a j mithra
July 26, 2010
Birds are the most beautiful of all creations... Aren’t they? Of course they are.. There's so much we can learn from them, from living an organized lifestyle with what little they have and the way they take themselves and their homes and
kids in times of adversities... Above all, we can learn a lot about music and the most important part played by music in its life….
Birds have never been to an university. But the fact is that, most of the universities around the world are behind birds, learning new things everyday about them.
Out of all that we can learn from birds, the most amazing habit is their singing, what the birders call as bird calls of bird songs. Singing is their habit and way of living, but for us, singing is a hobby and we try to earn a living out
Birds are the only creations which start their day with singing and end their day with singing… Oh! What joy they should have in their life to do so? A small Sun bird’s call can be heard as far as 300 to 400 meters. If
a bird is as big as a human and if it sings, its singing can be heard as far as 3 to 4 kilometers... Well, that is what Ornithologists say... To sing that powerful, birds need lots of energy.Hence, they need to eat very often, because birds burn lot of calories
Maybe their early morning singing is the reason that they are able to fly hundreds of miles every day in search of food and water and yet returns home with so much of energy to end their day with another open-air concert ... There is a saying
which goes like this “Laughter is the best medicine.”Birds can’t laugh... Is that why they sing to show their joy? Where there is joy,there is strength… Is that the reason why the birds are so strong that they can fly and we can’t? Birds never go to a doctor
because that their music can heal them…Music has the power to heal you know?
Well, how many of us start or dare to start our day with singing? Where there is singing there is joy and where there is joy there is strength... It sounds so simple isn’t it? And it’s not just simple but, it’s powerful too…Birds know this
secret and that’s why they bring so much joy through their singing…
Birds sing in perfect pitch and perfect rhythm... Musicians use a software called “NEUNDO” for recording and the default set for the Tempo is 120 BPM (beats per minute)… The rhythm of the song of most birds is set to the tempo of 120 BPM...
It sounds as if they-had invented NEUNDO…Isn’t it quite astonishing or amazing or whatever you may call it? The syncopation of bird songs has intricate patterns and most of them are new to men... They sing very short phrases compared to human singing, but,
their syncopation has complicated but-complete rhythmic patterns…
Once as I was birding, I saw a Chestnut-headed bee-eater perched on a dry tree. Suddenly the bird flew as far as about 50 meters and flew back to the same place where it was perched with a dragon-fly stuffed into its beak.. The dragon-fly
was still alive. So,the little bird whacked its beak. Tak, tak, tak, tak, tak, fivetimes on either side on the branch where it was perched to kill the dragon-flyall in one motion… Was just wondering, why it whacked five times… Then I found that, in music a
rhythmic phrase always ends on the first beat of the next bar…Don’t we sing in a funeral? That’s what the Bee-eater did? Hmmmmm… Was that not the poor dragon-fly’s funeral?
Birds like Plain Wren, Atherton Scrub Wren, Carolina Wren and even Babblers; they spontaneously sing complicated rhythmic patterns like a seasoned jazz player... Most composers avoid composing on 5/8 rhythm because of its limitation and
the complications involved in the execution of a song in this rhythm...
But, I’ve heard a Rustic Bunting’s bird call from the Macaulay’s Library of Cornell’s lab of ornithology, sing in 5/8 rhythmic pattern… I felt so small in front of this small little bird when I heard that song… How it is possible for this
little bird to sing in this one of the most complicated rhythmic pattern so spontaneously?
Each individual of Oriental Magpie Robin can sing more than fifteen songs per individual and each one is different... Just imagine how much competition would be there to impress upon the females?
There are birds like the Malabar Whistling Thrush, which is considered as one of the best singers of the bird community… Bird call specialists say that you would mistake its singing for a human whistling a song… But, I personally feel that,
that statement shows human ego... If I sound arrogant, please forgive me for that, because, I personally feel that the song of the Malabar Whistling Thrush or any other bird on planet earth is ORIGINAL... NO COMPARISONS PLEASE… Each bird’s songs are special
and they know that too.. That is why birds never get jealous when others sing... Do they?
Researchers say that, if a bird doesn’t learn to sing early, the percentage of survival is minimized... This means Birds sings for survival… The mother bird feeds the chick which shouts the most first… So, the louder you sing the more
you eat… Imagine if the same rule applies for mankind, how many of us would still be alive?
Birds sing to attract their mate… A bird which sings the best gets the most attractive mate… If again, the same rule applies to us, scores of us still be bachelors isn’t it?
