Sunday, August 18, 2013

8 Most Common Wildlife in Urban North India

Well, of my neighborhood in Gurgaon at least.

I was outside doing laundry and realized it'd be great fun to do a blog post showing you the wildlife I encounter on a daily basis. All these pictures were taken from my balcony, within a forty-five minute time span (earlier today.)

In no particular order:

#1- The Cow

A daily sight. They don't just come in white either, and sometimes their horns are way bigger.

#2 The Desi Dog

the dog days of... the monsoon season. "Desi" by the way is a word that basically means Indian, so basically here a "desi dog" means a street dog. Sadly, they are not considered as worthy of being pets as pedigrees and are rarely adopted. 

#3 The Ever Present Pigeon

Ah pigeons... irritatingly, I have some roosting in my shaft (a little open air room we have off the bedroom for ventilation.)

Did I mention ever present? Haha.

#4 The Raven/Crow

The whole time I was out there I could hear the raven/crows but I couldn't see one, then this one appeared but my first shots were awful... until he jumped on this cow so there was a nice neutral backdrop. I say "raven/crow" because I thought they were definitely crows, due to the cawing they do, but then I saw a stylized picture of Edgar Allen Poe with a bird just like this: same gray band on the neck. So that makes me think maybe this is a raven? Regardless, these guys are the boldest of the wildlife, and often time seem like they're trying to chase me off my balcony (though it's a game of chicken they always lose.) I was disappointed I couldn't get a better shot for you, because they are seriously daily visitors to my balcony.

#5 The Lizard

This little cutie lives behind my washing machine, which is on my balcony. He's always there when I look, no fail. He used to be more green and smaller, but he's obviously been growing up. Most of the house lizards you see are half his size or smaller-- I've seen plenty of babies. He's probably at least 7 inches long. We used to get them inside all the time... but then we got the cats. A week or two after they arrived, Vex yanked the tale off one... and we've barely seen a lizard since. I'm not sure if the cats are catching them and eating them before I see them, or if the lizards somehow can tell each other "stay out of there, a predator lives there."

#6 The Striped Squirrel

Okay, I realize the backdrop is not so pretty (there's no anti-litter laws here) do you see the squirrel by the yellow bag? They are the shape of tree squirrels back home in America, but have the strips of chipmunks (ground squirrels in America.)
Another look at a squirrel, see how prominent the stripe is? (He's in the tangle of wires. And yes, some of those wires come to my building. Haha.)

#7 This Bird

I have no idea what kind of birds these are, but they were out today. Unfortunately I couldn't photograph the most noticeable thing about them, which is that they have a stripe of white on their wings, like mockingbirds in America. You only see this when they fly though, and though I tried, I wasn't able to capture them on film in flight. Otherwise they are mainly chocolate brown, which darker heads and wing tips, yellow beaks, and orange around the eyes.
Maybe a better view? Sorry guys, wish I had gotten a nicer shot.

#8 This Other Bird

I like this little guy. He's a normal, sparrow/songbird sized (the ravens and pigeons are huge) and he makes me smile. This one is a nice golden tan, see it a little more than halfway up, next to the pole?

Not all of them are that golden color, most I've seen are tan/gray, like the one at the bottom. See, in this photo, the tan one is near the white line on the pole, and the gray/tan one is near the bottom of the photo, on the wire slightly left of center? (And if you look closely you can also see our friend Mr. Striped Squirrel) I'm guessing the golden or gray/tan variety has to do with gender, as with most birds the boys are flashier. 

here is another of the gray/tan ones
So that's our tour of the wildlife I saw off my balcony today... and really, aside from insects, is pretty much all the wildlife I see on a daily basis. I do occasionally see something else here, like a peacock or a monkey, but never in my neighborhood and rare at that.

Non-Indian readers, any surprises? Indian readers, any thoughts on common wildlife near you?


  1. That's quite a bit of wildlife to spot on a daily basis! When I lived in Malaysia, we frequently saw a lot of monkeys and larger lizards...we had the random cows in the road, too!

    The Random Writings of Rachel


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