I See You!

On a fine morning blessed with clear blue skies, about three weeks back, a pandemonium of Rose-ringed Parakeets (Psittacula krameri) descended upon our neighbourhood in all their emerald glory. Swinging on the high-strung cables, our broadband lifeline, the five females and two males started putting in a regular appearance – thrice a day – since then. The shrieking frenzy with their squawking calls created quite a bedlam – a ruckus to the uninitiated, but sweet music to the ornithophile!

Straightaway they upped their nuisance value; poking their large, red, curved beaks into other birds’ businesses – teasing the Common Mynas by scratching at their nests, diving after the pigeons and ruffling the crows’ tail feathers. Only the sparrows were spared – probably as a pity at their petty presence – who took it as a sign of accommodation and began shadowing their newly found, self-anointed big brothers, matching step for step, with reverence and awe.

The only, and serious, unease for the sparrows as well as me was the bird-feeder. The sparrows weren’t in the mood to share their favourite foxtail millet seeds (unaware that the parakeets did not care two bits for these) and I couldn’t replace – or God forbid, mix – these with pearl millet which the parakeets loved! So the ideal solution was found in the procurement of two new feeders for the visiting viridescents – one outside the living room and other the bedroom – filled with crunchy, nutty, pearl millet, and a melange of green chilies and assorted fruit thrown in. And they came – feasting with delight on the goodies!

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But little did I know that my troubles were just beginning; for these birds were one cautious lot, more than the sparrows or for that matter any other bird I have fed. How do I chronicle without photographs and how do I photograph those who skitter at the sight of a shadow? Concealing behind curtains with lens pointing, hiding behind corners with only the camera peeping, lying prone flat on the ground under the curtains – nothing worked!

Finally I resigned to the truth that there were no shortcuts to triumph this time, and started off on a familiarisation program. Sitting in plain view of the parakeets, but behind a closed window pane screened by a netting, I could see them gaze cautiously at an ogling me while pecking at their food tentatively. After two weeks of a tenacious struggle, their pecking became more definite while I graduated to only the window pane separating me and the objects of my desire.

And thus stands the situation at present, which the photograph sums up perfectly – suspicious, questioning, vigilant, hesitant, cautious… I see you!

– Narendra Nayak © 2019

22 thoughts on “I See You!

  1. Wow! They finally accepted you, even though a little suspiciously. And you didn’t give them much choice here. Who would want to miss out on a sumptuous meal laid out so neatly just for the sake of a pair of prying eyes! Love the featured photo, it goes perfectly with the story 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha… I’m not absolved of my nefarious intentions yet, and rightly so from their outlook! 😄 But yes, the odds are improving – only this morning there were 4 of them pecking away blissfully!
      And thank you, Neelanjana, for following along diligently where my birds lead to! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We have monk parakeets here: a small green parrot that was imported into the country “somehow.” They thrive here, building huge colonial nests in palms and power transmission towers. When you described the sounds and habits of these, I laughed. Your description would fit our birds, too — pandemonium is just right. The photos are delicious. I’ve never been able to get a photo of ours, because they’re also cautious. Still, they’re fun to see in the air.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aha… I’ve heard of monk parakeets and seen them in some documentary long back. I find them cute with their green and white, and pudgy appearance. Yes, I guess parrots/parakeets are quite a mart lot and a welcome challenge to photography. 🙂
      Thank you, Ma’am, for reading, and sharing your experience!

      Like

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