Hornbills, Pink Headed Ducks, Swiftlets

Last year, I attended Hornbill Festival which was held in Pune-unique one in the theme and the purpose. Pune is city of festivals, so much so that we sometimes mock it and hate it. But this one caught my attention as this was one of the first festivals centered around a bird. Hornbill is a hefty, colorful bird, which is one of the endangered birds. In effort to recognize and spread awareness about saving this bird, the festival had arranged for various programs including lectures.


Apart from sessions, Amruta Rane who is researcher on hornbills in north east region of India, it invited Naga locals who are part of this effort now(converted from hunters to saviors)

I went down the memory lane where I recalled reading a story in Marathi about another endangered bird Pink Headed Duck natively called गुलाबी सिर. One my acquaintances Santosh Shintre, had sent me draft version of his Marathi story around this endangered bird of the same region(ie. north eastern India) named Pink Headed Duck. Santosh, himself, expert on environment related issues and his writings about those subjects. The story was gripping and it depicted the the honesty and passion towards saving nature, endangered birds such as Pink Headed Duck. Shintre provides vivid details of forest in the north east region such as Arunachal Pradesh and bordering area with Myanmar. The story is about couple of researchers who are on the mission of saving Pink Headed Duck from getting extinct. The power game, politics of research organizations is also portrayed in the due course. The duck and their younger ones were popular in western countries for their beauty, rather than their meat taste. They were nabbed, taken away and exported in large numbers, making them seriously endangered. This story in Marathi by Santosh Shintre is about honesty and commitment of these researchers who save these pretty ducks from the hands of poachers. Very beautiful and authentic details.

I also remember reading about project by some environment related group thrashed out illegal activity involving smuggling of swiftlets and their nests from Vengurla rocks off coastal Maharashtra down south. These nests are edible nests popular in western countries, and were exported/smuggled illegally, basically causing threat to the population of these birds.

Such events, stories and activities by various individuals, nature conservation groups, are helping the society and nature in general, to save it, safe guard it and let it grow.


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