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The Cattle Egrets And The Copper Pod Trees… Part 3

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by GeetaKashyap, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 1 & 2: The Cattle Egrets And The Copper Pod Trees

    When The Tragedy Struck…


    The events that happened between 11 June 2017 to 21 June 2017



    [​IMG]
    Sparse canopies after hacking.


    Difficulties began for the two protagonists of my story on 11th June 2017 when the municipality workers came on their biannual tree hacking routine. Mercilessly and unscientifically they chopped many branches of the trees in our area including that of our protagonist, the Copper pod tree. I was very upset, but this has been a yearly routine. I was tired of instructing them, year after year, to be careful and judicious. So I ignored them this time but after their tree-chopping spree, I was aghast looking at the mindless way they had reduced these thick foliage covered trees into scantily covered skeletons! Heaps of their branches were all over the road. When I looked up, our Cattle Egret nest was perched on a tall, slender trunk. I was very uncomfortable looking at their precarious nests. But there was little I could do for them.

    [​IMG]
    The fallen tree trunk.


    On 12th June 2017 evening, when suddenly heavy rain lashed the city accompanied by gusty winds, thunder and lightning, at around 08:40 pm the branch which housed one of the Egret nest broke and fell to the ground. The tip of the branch landed on the ground with a huge thud, missing a car with two passengers by a whisker! Even as we rushed out in shock, one egret chick and a crow came out of the fallen trunk foliage and flew away to safety. When I looked up instinctively, I could spot one chick grappling to get hold of the branches. I thought he would be okay and went into the house. But within a minute my son called out to me saying that the chick had fallen down and was struggling on the road. I could spot this little fellow frightened and limping on the ground. He had slipped from a height of 50 odd feet! Immediately my son rushed to the street without caring for the rain and my husband also followed him. The little chick was so frightened that he was trying to hide under a parked car. With a lot of effort, they rescued the chick from under that parked car and brought it into the house. The little noisy chick was absolutely silent and shivering. We settled him in the dark corner of the balcony and then called the Fire Brigade office.

    [​IMG]
    The shivering injured Egret chick.


    By about 9:30 pm the Police jeep arrived and then the Fire-Engine. They pulled down the fallen tree trunk and cleared the road by 10:10 pm.

    In the meantime, our chick left the basket and settled behind the old newspapers and later he made himself comfortable on the unused bicycle in the balcony. Since it was still raining and the chick was very frightened, we allowed him to rest peacefully. He was still limping a bit and spreading his wings occasionally; probably he was in pain!

    [​IMG]
    Can a bicycle compensate for the tree trunk?


    Through the night, we discretely watched him at intervals and he was quiet and still. But by 6:30 am he was restless and started trying to get out through the grills of the balcony. So we left him out on the wall, hoping he would manage to get back to the treetop or his parents or siblings would find him and so on. To our dismay, we found that our chick could hardly fly and he limped on his left leg!

    [​IMG]
    The chick limping on the wall, unable to fly.

    After a while, when the tree hackers came to clean up the branches, I could not hold myself back from an argument with them. Refusing to put the chick back on the tree they tried to ignore me. I was just successful in stopping them from hacking mercilessly yet another tree. (a magnificent Raintree, this time)

    By the time I returned, the little chick had disappeared. I hoped and prayed that it found its parents or managed to get on the tree! The next day, the chick we rescued had reached its nest! I spotted two chicks back in the neighbouring nest and one chick was repeatedly preening its left wing area!!!!!! This had to be the chick we rescued and as the canopies were sparse, we could spot many more nests and chicks, at least six of them! And yet another good news was that we spotted a new bird too. From our Google search, we found that it was a 'Black-crowned night heron'!

    ************************

    Points to ponder:


    Had the branch killed those two passengers in the car, would these fellows/authorities escape easily? This tragedy could have been averted had the tree hackers used some judiciousness, but they were mechanical and merciless, challenging me to even lodge a complaint at the Municipality office! When we are harping so much the importance of trees for the survival of our planet, how can the Municipal officials allow unscientific tree chopping? Year after year, trees fall in the rainy season killing so many people and also destroying properties. Aren’t Municipal officials responsible for these havocs?


    Continued_
    ****************************************************************************
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  2. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Happy news as on 21 June 2017



    That brown-necked variety of egrets vanished, perhaps the tree hacking disturbed their cycles or just their breeding season got over. But we could spot many snow-white egrets (from the other trees) on our Copper pod trees, probably they gathered in one place for more security! It was heartening to see so many of those birds again. In the meantime, the night heron, which was seen for a couple of days, also vanished! Maybe it found a better nesting place elsewhere, but before leaving she ensured to steal some of the twigs from our egret's left-over nests!

    [​IMG]
    I could count on eleven of these birds!

    *************************************END****************************************
     
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  3. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Sorry to know about the municipality chopping the tree and sad to hear about the chick. I think by mistake u have written the year as 1918 instead of 1917.
     
  4. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vijima,

    This event happened last year (2017). This year (2018), the nesting activity is yet to begin:)
     
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  5. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Sorry by mistake I wrote 1918 .in the second paragraph you have written 12thJune 2018
     
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  6. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you, Vijima, for pointing out the error. I have corrected the year now.
     
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  7. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Ok
     
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  8. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I can feel your anger at the municipality, Geeta. It is really frustrating, this total ignorance and callousness. Though as a country we claim to worship Nature and all creatures, we are the most merciless beings on this planet when it comes to taking care of our flora and fauna. Everything is a matter of convenience. Really sorry state of affairs.

    On the other hand, so delighted you could rescue that little critter and get it back to its nest. All I can do is pray that the egrets keep returning to nest outside your house and we keep getting such delightful photos and write ups. :)
     
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  9. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Satchi,

    Thanks a lot for empathising with me; the nesting activity for this season is yet to begin and I am already planning as to how I would tackle those tree hackers this year! The activism of any sort can sometimes turn into real stressors especially when we are not high profile personalities or extraordinarily brave individuals with a strong family or any organizational backing.This helplessness is very frustrating.
     
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  10. Sandycandy

    Sandycandy Finest Post Winner

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    Find a pic of Rajkumar , tie it to the tree with a turmeric colored thread.
    For added protection include a pic of a huge bindi sporting parvathamma, watch the trees and the egret chicks flourish !
    I wonder if the municipal corporation employs people with expertise to train those that are in charge of trimming trees. Protecting birds is probably the last thing on their mind.
    P.S I am imagining a cotton saree clad, ethnic jewelry/ kolhapuri chappal wearing Geeta Kashyap tackling the tree mafia ! Keep the activism going my friend !
     
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