Remember, most of us prefer to sing in the bathroom rather than in the church! We sing for applause,name, fame and money. If we start applauding, each time a bird sings, I wonder if any bird could live near us, for they will fly away and
never venture to sing before a man again… But, Birds sing for the sheer joy of singing… When would we learn to live like them?
An African bird called the Slate colored Bou Bou has a sound which resembles the wood block, a percussion instrument, which originated from Africa… May be the Africans were inspired by he bird’s call… There are tales after tales that say
how man was inspired by nightingales and sparrows and cuckoos for their inspiring songs…
Birds never keep singing the same old songs all through their lives… To impress upon their mates they try to outwit their male subordinates by improvising their songs time and again... After all,female birds feel that, the males which sing
the most complicated songs are the ones which are capable of taking care of their families better… Is that why, great teachers like Socrates and Pythagoras taught music first before they taught mathematics and astronomy?
We stop teaching our kids with rhymes than music; and that too only till the kindergarten level… If only we had been singing all through our lives, this world would’ve been rid of jealousy, ego, hatred, terrorism and the list may go on and
on… If Osama Bin Laden had practiced music, he would’ve been a carrying a 4stringed Oudh - an Arabian stringed instrument plucked with the Quill of an Eagle’s feather, instead of an AK47…
Birds live in perfect harmony not only among themselves but also with the flow of nature… Once I heard a territorial call of an Indian bird called Common Iora. Each one was answering one an others territorial calls. They both were singing
similar phrase. Slowly, the calls turned a bit aggressive I thought; because, one was answering before the other could finish singing its phrase. At one particular point when one over lapped the other’s call, like what we call singing cannon in music, it turned
into a harmony. As a musician, I know it was perfect harmony. But, I don’t know if it was intentional or accident. All that I heard was perfect harmony. They are in harmony with time and season. Rain or shine, no matter what happens around them the birds are
able to sing.
A home or a street or a town or a city or a state or a country which encourages and practices music will live in PERFECT HARMONY... After all music is all about harmony and perfection of body, mind and soul…
It is because of us trying to move against the flow of nature that the world is facing severe biological catastrophe. If only we could learn to live in harmony with nature? This world would be the same as it was in the beginning.
It may be too late and too hard to live in harmony with nature right now. But, we can surely postpone the inevitable to a certain extent. This can happen only when we unite together in harmony and save earth so that they Birds can sing and sing and sing forever
and ever… Come on, rain or shine; let us all learn to sing like birds at all times and live in PERFECT HARMONY…
October 12, 2007
Elephants’ Fear Of Angry Bees Could Help To Protect Them
At a time when encroaching human development in former wildlife areas has compressed African elephants into ever smaller home ranges and increased levels of human-elephant conflict, a study in Current Biology, suggests that strategically placed beehives
might offer a low-tech elephant deterrent and conservation measure.
The researchers found that a significant majority of African elephants fled immediately after hearing the sound of bees, providing "strong support" for the idea that bees, and perhaps even their buzz alone, might keep elephants at bay. By contrast, the elephants
ignored a control recording of natural white-noise, the authors reported.
"We weren’t surprised that they responded to the threatening sound of disturbed bees, as elephants are intelligent animals that are intimately aware of their surroundings, but we were surprised at how quickly they responded to the sounds by running away,"
said Lucy King of the University of Oxford. "Almost half of our study herds started to move away within 10 seconds of the bee playback." King is also affiliated with Save the Elephants, a Kenya-based organization that aims to secure a future for elephants.
Earlier studies had suggested that elephants prefer to steer clear of bees. For instance, one report showed that elephant damage to acacia trees hosting occupied or empty beehives was significantly less than in trees without hives, the researchers said.
In Zimbabwe, scientists have also seen elephants forging new trails in an effort to avoid beehives.
This behavioral discovery suggests that bees might very well be a valuable addition to the toolbox of elephant deterrents used by farmers and conservation managers across Kenya, King said. She added that such innovative approaches are sorely needed "to avoid
extreme solutions such as shooting problem animals."
"But if we could use bees to reduce elephant crop raiding and tree destruction while at the same time enhancing local income through the sale of honey, this could be a significant and valuable step towards sustainable human-elephant coexistence."
August 19, 2007
Robert Shapiro rose to the top of Monsanto Corp. with a powerful vision for transforming the company from a chemical manufacturer to a life sciences company using genetic engineering to produce "Food,Health and Hope." His logic seemed impeccable: use science,
specifically genetics, to engineer plants that were resistant to disease, drought, and insects and that produced better yields per acre using less energy and pesticides. Monsanto spent millions of dollars developing the technology and several billion to acquire
the seed companies and distributors it needed to make Shapiro’s vision a reality. Wall street applauded Monsanto’s pioneering efforts. The stock price even rose after the company slashed its dividend to help cover its heavy spending.
