Kingfisher

Date Taken: 23 June 2012 | Place: Ranganathittu, Karnataka, India.

Catch It! - Brahminy Kite

Date Taken: 08 July 2012 | Place: Sangama, Karnataka, India.

Let's Make Our Planet Green

Date Taken: 23 June 2012 | Place: Ranganathittu, Karnataka, India

Over Everest

Date Taken: 21 Apr 2012 | Place: Kathmandu, Nepal

Rowing On The River Ganges

Date Taken: 17 Apr 2012 | Place: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

President's House

Date Taken: 27 Apr 2012 | Place: New Delhi, India

Taj Mahal

Date Taken: 25 Apr 2012 | Place: Agra, India

Bangalore at Night

Date Taken: 20 May 2012 | Place: Bangalore, India

Uttarakhand - Simply the Heaven

Date Taken: 05 May 2012 | Place: Uttarakhand, India

20 August 2012

Pied Kingfisher


Date Taken: 20 Aug 2012
Place: Bangalore outskirts
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The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) is a water kingfisher and is found widely distributed across Africa and Asia. Their black and white plumage, crest and the habit of hovering over clear lakes and rivers before diving for fish makes it distinctive. Males have a double band across the breast while females have a single gorget that is often broken in the middle. They are usually found in pairs or small family parties. When perched, they often bob their head and flick up their tail.

This kingfisher is about 17 cm long and is white with a black mask, a white supercilium and black breast bands. The crest is neat and the upperparts are barred in black. Several subspecies are recognized within the broad distribution. The nominate race is found in sub-Saharan Africa, extending into West Asia. A former subspecies syriaca is considered as merely a larger northern bird of the nominate species (following Bergmann's rule). Subspecies leucomelanura is found from Afghanistan east into India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos. The subspecies travancoreensis of the Western Ghats is darker with the white reduced. Subspecies C. r. insignis is found in Hainan and southeastern China and has a much larger bill. Males have a narrow second breast-band while females have a single broken breast band.

Content credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied_Kingfisher

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17 August 2012

Glorious Himalaya


Date Taken: 21 Apr 2012
Place: Himalaya

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Splending Mountainscape


Date Taken: 21 Apr 2012
Place: Himalaya

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12 August 2012

Cormorant


Date Taken: 11 Aug 2012
Place: Bangalore outskirts
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The bird family Phalacrocoracidae is represented by some 40 species of cormorants and shags. /ˈkɔrmərənt/ Several different classifications of the family have been proposed recently, and the number of genera is disputed.


There is no consistent distinction between cormorants and shags. The names "cormorant" and "shag" were originally the common names of the two species of the family found in Great Britain, Phalacrocorax carbo (now referred to by ornithologists as the Great Cormorant) and P. aristotelis (the European Shag). "Shag" refers to the bird's crest, which the British forms of the Great Cormorant lack. As other species were discovered by English-speaking sailors and explorers elsewhere in the world, some were called cormorants and some shags, depending on whether they had crests or not. Sometimes the same species is called a cormorant in one part of the world and a shag in another, e.g., the Great Cormorant is called the Black Shag in New Zealand (the birds found in Australasia have a crest that is absent in European members of the species). Van Tets (1976) proposed to divide the family into two genera and attach the name "Cormorant" to one and "Shag" to the other, but this flies in the face of common usage and has not been widely adopted.
The scientific genus name is latinized Ancient Greek, from φαλακρός (phalakros, "bald") and κόραξ (korax, "raven"). This is often thought to refer to the creamy white patch on the cheeks of adult Great Cormorants, or the ornamental white head plumes prominent in Mediterranean birds of this species, but is certainly not a unifying characteristic of cormorants. "Cormorant" is a contraction derived either directly from Latin corvus marinus, "sea raven" or through Brythonic Celtic. Cormoran is the Cornish name of the sea giant in the tale of Jack the Giant Killer. Indeed, "sea raven" or analogous terms were the usual terms for cormorants in Germanic languages until after the Middle Ages. The French explorer André Thévet commented in 1558 that "...the beak similar to that of a cormorant or other corvid," which demonstrates that the erroneous belief that the birds were related to ravens lasted at least to the 16th century.


