Friday, December 18, 2009

Debugging with ash

A woman in central Pratapgarh district throws handfuls of ash from the kitchen stove on ripening rice. Many farmers in Uttar Pradesh still limit the use of chemical pesticides, or continue using traditional materials, like ash, alongside chemical pesticides to control insect pests on rice. A Zitting Cisticola sat undeterred (not visible here), presumably near its nest, as a cloud of ash fell on and around it - now that would have been an excellent photo to get!

(Photograph detai
ls: 23 Sep 2008; Pratapgarh district.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A leucistic lapwing

Albinism - reduction in the melanin content (black colouration) causing whiteness - is a well-known condition in many animals. However, leucism - a reduction in all types of pigments, not just melanin - is probably more widespread and often confused to be albinism. Here, a Red-wattled lapwing, normally textured brown-grey on the wings (see previous post), displays leucism. The black on the neck and face, and on the flight feathers, are normal - this is not a condition of albinism for sure!

(Photograph detai
ls: 9 Dec 2008; taken in Rae Bareli district.)