumaranellur and he identified it as White throated ground thrush.5.12.2010

/Kurikkannan kattupullu

/Kurikkannan kattupullu

It was the  month of April 2014,a wild  fruit tree of unknown origin with full of  tiny fruits was the favourite hang out of green barbets ,Indian oriole, Cuckoos , Brahminy sterlings ,Bulbuls of three kinds.white throated ground thrush was a visitor there.they appeared usually in pairs contrary to the earlier encounters.it doesnt form flocks.The female resembled the male but has brown or more olive upper parts and warm brown wings. my ornithologist friend added that it is hard to differentiate the  old female birds and  the male birds. The green barbet  devoured every ripe fruit available as if the tree would be destroyed by that evening, they returned to the tree frequently at short interwals and emptied the ripe black fruits effectively.the thrushes plucked ripe fruits one by one.it was quite shy compared to  other birds.Citrina cyanota is omnivorous eating a wide variety of insects ,earth worms and fruits.

Orange-headed thrush

Orange-headed thrush

the branch was shaken as a  large  redeyed cuckoo alighted and the thrushes  flew away  making a thin tseee,,,tsee,,,,tseee sound in flight.the male cuckoo bird started plucking fruits,PIED cuckoo is a brood parasite that lays a single egg in the nest.the tragic thing is the hatced young one of the  host dies  because it fails to  compete with the cuckoo child

/Orange-headed thrush

/Orange-headed thrush

.Though the bird is seen in midlands and lowlands of kerala,it would be worthy to study the distribution pattern of the bird.Many midland and high altitude species are  believed to  move to lower altitude forests in certain seasons.white throated whistling trherush  is known to disperse to lower altitudes mostly in summer and early winter.Valluvanadan snake groves are a favourite hang out of the  Thrush.