We recently had the good fortune of sighting a Hariyal few days back. It was some time in the early evening. Our apartment faces one of the common community playgrounds and we were in the balcony looking out, when we saw it. It was sitting on the branch of this tree that grows just next to our apartment building. I managed to quickly click a photo before it flew away, so here it is.
The Hariyal or the Yellow-footed Green Pigeon (yes I googled it) as it is popularly called is quite a shy bird and not a very common sight. So you can understand how thrilled we were when we saw it. It’s not exactly green in color rather a combination of green, purplish grey tinges with a dull yellow band around its neck. But it is such a beautiful bird.
My father says that apparently the Hariyal never sets foot on the ground, not even for food. Always moving from one tree to another, devouring fruits, it usually seats itself on the higher branches of trees, camouflaging itself in the green cover making its difficult to spot. Its meat is considered to be quite a delicacy by many, making it widely hunted. After spotting the bird the hunters would shoot it and try to catch it mid-fall. They say that the meat looses its weight and taste if the bird hits the ground. This is one of the many reasons for its declining population. Really sad 😦
As the house sparrow has disappeared, some believe that one day the Hariyal will too. For now we enjoy looking at the bird when it ‘drops in’ every few days – sometimes in pairs and sometimes alone, sitting on the same tree. 🙂