Wetlands offer a range of foods to birds, and the monsoon is a fantastic season to observe birds getting their goodies. In this entry, two species are shown doing what they do best.
Asian Openbills are super-specialized in their food habits - they almost exclusively eat the large snails associated with flooded rice paddies. It is believed that this stork species has increased in numbers and spread closely following the increase of rice cultivation in Asia. Above, you can see a stork getting hold of a nice-sized snail, prising open the snail's lid, and pulling out the meaty snail for a doubtlessly yummy early morning snack.
The Little Heron (variously also referred to as the Green Heron and Little Green Heron) is not common in the inland areas of northern India. A neat, compact little heron, this species is an expert fisherbird. Above, a heron catches and hangs on to a fish beside a rice field - good start for a breakfast that will no doubt include many more fishies.
(Photograph information: Asian OpenbillLs: 8 Aug 2009, Mainpuri district; Little Heron: 5 Aug 2009, Bhadohi district.)