Nature

Eagles on their stopovers…

Eagles, there is such pensiveness in their cold stares… although I find most avifauna steeped in a wistfulness that characterizes the nature of their existence, it seems more accentuated in the raptors, as if exhausted by all that burden of death, stuck in this vocation… their cries are shrill, movements calculated… the hooked beak resembling a question mark… a potent weapon and an existential enquiry…

Steppe eagle, part of the booted eagles family

If I wasn’t prodded vehemently, I wouldn’t have stopped to look at this convocation of eagles (one follows these terms for groups of birds keenly at first for trivia, but after a point it becomes either exasperating or amusing) that’d parked themselves next to a garbage dump opposite what used to be a leopard rescue centre earlier but would’ve been probably rechristened as some form of ‘eco’…  bureaucracy and their transient fads… turned out to more than a dozen steppe eagles, looking as sullen as the skies on a cloudy winter evening…

Steppe eagle, part of the booted eagles family

What dost thou pine for amidst these pines, flew a mumbling chuckle as I tried to look for individuals that could be photographed in the fading light… coincidentally, a little less than a year before I’d seen these booted eagles at Tal Chappar… they were strutting around bossily around those thorny scrublands, here they seemed a bit overwhelmed by the topography, tucking themselves in the woods overlooking the urban sprawl of Almora

Steppe eagle, part of the booted eagles family

By all accounts, steppe eagles are one of the most prodigious migrators, be it numbers, distances or elevations, making the most of all that the Central Asian Flyway has to offer… not the best of  locations for a hunter of open grasslands to find itself in though, one ponders, looking around the mountain, a wrong turn off the flyway maybe… time to swallow one’s pride and start scavenging with the griffons, their conspecifics in these parts… yet for a bird used to alternating the hemispheres for 30-40 years, ‘tis nothing but an aberration to be corrected in the next itinerary maybe…

Steppe eagle

Musing on Steppe eagles, Almora, Uttarakhand

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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