Monsanto’s genetically engineered products were a hit with big American agricultural companies. The soybean, corn, cotton, and other seeds, while more expensive to purchase than unmodified seeds, fulfilled Monsanto’s promise of better yields. Cultivation
of genetically modified crops in the United States soared from 18 million acres in 1997 to 58 million acres in 1998. By the end of that year Monsanto was on a path to generate $10 billion in annual revenue from a pipeline of new products to be introduced over
the next few years.
Then the problems began. A farmer in Canada reported that some canola seeds, genetically modified to be pesticide resistant, had escaped and cross pollinated with a related type of weed on the fringes of his field, creating, in effect, a "super weed" that
couldn’t be controlled by existing pesticides. A rival seed company introduced genes from a from a Brazil nut into a soybean to make it more nutritious as animal feed. But soybeans are a big source of protein for human consumption too, and some people are
fatally allergic to Brazil nuts. The product never made it to the market, but news accounts speculating that modified soybeans could kill people allergic to Brazil nuts got plenty of attention. And then there was the Terminator gene. Monsanto bought a seed
company that had patented the technology to insert a gene in crops that effectively sterilized new seeds when the crop was harvested. The idea was to prevent farmers from saving the seeds from a portion of their crop to plant the next year, in effect, protecting
the seed company’s proprietary genetic modification technology. Farmers would have to buy new seeds each year.
Everything came to a head when Monsanto applied to sell its genetically modified seed in Europe. Europeans were already reeling from a decade of health scares related to food, including Britain’s terrifying encounter with "mad cow" disease. Although the
European Union’s regulators gave Monsanto permission to sell its modified products, consumer reaction on the Continent verged on hysteria. Environmental groups and the media led the charge against Monsanto, labeling its products "Frankenstein Foods". Prince
Charles weighed in with the opinion that "I happen to believe that this kind of genetic modification takes mankind into realms that belong to God, and to God alone." The German subsidiaries of both Nestle` and Unilever said they would not use Monsanto’s genetically
modified soybeans. Polls showed huge majorities of Europeans firmly against altered foods. Monsanto’s efforts to counter the critics-a $5million advertising campaign that told Europeans that while they were new to biotechnology, Monsanto has been researching
the subject for twenty years-instead inflamed public opinion as being condescending.
Shapiro wasn’t swayed by the furor. "This is the single most successful introduction of technology in the history of agriculture, including the plow," he proclaimed. He acknowledged the opposition, but contended that "eventually, scientific proof should
win over reluctant and skeptical consumers."
But science had never been the real issue. Public opinion was what counted. A consultant whom Monsanto brought in to mediate with the company’s growing number of critics gave up, claiming that Monsanto just didn’t get it. "There is a barrier to really
listening to what people are saying." he said of the company. In the United States, where small farmers were becoming increasingly incensed over Monsanto’s efforts to collect fees and put restrictions on their use of modified seeds, Agriculture Secretary
Dan Glickman got straight to the point, warning Shapiro to keep quiet because" every time he opens his mouth, U.S. agriculture loses millions more bushels of agriculture exports." Monsanto’s stock price fell 35 percent even as the overall market rallied 30
percent in 1999.
( Source Know-How by Ram Charan)
June 22, 2007
Delhi Cycling Club is organizing a bicycle rally India Gate-Red Fort at 7.AM 0n 24th June 2007
to create awareness about various benefits of cycling; Promote road safety amongst cyclists;and demand from the Government the much needed cycle
tracks on all main roads of Delhi.
DELHI CYCLING CLUB:
Formed by ITDP India in April 2007, Delhi Cycling Club is a forum of bicycle enthusiasts, health and environmental conscious citizens in
The club has been engaged in carrying out the following activities:
- Creating public awareness and sensitization
about the environmental, health, economic, energy and other benefits of bicycling.
- Educating various decision makers and stakeholders about the need and advantages of promoting cycling and NMT in our cities and integrating them with
other modes of transportation.
- Demanding fast implementation of better and safe cycling infrastructure in
Delhi from the Government.
- Planning regular traffic safety programmes for bicycle users in association with other NGOs and Traffic Police especially amongst the students and
factory workers who are more vulnerable to accidents.
- Planning and organizing regular bike trips on various themes
such as Heritage Biking, Excursion trip, adventure trips, and bike rallies etc.
