The Wild Side of Delhi

I live in the city called New Delhi which is both a big metropolitan city and the capital of India.  Despite all this, Delhi is also one of the world’s most greenest cities. And the colony I live in, called “Shalimar Bagh” is one of the greenest areas in Delhi with more than 60% green cover. There are many big parks with circumference between 2-4 km and smaller ones alternating with a row of 5 houses each.

These big ones have a numbers of fruit trees and I would not be exaggerating if I say that these were orchids not parks. There are mango, mulberry, lemon, jamun, guava trees to name a few, plus a lot of other trees like neem, eucalyptus, banyan etc, not to forget a number of flowering trees and plants.

This area is more like a sleepy town in the middle of Delhi. The roads are wide and clean, people prefer walking and there is hardly any activity after 8:30, and the air is cooler and cleaner.

Such a large diversity of plant life and the fact that it is a shaded region with a lot of green cover makes sure that this is also a zoologist’s paradise. Since the start of spring a number of a number of birds have made their nests in the trees around, and they begin their singing at around 5 A.M. I have been getting up at this time since the past 2 weeks and have been fortunate enough to listen to the concert and watch the acrobatics.

My room faces a group of tall eucalyptus trees where there are 3 nests of kites. Their battle-cries when they rally themselves for the hunt is my alarm clock. Plus the way they dive at the unsuspecting mouse on the ground is a site to watch. And sometimes they also put on an air-show for us by doing paired cartwheels in the sky, which is usually when they try to steal from each other.

There are a number of peacocks but they are rarely seen. You have to be up at a really early hour to watch them. Peacocks are rather shy and prefer not to mingle with their human neighbours much. Their wives are comparatively more extrovert. But they are good singers.

A number of mango trees and the fact that a colony of crows also lives nearby, ensures that the koel bird won’t be far away. Their singing is a stuff of legend so I won’t talk about it much. But almost every day, either early in the morning of in the evening a koel sits near my window and sings a duet with its mate perched on a nearby tree.

Crows though not good singers are still pretty fun to watch. They are one of the brainiest birds and you have to watch them to realise it.

There are also some weaver birds. There singing is average but their hanging nests are works of art. Parrots are usually perched on guava trees, with half eaten fruit thrown to the ground.

The house sparrows are plenty and they chirp breathlessly. Pigeons are found everywhere and Shalimar Bagh is no exceptions.

As I mentioned before there are a lot of flowering trees and plants. This is makes it a dream destination for bees, wasps, beetle of all kinds, colourful butterflies and equally colourful humming-birds who can be seen hovering over flowers and drinking the sweet nectar.

There are a lot of other birds, some resident and some migratory. If you listen to the songs carefully you can recognise the voice of 30-40 different bird species, if not more.

The number and variety of insect life ensures that the birds have enough to eat. Moreover it also ensures that there is a variety of reptilian and arachnid life forms.

Animal life includes dogs, cats…you know the usual. But along with them rabbits, squirrels, mongoose etc also share the place. Sometimes elephants can also be seen roaming around eating the greens. I had an experience with one of these jumbo pachyderms just a month ago. One of them came close and inspected me from head to toe with her trunk till she got bored. I kept still since I had no intentions of starting a fight.

By dusk the scene changes totally. Owls come out and there calls are a quite pleasant. There are insects of various shapes and colours. And bats, yes bats. There is a large colony of bats and by 6:30 they emerge out to begin their night shifts. Pretty decent fliers, they swarm the area for about half an hour before going to eat.

Spring time is a pretty interesting period. A lot of young ones are born and it is the marks the beginning of new life. All I can say is that these young ones have been making a lot of noise since a week now. They are practically bottomless pits and have kept their parents on toes. But that’s the whole fun I guess.

I will be continuing my nature watch now. Till my next post, take care.

10 Responses to “The Wild Side of Delhi”
  1. ady says:

    seems like you live in a bird sanctuary or perhaps a zoo.

    and i don’t think delhi is one of the worlds’ greenest cities…(was it a joke?)

  2. Prateek says:

    No, it is not a joke….can’t expect people who live in U.P. (Noida) to understand the meaning of greenery, with all the trees being cut to make place for the statues.

  3. Smitzy says:

    LOL @ patty’s comment 😀
    This was an awesome post! Loved the detailing in it 🙂

  4. Prateek says:

    Thank You, glad you liked it.

  5. sylani says:

    yeah its true that Delhi is the greenest metro city (in india, at least !)… thats why i like this city very much… & i often told this very fact to my friends whenever we talk about delhi…
    however, the post is, as ever, very cute with so much detailing in it… keep it up friend !

  6. delhizen says:

    you know what patty maybe you sohlud have put up some pics to support your posts!

    Maybe then ppl lke andy can understand it better 🙂

    • snowleopard says:

      True, but sadly I don’t have a decent camera right now and capturing birds isn’t easy on a camera phone. Will post the pics as soon as I have a decent camera. Thanks for the comments. 🙂

  7. Farila says:

    Good work here.. Enjoy your nature watch

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  1. […] by snowleopard on July 31, 2010 · Leave a Comment  In two of my posts (Wild Side of Delhi and Spotted Dove), I have mentioned the richness of wildlife around my residence. Today during my […]

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