The following points highlight the top twelve types of flying birds found in India. The types are: 1. The Great Indian Bustard 2. Eudynamis 3. Corvus 4. Psittacula 5. Anas 6. Columba livia 7. Gallus Gallus 8. Neophron 9. Tyto 10. Milvus 11. Buhulcus Ibis 12. Pavo Cristatus.
Type # 1. The Great Indian Bustard (Choriotis Nigriceps):
It is an inhabitant of the semi-arid areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Hunting for its flesh has reduced its population. It is highly endangered bird. It is the state bird of Rajasthan.
Type # 2. Eudynamis (Koel, Kokila):
The male sounds like kuoo-kuoo-kuoo. The female is generally heard during breeding season and has a short and sharp call kik-kik-kik, otherwise she is mostly silent. It does not make any nest but lays eggs in the crow s nest. In this way koel is nest parasitic. Male is black. Female is brown and profusely spotted and barred with white. Koel is known as the Indian Nightingale because of its pleasant call.
Type # 3. Corvus (Crow):
It is omnivorous. The female is usually smaller than the male. Some koels place their eggs in the nests of crow for incubation. Thus, the young ones of the koels are also fed by the crow, the foster mother. It eats locusts and other injurious insects but also raids ripening crops like wheat, maize, fruits, etc..
Type # 4. Psittacula (Parrot):
The upper beak (mandible) is curved and movable, while the lower beak is fixed. It is an interesting pet, as it imitates human speech. It carries the germs of the disease called psittacosis, which can be fatal to persons who come in contact with them.
Type # 5. Anas (Duck):
It is well adapted for swimming. It eats mosquito larvae, small fishes, grains and vegetables. Male duck (drake) bears a characteristic copulatory organ. It has great economic importance as it destroys mosquito larvae. Its eggs and flesh are eaten.
Type # 6. Columba livia (Pigeon):
Pigeons are gregarious, omnivorous. The cavity of the gizzard of the pigeon always contains small pieces of stones and bricks swallowed by the bird. These pieces of stones and bricks help the gizzard in grinding up the food. The pigeons are monogamous.
The young ones are fed upon by both male and female on ‘pigeon milk’. The pigeon milk is creamy fluid secreted by the crop of both male and female pigeons, especially during the breeding season. Being a grain eating bird, it harms our crops to some extent. Its faecal pellets are a good manure.
Type # 7. Gallus Gallus (Red Jungle Fowl):
A single cock lives in the company of several hens. They exhibit sexual dimorphism. Fowl (common word for cock and hen) provides good food for human beings. Their eggs have good food value and are hence commonly eaten by men.
Type # 8. Neophron (Vulture):
It flies very high in the sky for hours together. It acts as a natural scavenger. It makes its nests on the top of the trees. Parental care is offered by either sex. It is called “gidh” in Hindi.
Type # 9. Tyto (Barn Owl):
It is nocturnal bird. Owls also emit a loud hiss much like that of a large snake such as cobra. Owls have remarkable sharp hearing power and a keen eye sight. Owls are useful to farmers as they feed on rodents (rats, mice, etc.) which destroy the crops. It is called “ullu” in Hindi.
Type # 10. Milvus (Kite):
It is a true scavenger. It feeds largely on flesh. Its beak is so made that the bird can tear flesh into pieces. The upper jaw is longer than the lower and is bent down. The kites are destructive to chicks, young turkeys and ducklings. Otherwise they seem to be beneficial to human beings. It is called “Cheel” in Hindi.
Type # 11. Buhulcus Ibis (Cattleegret, ‘Bogla’):
It is called the cattle-egret because it is very fond of walking along cattle while they are grazing. Egret makes its nest in colony mostly in the tall trees. The egrets seem to be very beneficial and true friends of farmers as they destroy many insect pests from their fields.
Type # 12. Pavo Cristatus (Peacock):
It is polygamous. Usually one male lives in the company of four or five females. Before copulation male exhibits sexual display. Male has the bright blue neck, breast and long beautiful tail. Indian peacock is the National Bird of India. It is called ‘mor’ in Hindi.