May 25, 2012

The Brain-fever bird

It's 3 am. It's frightfully warm inside; the doors and windows are shut to keep the mosquitoes outside. You can almost hear them knock. It is cool outside, they're bar-hopping, and would love some house-warmth and a pint of warm blood. Finally, the heat gets to all of us, the baby most of all, and I open the balcony door to let in the assassins and the cool breeze.

Soon, the baby gives her discontent a rest, allowing the night sounds to be heard. I hear it: it's a three-note phrase. Where have I heard it before? In a quiz. Didn't I ask a question on this?. Ah, how appropriate: it's the brain-fever bird.

The bird is so termed because of its distinctive call - listen to it and you can be easily persuaded into believing it's chanting brain fever", "brain fever", "brain fever". Aptly, for one with such a febrile name, the chant becomes more and more urgent, rushed, and high-pitched.

"Brain-fever Bird" is much more evocative than "Common Hawk Cuckoo", you will agree. It's also very easy to notice, once you've heard the call. You can prepare yourself by listening to this:

Yes, Vani Jayaram was not this monotonous in "Guddi":

They say that you can't find birds in cities anymore, but we've seen a lot of birds around us. With the help of a good book (like this one), some binoculars, and by the simple expedient of keeping your eyes and ears open, you'll be surprised what you can spot in the nearby tree (that's assuming, you have one handy).

No comments: