Fight over water!!!

Birds are living beings too and they have a more difficult life to lead, a life so unknown, a life so unexpected, a day lived is an achievement (just because you would have survived an predator attack, you would have gained so much food so as not to starve...), a day of happiness, joy and sorrows, a constant threat from predators, competition for food, water and shelter, yet, they are happy contented souls always active and and their vocals never tire, always on alert and always on lookout for opportunities, its after all the saga of "survival of the fittest".

As you start observing them over a period of time, nature has its own surprises for you in the meanest of the ways that would turn around the beliefs you had till then or rather thought you saw till then, they never seize to surprise you every day, every moment that goes on to prove that study of their behavior is never enough...never!

Last year, when I was in Ganeshgudi (yes, my favorite birding location in Western Ghats near the town of Dandeli) at the JLR Old Magazine House camp, I was witness to something very interesting, an interesting behavior of the birds, a tiff for the bathtub of water, not a very aggressive one but still an entertaining one!

The White-rumped Shama and the Red-whiskered Bulbul
At the camp, tubs filled with water are kept at strategic locations for the birds to drink/bathe etc... and this has been done from over 8 years and many of the resident bird species are used to the tubs and do visit regularly in any season of the year. The list of birds that come to these tubs are endless...

As I busy in many of these visiting the various tubs a White-rumped Shama came over to a tub already occupied by a Red-whiskered Bulbul ready for its shower. The Shama and the Bulbul faced each other quite menacingly and looked as if the Shama wanted the Bulbul to vacate the tub immediately. Its raised its long tail and menacingly stared at the Bulbul who by now was in the water.I was anticipating some sort of action here, probably a small tiff between the two but what happened but truly surprising. The Bulbul, without a care in the world dipped in the water, rolled over and splashed in it happily leaving the Shama red-faced in disgust. The Bulbul repeated this couple of times as if insulting the Shama and the look on the face of the Shama was more or less conveying this message. Later, after being satisfied, the Bulbul flew away and the Shama got its chance to get wet!!!

The series of pictures below would convey the action more than my words! Enjoy :)

The Face-Off

Shama: Vacate the tub else...

Shama: else... enjoy your bath... :)

further humiliation...

finally, its mine...


  1. Fantastic captures!!!! what a sight that must have been!

  2. This is just brilliant, Santosh! That 'face-off' pic is too good, and also the third one. Loved the series!

  3. thanks Dhiraj, Rupam, Ashwini, Anu, Sangeeta :)

  4. Excellent series of pics!!!! Loved it...


  5. Wonderful sequence of shots.

  6. Thank you all. Yes, it was an enjoyable encounter :)

  7. Absolutely Beautiful! I can only imagine how rare it is to be able to capture a whole series of events that tell the viewers a story.

  8. Haha, this was fun and entertaining, also a bit educative at the same time. You captured the entire sequence in the most beautiful way and made the entire sequence so lively! Many thanks for sharing, loved it. :)

  9. Made my day Santosh! :) Lovely series.

  10. Thanks Rusty, Arti - it sure was interesting!
    Thanks Rohini, good to see you after a long time :)

  11. Absolutely Beautiful! and Perfect Click.... :) many thanks for sharing this kind of beautiful nature pics..

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  12. Its superb work done by you. keep writing up good work.


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