THE FEAST

The villagers of Kichan, Rajasthan and in particular Sewa Ram lay out an incredible feast  daily for their Winter Guests. ( do check my previous blog).

The guest are no other than thousands of  delicate and dainty Demoiselle Cranes or Khurja.

An enclosed area in the village  is marked as the FEEDING HOME FOR BIRDS. Sewa Ram lays out multiple rows of Jowar ( Pearl Millet) daily  for his guests.

The picture below was taken from Sewa Ram’s terrace  and shows the Dining Area and the meticulously laid out Feast ( the fawn coloured Jowar seeds).

You can see the skies turn grey in the background as waves of Demoiselle Cranes approach the Feeding centre ( Dining Area ).

bird feeding centre
The Feast for the Demoiselle Cranes

In an incredible and amazing show of  disciple and Social Order , the Cranes assemble OUTSIDE this enclosure in thousands.

The cranes arrive in waves in thousands and settle in a vast area between the Dining Area and the hillocks behind.( see the picture below)

NOT ONE crane steps into the feeding area or flies into this area demarcated for their Feast every morning.

birds remain outside the feeding area
Thousands assemble OUTSIDE the Dining Room

A couple of Inspectors or Leaders descend into the Dining Area after a careful aerial survey.

Only one of them checks the Jowar Seeds to ensure it meets Health  standards whereas the rest scan the area for possible intruders/predators.

the inspectors
The Inspectors secure the area

After an inspection the feast is declared Open and the first wave of Demoiselle Cranes flies into the Dining Area.

They divide themselves into two clear distinct groups, one group lines up and eats whereas the Spotters or Body guards keep a careful watch all around.

the systematic line up
Plunging into the Feast as another set keeps a watch

It takes one flock of cranes close to 15 minutes to have a good tuck in.

Extremely particular  they prefer the fawn coloured Jowar over the greenish Bajra ( another millet).

They then leave in the same order they had arrived and are quickly  replaced by another flock which was waiting outside the Dining Area.

ready to fly after 15 minutes

Signalling the time to leave has come

It was indeed amazing to note the that the Cranes arrived punctually around 0900 hours and all left by 1130 daily.

Sewa Ram and his family  have meticulously maintained records from 1983 when his father made the enclosure or Bird Feeding Centre to keep cattle and dogs away.

The only variation observed was on the days it was cloudy. As it had rained a day before I reached the Cranes chose to skip the Feast till the Sun emerged from the clouds at 1200 hrs.

It was amazing to note the direction they took to  arrive at the  Feeding Centre and when they left were perfectly synchronized.

a few feet above ground level
Superb alignments in flights

I could spend days observing  this MIRACLE OF NATURE unfold before my eyes.

I have one but regret that I did not spend more time observing their  disciplined behavior.

Farewell my feathered friends.

 

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Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

27 thoughts on “THE FEAST”

  1. Mukul, I have witness it in person and I am impressed with their synchronous and orderly flying &landing! all you can hear over their is their noise, its so overpowering with thousands of birds all around!

    Liked by 1 person

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