Content credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormorant

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Scutelleridae


Date Taken: 11 Aug 2012
Place: Bangalore outskirts
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Scutelleridae is a family of true bugs. They are commonly known as jewel bugs or metallic shield bugs due to their often brilliant coloration. They are also known as shield-backed bugs due to the enlargement of the last section of their thorax into a continuous shield over the abdomen and wings. This latter characteristic distinguishes them from most other families within Heteroptera, and may lead to misidentification as a beetle rather than a bug. These insects feed on plant juices from a variety of different species, including some commercial crops. Closely related to stink bugs, they may also produce an offensive odour when disturbed. There are around 450 species worldwide.


Jewel bugs are small to medium-sized oval-shaped bugs with a body length averaging at 5 to 20 mm (0.20 to 0.79 in). They can easily be distinguished from stink bugs (Pentatomidae) because the shield-like enlarged last section of their thorax (known as the scutellum, Latin for "little shield") completely covers the abdomen and the wings.
Despite their resemblance to beetles, jewel bugs are hemipterans or true bugs. The scutellum is an extension of the thorax, unlike the elytra of beetles which are hardened forewings. As such, jewel bugs have four membranous wings underneath the scutellum in contrast to two in beetles. The scutellum in jewel bugs also does not have a division in the middle and thus does not 'split open' when they take flight like in beetles.
The heads of jewel bugs are triangular and the antennae have three to five segments. Like all heteropterans, jewel bugs are characterized by a segmented beak-like mouthpart (known as the rostrum). During feeding, jewel bugs inject proteolytic enzymes in their saliva into plants, digesting plant matter into a liquid form which they then suck up. The tarsus has three segments (tarsomeres).


Content credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutelleridae

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Green Bee Eater


Date Taken: 11 Aug 2012
Place: Bangalore outskirts
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The Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, (sometimes Little Green Bee-eater) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family. It is resident but prone to seasonal movements and is found widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal and The Gambia to Ethiopia, the Nile valley, western Arabia and Asia through India to Vietnam. They are mainly insect eaters and they are found in grassland, thin scrub and forest often quite far from water. Several regional plumage variations are known and several subspecies have been named.

Like other bee-eaters, this species is a richly coloured, slender bird. It is about 9 inches (16–18 cm) long with about 2 inches made up by the elongated central tail-feathers. The sexes are not visually distinguishable. The entire plumage is bright green and tinged with blue especially on the chin and throat. The crown and upper back are tinged with golden rufous. The flight feathers are rufous washed with green and tipped with blackish. A fine black line runs in front of and behind the eye. The iris is crimson and the bill is black while the legs are dark grey. The feet are weak with the three toes joined at the base. Southeast Asian birds have rufous crown and face, and green underparts, whereas Arabian beludschicus has a green crown, blue face and bluish underparts. The wings are green and the beak is black. The elongated tail feathers are absent in juveniles. Sexes are alike.

Content credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bee-eater

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06 August 2012

Weaving Banarasi Saris



Date Taken: 18 Apr 2012
Place: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.


Banarasi saris are saris made in Varanasi, a city which is also called "Benares." These saris are historically considered to be among the finest saris in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery, and being highly sought after. These saris are made of finely woven silk and are decorated with intricate design, and because of these engravings, these saris are relatively heavy. Their special characteristics are Mughal inspired designs such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs, kalga and bel, a string of upright leaves called jhallar at the outer, edge of border is a characteristic of these sarees. Other distinctive features are Heavy gold work, Compact weaving, figures with small details, metallic visual effects, pallus, jal (a net like pattern), and mina work. These saris are an inevitable part of any Indian bride's trousseau.

Depending upon the intricacy of designs and patterns, a sari can take anywhere from 15 days to a one month and sometimes up to six months to complete. Banarasi saris are mostly worn by Indian women on important occasions such as when attending a wedding and are expected to be complemented by the woman's best jewelry.

Content credit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banarasi_saris


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