MAGPIES OF LADAKH

I hope you have been reading the previous blogs ( BREATHLESS LEH, LEAFLESS POPLARS and HIMALAYAN ICE)  as there is a connectivity between them you will enjoy discovering.

Besides the above ,do checkout FROZEN at http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com.

When I first set foot in Leh and saw the Leafless Sentinel like Poplars, I wondered if any birds would survive the sub zero temperatures in Ladakh.

However I first spotted a solitary Eurasian Magpie ( English) , Pica pica bactriana ( Scientific name) perched on a Leafless Poplar ( pic in the blog thus titled)  within the Hotel compound itself.

Thereafter this rather large Magpie was sighted with regularity all across Leh and the surrounding regions I visited.

The interesting sequence that follows was photographed after the acclimatization period was complied with and I set foot outside the Hotel complex.

The Large Black and White Eurasian Magpie was perched on a roof and attentively watched a small herd of 3 cows pass by on the alley below.( see featured image and the one below) .

As the Ladhaki Magpie changed  position, the plumage transformed into a Glorious and Iridescent myriad of Blue and Green . Have a look in the picture below and compare it to the the featured image above.

shimmering plummage
TRANSFORMED PLUMMAGE

The Crow Like Bactrian Magpie lands onto the Ice and Snow at Ground level close to a foraging Himalayan Cow.

See how it  cleverly balances itself and prevents itself from skidding on the Frozen Surface.

food on the ground
Landing on ICE at Ground Level

The highly intelligent Eurasian Magpie ( IQ levels match that of a chimpanzee) had spotted Food and chisels away the Ice to reach the targeted morsels.

snow and magpie
TWO MIGHTY BLOWS

The Magpie is Lucky to find Food in the Icy Cold Winters of Ladakh.

It belongs to the Crow Family Corvidae and  I thought the Magpie was a Treepie as it looked so similar to the native Rufous Treepie ( Dendrocitta vagabunda)  we see in many parts of the Indian Subcontinent.

food in beak
PAYDIRT AS THE MAGPIE GETS LUCKY

The larger picture, One of the three cows that the magpie had watched attentively.

cow slurps
THE COW SLURPS WITH ENVY

My hands were frozen while taking the pictures above despite the Sky Blue Skies and Bright Sunshine.

A lot of effort does go  into keeping everyone who reads these blogs ENCHANTED.

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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.

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