Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Critters!

Here's a chronicle of all the animals I've seen in India so far (not including insects, of which there are plenty. The cockroaches, thank goodness, are actually smaller than in Chicago). I'll update this post as I see more animals or take pictures of them.

Birds

  • Indian Crow. Acts and sounds exactly like a North American crow, but has a brownish-grey neck and chest.
  • Pigeon: Look exactly like North American pigeons, except that the pigeons here are all the same; there aren't mutant technicolor ones like in the States. There is one that likes to land on the blades of the ceiling fan on our balcony. He always seems surprised when the fan starts spinning as he lands on it.
  • Parakeets: Also look just like regular parakeets.
  • Common Myna: This bird is about the size of a robin, with black wings that have a white stripe underneath, a lighter belly, and orange spectacles. It acts a lot like a starling, and is pretty good at running around on two legs.
  • Edit 7/23/09 Peacocks: They're kind of like wild turkeys; I saw several flocks of them from the train last weekend. None were displaying their tail feathers, unfortunately.

  • Other: The tree outside my apartment has berries that seem to attract a lot of birds; I've seen several that I couldn't identify, so I'll try and take pictures of those.

Mammals

  • Elephant!: I have seen a couple meandering the streets of Delhi with riders. My first reaction is generally "Gee, that's a slow-moving truck," followed closely by "That's not a truck."
  • Stray Dogs: All over the place. Some will ignore you, others will bark at you, but all of them will follow you home if you give them food. The girls down the street (who are also UofC students) gave food to one, and now she (I think, since most male dogs here are very conspicuously not neutered) sits outside their apartment and whines piteously for food every time they come home.
  • Monkeys: I haven't actually seen many of these; I saw a few working with a street performer near India Gate.
  • Wild Boar: Can occasionally be seen rooting around in public parks.
  • Cows: There is a small herd that usually traipses through the nearby market in the evening, grazing on the decorative plants. It's worth noting that Indian cows look very different from the American conception of cattle. Here's an Indian cow. Here's an American farm cow. The Indian cows are lean and rangy, while American farm cows are stocky and compact.
  • Water buffalo: We saw these in Goa. Alternatively, they may have just been cows standing in fields flooded with water; I'm not sure I would have known the difference.
  • Mongoose: There is one that lives outside my office building, but I've only seen it from pretty far away, so I can't give you much of a description.
  • Squirrelmunks: These little guys are grey like squirrels, have black stripes on their backs like chipmunks, have bushy tails and climb trees like squirrels, and chirp like chipmunks (even louder than chipmunks, if that's possible. If you've never heard a chipmunk chirp, you're missing out.)
  • Edit 7/23/09 Bats: I've seen small, mouse-sized bats here before, and on Tuesday night, I saw a bat the size of a crow flying over New Friends Colony. That's a big bat.

Reptiles

  • Leeezards: The lizards are pretty shy, but they will occasionally scamper into a building through an open window, or across a window screen. I think they must be geckos, because they're always climbing along the wall, or on the ceiling.
  • Toad: Not really a reptile, but I didn't want the lizards to get lonely. We saw one of these in the park near the ISKCON and Baha'i Temples.

Edit 7/15/09: Bugs

  • Giant Millipedes (thanks to Ajit for reminding me of these): These look really creepy, but they're no more threatening than North American millipedes, although they are much, much bigger. I haven't seen any in Delhi, but they were all over the place in Goa.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

I will taunt brian with the millipede photos. As you may know, they are the stuff of his childhood nightmares. Mwa haha!

P.S. Thanks for blogging about India, pretty interesting stuff!