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IRACON 2017
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Blending Art & Science of Rheumatology
Blending Art & Science of Rheumatology

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Photographs from IRACON 2017
IRACON 2017
IRACON 2017
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Register for Preconference Workshops at IRACON 2017
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Register Early for IRACON 2017 at the official website https://www.iracon.in
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Barn Owl Tyto alba visits our home 
The jungle babblers were unusually noisy with their non-stop crying yesterday. It was so striking I even made a recording of their incessant cries without realizing the cause. That was until I got a phone call from my neighbour +Ajay S that an owl was sitting on the palm tree next to the kitchen!! And not just an owl, but a pair of barn owls. They were surrounded by the babblers who were taking turns to come keep the vigil. What a lucky break, getting these elusive birds in broad daylight. 
These are strictly nocturnal owls that hide during daytime. Whole families can be seen hunting after dark. They are seen near old buildings, ruins, barns and buildings with service ducts that can be used as daytime hiding places besides hunting in grasslands. 
If you love birds and birding posts, check our my collection. 
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Link to the recording of the Jungle babbler (Turdoides striata) mobbing calls http://www.xeno-canto.org/265465
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Tawny-bellied babbler Dumetia hyperthra 
A very shy babbler which is locally common at some places across Indian subcontinent but rarely seen as they spend most of their time inside thick undergrowth. Even when they venture into open, they are very hyperactive and restless, making them difficulty to click images of. After I saw them for the first time last year, it took me another year to find the next one but now that I know them very well, I can find them any day at will (but still difficult to get a picture). 
What are babblers?
Babblers are small birds with fluffy feathers and strong legs that enable them to hop around on the ground and low branches.They are highly social and vocal and are found in cacophonous flocks. They have relatively weaker flight and are always sedentary with a high level of endemism. They usually raise their young communally where socially lower status members assist the dominant breeding pair in raising young. Their taxonomic relationship with warblers and thrushes is complicated and a final classification has been postponed until more data comes in. 
If you like such posts on Birds, remember to follow the collection on Birds. If you do not want to miss them, there is the option to activate notification (the bell symbol on top right) https://plus.google.com/collection/QSO9a
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Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus capitalis 
It is neither a true flycatcher nor a shrike, but more closely related to cuckooshrikes and minivets despite the diminutive size and they have a taste for butterflies. This one is not supposed to have been there where we found it during our routine birdwatching round through the campus forest as it is normally found in the hilly regions. Having said that this is a difficult to sight bird as it spends most of its time at the top of the canopy and we were lucky to find it perched low. Characeristically it has a broad wingbar and no superciliul (inset)
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Chestnut-tailed starling Sturnia malabaricus 
A partially migratory resident forest bird found in the hilly regions of India and south east Asia. It is a rare winter visitor to Lucknow and surrounding areas. They are omnivorous like other starlings. 
The subspecies found in the western ghats has a white head and is called malabar starling or Blyth's starling. 
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Grey-headed canary flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis
A small fairy flycatcher of tropical Asia that breeds inside dense forests. The subspecies from Himalayas winter in the plains of India. It is usually found in dark and damp places, perhaps aided by its unusually large eyes.
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Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
A small kite that specializes in hunting rodents, although it has been witnessed capturing and carrying prey heavier than itself. Its numbers are rising around the world of late. Although not strictly a migratory bird, individual birds are known to disperse far and wide across the world with one bird documented to wander across the whole of Africa and ending up in Europe. Its wanderings are primarily driven by prey availability. It likes to sit on perches for long periods waiting for prey to turn up although it also engages in active hunting in the mornings and evenings. It typically hovers over open areas before diving down for the kill. 
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