Nature

on curious curlews

Great stone-curlew (Esacus recurvirostris)

curlews look rather ungainly at first sight… standing still, they elicit comparison with herons and storks who seem more graceful… even the dawdling duck seems quite assured in its demeanour compared to curlews… and it isn’t long before one pinpoints it to the knee, the ‘thick-knee’ that marks its disparate gait, and lends it its common name…

Curlews: Great stone-curlew (Esacus recurvirostris)

thus I surmised watching Great stone-curlews through the bins as they stood looking rather glum on the banks of Chambal, both feet planted firmly on the ground unlike the unipedal elegance of herons or some other waders… they resembled a fidgety teen, moving around rather dazed and confused, with stooped shoulders and inquisitive eyes…

Curlews: Great stone-curlew (Esacus recurvirostris)

which brings us to the eyes… large and bulging, revealing the bird’s preference for nocturnal realms… they seem curious, like a child who’s piqued by new surroundings, and are further accentuated by black eyestripes and a thickish bill that add to the gawkiness of the creature… avifauna is often considered poetry in motion, but there are some dull limericks every now and then…

Curlews: Great stone-curlew (Esacus recurvirostris)

there is nothing overtly remarkable about curlews in terms of behaviour… feeding on insects small reptiles and seeds, they hunt through sudden, short runs, preferring the twilight and dusk over the day… maybe ‘tis their crepuscular nature that makes them look ungainly during the day, when they simply laze around, preferring to slink away on foot rather than taking flight even when threatened… dusk might reveal another personality, who knows…

Great stone-curlew (Esacus recurvirostris)

despite all the ordinariness, curlews delight with their naivety… their jerky movements are as lethal as the effortless swoops of raptors if one looks at the business end of things, and the stout disposition  makes for a gritty and resolute manner… birds have a pensiveness around them that brings a sobriety to one’s views on existence, yet sometimes they only inspire us to be blasé…

Great stone-curlew (Esacus recurvirostris)

musings on Great stone-curlew  (Esacus recurvirostris), Chambal, Uttar Pradesh

Author: Parth Joshi

Mountain lover ⛰️ | Hiker 🥾| Runner 🏃‍♂️ | Cyclist 🚴 | Photographer 📷... allured by the outdoors, the author is a quintessential lost soul craving for the outdoors while suffering in a desk job...

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