Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Russell's Kukri

Variegated/Russell's Kukri

This snake was found dead on the road in campus one evening, probably run over by a passing vehicle. It's a non-venomous snake with the scientific name Oligodon taeniolatus. If anybody knows the Telugu name for this snake, let me know! It's called a Kukri snake because of its teeth, which resemble the Kukri, a curved Nepalese knife. The teeth are specially adapted for breaking open eggs of birds and other reptiles which are its main diet. You can check the Wikipedia article for more information. Incidentally, Dr. Patrick Russell was the author of a book on Indian snakes in 1796.

I have found a number of frogs killed in the same manner by speeding vehicles on campus. It would be nice if something could be done about this. Suggestions anyone?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Checklist of the birds of IIIT

This is an ongoing project to document the avifauna of the campus. The current checklist stands at 58 species. Click on the bird's name to see its picture. [WM = winter migrant] I have made this checklist after a year of observing the birds on campus. Many observations are seasonal, like the Common Hawk Cuckoo, heard during summer and early rains, the Golden Oriole, observed in summer and the warblers during the winter months. Some water birds that often fly past the campus like the Black headed Ibis and Great Cormorant are also recorded. Most of the rest are resident birds here, seen throughout the year.

  1. Yellow billed Babbler
  2. Large Grey Babbler
  3. Coppersmith Barbet
  4. Green Bee eater
  5. Redvented Bulbul
  6. Pied Bushchat
  7. Zittting Cisticola
  8. Great Cormorant
  9. Greater Coucal
  10. Large billed Crow
  11. Spotted Dove
  12. Laughing Dove
  13. Black Drongo
  14. Cattle Egret
  15. Little Egret
  16. Pale billed Flowerpecker
  17. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
  18. Grey Francolin
  19. Indian Pond Heron
  20. Black crowned Night Heron
  21. Common Hoopoe
  22. Black headed Ibis
  23. Common Iora
  24. Indian Roller
  25. White throated Kingfisher
  26. Black Kite
  27. Brahminy Kite
  28. Asian Koel
  29. Red Wattled Lapwing
  30. Magpie Robin
  31. Small Minivet
  32. Scaly Bellied Munia
  33. Common Myna
  34. Brahminy Starling
  35. Golden Oriole
  36. Barn Owl
  37. Spotted Owlet
  38. Rose ringed Parakeet
  39. Blue Rock Pigeon
  40. Ashy Prinia
  41. Plain Prinia
  42. Grey breasted Prinia
  43. Indian Robin
  44. Shikra
  45. Long tailed Shrike
  46. House Sparrow
  47. Purple rumped Sunbird
  48. Purple Sunbird
  49. Barn Swallow (WM)
  50. House Swift
  51. Common Tailorbird
  52. Rufous Treepie
  53. White browed Wagtail
  54. Booted Warbler (WM)
  55. Blyth's Reed Warbler (WM)
  56. Black shouldered Kite
  57. Common Hawk Cuckoo
  58. Indian Silverbill
  59. Grey bellied Cuckoo
  60. White browed Bulbul
  61. Oriental Honey Buzzard
  62. Common Grey Hornbill