The mystery of pika

about 2 months ago
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For us in the cities, we might be dependent on the weather bureau to tell us whether it will rain or not but for those in villages, especially farmers, they listen closely to the various calls of nature. The appearance of the dancing peacock is one such harbinger of monsoon. This not a myth, even science believes that there are certain birds whose reactions and activity are a sign that a change in weather is likely to take place.

Farmers believe that a weaver bird builds its nest when it has sensed that a rain shower is likely to happen soon. The moment the nest is completely ready, it certainly rains. Then there is the titahari or red-wattled lapwing. Village folks keep an eye on the eggs it lay – if the titahari lays eggs on a height, it indicates heavy rain. If the eggs are laid on levelled ground then average rainfall is expected. But if the eggs are laid in a pit, then a draught is likely to happen.

And in Odisha, farmers start working on the fields the moment they see and hear the call of pika or pied-crested cuckoo (also called Jacobin Cuckoo). The black and white bird travels thousands of kilometers from Africa to reach India during May and June, ahead of south-west monsoon and returns to its home usually after January. But strangely this year, the monsoon in Odisha has already arrived but there have been no sightings of pika.

Nature always follows routine, there is never a deviation but looks like climate change is making a change to this habit of nature too. Wonder what happened to the pika…..

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