Sunday, March 14, 2010

Parental bonding - Parenting in animal world - Part III

This incident happened when we were in our previous house. Our kitchen balcony faced a lush, picturesque garden of our neighbour. Early in the morning it was a pleasure to hear and see a variety of birds chirping and hopping. The koels, the mynahs, parrots, eagles, pigeons, robins and many other variety of birds whose names I do not know. This was "Me Time". Ideal for peace of mind before facing the rush hour of the day.

That day things were quite as usual save for the symphony of my birds. All of a sudden I heard a loud cacophony and when it persisted for a long time I went out into the balcony to see what it was all about.

Overhead I saw two mynahs hovering back and forth making loud noises. Just then I saw an eagle swooping and I knew. As I watched with bated breath I saw the two mynahs bravely trying to fend the eagle who was determinedly swooping towards the tree and trying to wrest the newly hatched mynah chicks from the nest. For almost five to ten minutes the mother and father mynahs bravely put up a fight with the eagle. As soon as the eagle got too close to the tree they both would drive it away. One mynah I thought must be the mother would be close to the tree trying its best to protect her young ones and I guess the other the father mynah would trail the eagle and both together would drive it away the moment it was close to the nest.

The eagle however would not easily give up. It too flew dodging the mynahs and giving war cries. I prayed that the mynahs would somehow be able to save their chicks. But who can put up a fight with such a strong predator? Then all of a sudden I heard such wrenching cries from the mynahs and I knew it was all over. With tears in my eyes I heard the mourning cries of the parents who were circling over the tree and flying back and forth over and over again. For the rest of my life I knew I would always remember this heart wrenching scene. It was almost an hour before the mynahs stopped their cries and flew away.

I realised how strong a bond exists among the parents and their babies irrespective of whether they belong to plant kingdom or animal kingdom. Emotions remain forever the same, don't they?

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