Perched on a dandelion is a striking bird…Bright yellow plumage, plumb black stripes on either wings, hinged by horizontal white ones crossing them in between, carroty reddish-orange beak with abstract streaks of light crimson, a black circling tiara glory, with a white rump and a yellow-breast…An American Goldfinch…my favourite bird!
There was no apparent reason for us to cross each other ever. The seven seas, I in B’lore, and the bird in the States separate us. However, a great wonder that the modern technology is, we did come across each other, at 2 AM a week back. And I immediately fell in love with this particular one.
The only good thing about going back to hostel at late night hours is that you own the TV room. No dismal cricket matches, no disintegrating, mouldy chat shows, and thankfully no lengthy, feeble movies that they show on countless movie channels these days.
I watched this charming programme about the passerine birds (sparrows, wrens, etc.) of Washington State. The programme was so painstaking, so goddamn detailed and exhaustive…their numerous habitats, their ecology, their behaviour, and finally their conservation status and the efforts taken to save the various species.
This bird though belonging to the same order as sparrows is actually not in grave danger of extinction. However, by habitat destruction, most of these birds, which earlier occupied different niches, are now competing with each other. The mean rate of decline for this beautiful bird is 4 % per year. What a shame! Thankfully there are quite a few conservation trusts that are working towards conservation of Passerines and restoration of their habitats. I would like to work in one such trust some day…
Coming back to the bird, thanks to that wonderful programme on Nat Geo, we gotta know each other, Mr. Goldfinch! There’s a bond between us now, sir! Take very good care of yourself…adios!