Lifescapes Gallery

8 / Feb / 2012
The Tippler’s Hangout!
Vernal Hanging Parrot, Coorg Photograph: Dr. Bishan Monappa Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

The Tippler’s Hangout!

There aren’t too many places where junior citizens can wet their beaks, but if you’re suitably small (preferably below 14 cm, like those check-in baggage specs at airports), decked out in green with a crimson or orange tail-piece, and are spiffily turned out with a formal blue scarf (dress code for guys only; the broads don’t need the blue bib), you’ll have no problem gaining admission to the myriad hangouts in Coorg. If you’ve ticked all the descriptive boxes above, there’s no way you can be anybody but a Vernal Hanging Parrot, known to friends as a Lorikeet. Strictly speaking, this is India’s only parrot species, with all the others being parakeets, and that’s an accomplishment that deserves a toast. Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ve ever swilled a tot of toddy, raise your glasses, for the hero of this piece is a connoisseur of that particular beverage. While hunting for their favourite fruit or berry, Lorikeets are known to furtively dip into any pot of toddy left unattended by the palm tree tappers. They then move on innocently to their mocktail of fruit juice and nectar, but the game is up shortly: often the time it takes the toddy to get to work, and the net result is a happily inebriated bird that staggers along and keeps repeating himself in a slurred warble to anybody who’ll listen. When sober, though, these birds are very shy and rarely seen. Vernal Hanging Parrots, for the uninitiated, have earned their name because they live life hanging onto trees, and even go to sleep hanging upside down. They rarely fly, preferring to use their beaks for climbing up the tree, where they reside as a small happy troop, within sight of their favourite fruits and the occasional palm flavoured manna from heaven.

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 6:49 am and is filed under Birds, Coorg . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. Thimmaiah.M.T says:

    Awesome Picture with details thank you Bishan & Rajesh

  2. Mathew George says:

    This is absolutely Fantastic !!TFS!!!

  3. Sushovan Chowdhury says:

    Awesome Picture!

  4. Joseph John says:

    Fantastic initiative. Excellent, enjoyable reading matter in
    each of your newsletters. BRAVO! Keep it up!!

  5. s rajagopal says:

    The pictures are amazing , to say the least. The text is entertaining and informative in an unobtrusive way.

  6. Diwakaran Nair says:

    Ahhh I’d love to use this parrot to fetch me my daily drink….amazing picture and wonderfully captured in words. Keep it coming!

  7. Sameer R Rao says:

    Outstanding image of this bird with a beautiful perch

  8. Kannan.K.V. says:

    Amazing fact that the bird likes to drink toddy! Beautiful picture of the parrot and the flower which is closeby as well. Very well done Dr.Monappa.

  9. Sujit says:

    Brilliant again! Still trying to figure out which does more justice to the other; pic to text or vice versa! Hic to that!!!

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