City Nature – Homeward-Bound Birds, Central Delhi
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Gazing upon thousands of birds returning to their evening nests sounds like a fine countryside experience. But in fact, it happens right here in Delhi.
Our smoggy metropolis is probably home to hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of our feathered friends. Even so, it’s well-nigh impossible to spot them flying home unless you know where to park yourself.
One good option is to turn up around 7 pm on that stretch of Subramania Bharati Road going past Rabindra Nagar in central Delhi. At this hour the sun has already set; and when you lift your head skywards you’ll almost certainly spot troupes of birds flying in all directions. Some in bunches of dozens, while others in small packs of just four or five.
Of course you can spot flying birds almost anywhere in Delhi. But! Here you’ll actually see them settling into their tree nests for the night. Look carefully towards the trees and you are sure to spot the nests. These nocturnal homes tend to be located in the upper branches, where the birds, slowing in mid-flight, now descend softly onto their straw abodes.
It’s quite simply a sight rarely encountered by the inhabitants of big cities. By personally witnessing the homecoming of aviary souls, one better understands we city dwellers live in a parallel world not simply inhabited by interesting creatures like ourselves.
A parallel world… hidden in plain sight