Soaring wings of Ramanagara – Long Billed Vulture…

Rain lashed the city through out the night; our birding activity planned early morning was sinking. The long lasting dream of photographing long-billed vultures had not yet materialized. Keeping our fingers crossed we hoped the rains would take shelter elsewhere.

And surely enough, next morning there was no sight of rain promising the very climate we had hoped for. Wildlife odyssey started towards Ramanagara at 5.30 am.

An hour’s drive from home took us to Ramanagara. After scanning the area for the perfect habitat of LBV’s we started heading towards the identified cliff. A resident of the place helped us in spotting the LBV’s. We approached the cliff to get a better view of the critically endangered bird.

Courtesy: Wikipedia The Indian vulture scientifically entitled as Gyps Insicus is an old world vulture and is closely related to the Griffon. It breeds mainly on crags of central and peninsula India. LBV’s are scavengers feeding mostly on carcasses of dead animals. They often move in flocks.
The long-billed vulture is a typical vulture with a bald head, very broad wings and short tail feathers. It usually weighs between 5.5 – 6.3kg and measuring 80 – 100 cm long and 205-229cm across the wings.

Just below the cliff we settled down on a huge boulder making sure the birds would not be disturbed by our presence. We could spot 6-7 vultures resting on the rock waiting for the sun to pop out of the clouds to start its activity.

As the sun appeared beyond the clouds, the vultures stirred marking the start of the day…. Few vultures took flight around the cliff and returned after few minutes scanning the area for their prey. The vultures paired into two’s and occupied different locations on the cliff. We were lucky in witnessing the courtship of the LBV’s

The day turned out to be sunny and the vultures scurried away from the cliff. We had already spent 2 hours observing the habitat and the activity of the LBV’s. In anticipation that the birds would return to its habitat we spent another 45 mins. The time was 9.30 am when we finally decided to wrap up from the place.

Our next destination on our list was to visit Sri Rama temple situated 1 km from the foothill.

The temple is situated in the serene calmness of Mother Nature. One should take the flight of ~400 steps to reach the temple premises.

After visiting the temple, we started our way back home. En route we stopped at the famous shiva’s thatte idli at Bidadi, had a stomach filling breakfast and returned home with contended feeling. What a way to start a weekend!!!!!!!!!!

Long Live – LONG BILLED VULTURES!!!