The Initiative for Transportation and Development Programmes (ITDP India) is a Delhi based NGO involved in the research and advocacy of Bus Rapid Transit
System (BRT) cities and non motorized transportation. The organization is the
India chapter of
New York based Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). ITDP is dedicated to the promotion of transportation policies
and projects which are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable as well as equitable.
January 31, 2007
Maharashtra all set to induct women foresters
CHANDRAPUR: For 21-year-old Yogita Madavi, the steep climb of Tipagarh hills in the naxal-hit Gadchiroli last month was no mean feat. Physically challenged, this tribal girl wanted to prove a point. "My friends used to taunt by calling me a langdi. Every
time they did so, I got more determined to prove my mettle some day. And I think I’ve done it," she says.
Yogita is one of the 11 successful girls who were recruited by the Maharashtra Forest Department last April after a written and physical test. She and her co-mates literally walked into what was hitherto a male bastion. "We walked 16 km in four hours on
the trot to pass the physical test. All of us here passed the test at ease," the gutsy recruit says. “This is the first batch of women foresters in Maharashtra. And it’s doing very well,” said S P Wadaskar, principal of Rangers Training College. Though a
few other states have already recruited women cadres before, this is the first time in Maharashtra, he said. After a two-month training, the 11 women foresters would join work, the principal said.
Their responsibilities include everything from joint forest management to catching poachers and safeguarding wildlife. They have to lead separate teams of guards to monitor the depleting jungle wealth.
Three of the 11 female recruits are married. Motivated by their husbands, all of them decided to join the department as foresters post-marriage. "It was my husband who motivated me to go for the test," said Seema Sherki nee Gore.
Last year, the forest department received 47,000 applications, including 7,000-odd from female aspirants for 36 vacant posts. Of them, 36,000 got short-listed for the preliminary examination.
About 520 got through for the mains, and finally only 33, including 11 women were selected, Wadaskar said. Amrapali Khobragade, one of the women recruits, says: "We are no less than men. And we are extremely anxious to prove that women can work even harder
than men. This was, perhaps, the only field without women. There is no field left now where women haven’t countered risks and challenges successfully."
Source: DNA, January 21, 2007
November 28, 2006
Dr. JA McNeely, Chief Scientist, IUCN (World Conservation Union), will be speaking on "Ecological Security:The Foundation of Sustainable Development" at the India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi, on 16 December 2006 at 5 pm.
All those interested are welcome to attend.
The IUCN is the world's oldest and largest organization devoted to conservation of nature and natural resources and its scientific and technical expertise is valued by the UN agencies and others the world over.
Read about endangered/extinct wildlife at
May 09, 2006
Although dogs do not come into the catagories of wild animal except the dholes, but infact we have more than 38 rare breeds in our country. When I say rare indian breed dogs I do not consider 1947 partition as thin redline; when I define rare indian breed
I take pakistan and burma also into it.
Some rare breeds are rampuri, laholi, rajapallayam, carvani, bully etc. I would love to share my knowledge with all those who are interested in rare indian breed dogs. I myself am trying to save these breeds and I am also looking forward to meet people who
want to come forward and save these breeds. People can contact me at
July 08, 2005
Leopards are normally yellowish or mustard colored with black rosettes as markings.But in Mysore Zoo there is a leopard which is light yellowish gold color with brown rosettes.There are black panthers too, but this one with brown rosettes ans pinkish lips
and nose is a rarity.I have photographed the leopard.
Jason Anthony Fisher
May 15, 2005
I have some questions about Lions and Tigers in India and they are listed in the any other topic already as a blog. I hope someone can answer these for me. Thanks, jason
May 14, 2005
IN THE TROPIC LEVEL THE CREATURES HAVING NO PREDATORS ARE VULTURES, EAGLES, TIGERS, LIONS ETC. BUT IN RECENT DAYS A SEPERATE POWERFUL NEW ORDER OF PREDATORS (CRUELVORES) EVOLVED, NO NEED TO THINK, YES IT IS NON OTHER THAN WE, HUMANS.
DUE TO IRREGULAR DUTIES AND SHAMEFULL ACTIVITIES OF MANY WILD LIFE OFFICIALS THE POPULATION OF TIGERS, LEPOARDS AND OTHER ANIMALS HAVE GONE INTO TERRIBLE EXTINCTION IN RECENT YEARS. UNLESS GOVERNMENT IISSUES SEVERE POSES ON POACHERS AND UGLY OFFICIALS, INDIA
IS GOING TO LOSE ITS VALUBLE WEALTH WHICH CAN NOT BE RETURNED AGAIN BY NONE OF US.