A soft, mild, short and cute calling “pseeep” attracts every bird and nature lover. And if you are one of those, if you hear that pleasant call around you, just turn around in the direction of the sound and closely observe. There you are! You find a beautiful red coloured creature with white spots on its black wings, lower belly and eye, and a red beak, round the black tail. It is a male Red-Avadavat, Red-Munia or Strawberry Finch, which is a sparrow-sized bird. The females have white on the chest region and white spots on dull coloured feathers.
If you feel happy and start walking towards it slowly, it will spot you and fly away with rapid beats of its wings and land on grass clumps where they are hard to find. Red Avadavats are found in the open field and grasslands, tall grasses or crops, often near water. The male and female stay together during the breeding season and build their nest. They breed there and leave a scent to identify and also, in a way, to reserve the place.
They spend 10-15 days building their nest and the female lays 4-5 eggs in a season. The male collects feathers as a cushion for the hatchlings and later, as the time comes for the offspring to come out of the eggs, the male and female collect small pieces of coal to maintain the temperature and absorb moisture. They feed mainly on seeds and few insects when they are available for about 10-15 days. After this, the baby birds are ready to fly.
Article and photo by Anirudha B S
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