Academic Writing and Research.
New Birds on the Block.
One of the great pleasures of living on Earth is enjoying the great diversity of animal and plant life. Numerous kinds of flora and fauna populate this planet. It is a task of great difficulty to become familiar with even a fraction of those that live on the Earth, in fact in our own neighbourhood. However, sometimes I am foolish enough to think that I have seen every plant and critter that lives in or wanders through Mumbai, where I call home. This misconception is soon dispelled when I see a wildflower or an insect I had never noticed. In short, there are too many different plants and animals on Earth for any one person to learn them all in a lifetime.
Last year, during spring season I was sitting on the back porch, reading a book and listening to music. It was a very bright and a pleasant day in August before the harsh and heavy rains had settled down. Suddenly, I noticed a faint twittering sound in the Mango tree about ten feet away. Looking up, I saw a miniature mocking bird perched on one of the upper branches. It was a charming little fellow with blue-black feathers on its wings and back, a white breast, and a noticeable white ring around each of its black eyes. The colour on its wings was a bit darker than on its head and back and became so dark on the tail feathers that they looked all black. Outlined with white, these dark tail feathers were as long as the rest of his body.
Unlike the mocking bird that it resembled, its bird song was much more limited, and the tone was much quieter than the average loud-mouthed mocking bird that can string together a dozen different melodies in short order. Anyway, this mystery bird was targeting a black bug that was innocently minding its own business on a white coloured flower Jasmine. The bug, a small beetle, had not really put itself into danger until it crawled out of the flower and sat on the...