p>Most of us city folks assume that bird watching is a hobby that can only be enjoyed in the countryside. Actually our cities have plenty of species to be sighted if we just stop and observe or listen carefully at the break of dawn. In Mumbai, besides the obvious crows, sparrows and pigeons there are robins, mynas, golden orioles, barbets, kites, comorants, kingfishers, flamingos and ibis among many others to be sighted if you are lucky.
My father introduced me to the joys of bird watching when I was really young. Armed with the Collin’s handbook full of colourful images of birds of the Indian subcontinent; our binoculars; hats and water we would set off into Borivali National Park. Those early morning trips fuelled the interest I have developed in ornithology. It gives me immense joy when my five year old son runs to the window at sunrise (yes school starts really early) and shrieks, ‘Mama come quick lots of Black Ibis flying past.’
Now that he is also interested, when I saw Katie Bagli’s book, Birds of Different Feathers, I knew I had struck gold. This book on birds is for children and has 18 short stories with birds as the characters. Each story is preceded and followed by interesting facts and tidbits about the highlighted bird. Some of this information is superb not just for young readers but for the amateur bird watcher too. Did you know the Shrike is called a ‘butcher bird’; or that it is the male
of some wetland birds that look after the young ones; or that the Lapwing is known as the dentist of the crocodile as it actually enters the wide open mouth
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and picks off food between the crocs teeth thereby cleaning them! The book is packed with information and presented in a simple, easy to read format. Basic illustrations done by the author accompany every story.
is a must for anyone who is even remotely interested in nature and truly lives up to its tagline, ‘Nature’s delights for young readers’. Also look for Bagli’s new release named Mammals Mighty and Meek.
Katie Bagli’s books priced at around Rs. 195/- are available in Mumbai at Treasure Books, Khar; Strand, Fort; Majestic Book Zdepot, Thane; Satyam Collection, Churchgate; Granth, Juhu; Oxford Bookstore, Churchgate; Kitabkhana, Fort; BNHS, Fort; and the author Katie Bagli +91 9819002696