Ruddy Shelduck is a migratory bird to our place in India which breeds at Mangolia, Tibet region beyond Himalayas.In winter it migrates to warmer places in the planes of South Asia.While migrating it flies over Himalayas and this one is the highest flyer after Bar headed goose another migratory bird from this area to India.
A saffron colour bird like the saffron attire of Hindu Brahmin saints, this is also called Brahminy Shelduck in India.The male has a dark colour ring
around neck. Also a revered bird in Buddhism, it is also named as Lama bird in Tibbet. A strictly monogamous bird it pairs for life.In case one of them dies, the other one too dies soon after starving.So strong is the attachment that they are also called the Lover Bird in India. Most interesting name however is the Hindi name ….Chakwa and Chakwi.The male is called Chakwa and female is Chakwi.
They fly to India in flocks and then they get separated to live in pairs.During daytime they stay together and in night they gets separated to live alone.This is said that the separation is due to curse from a sage.After getting disturbed by the two lovers, the meditating sage cursed them to reborn as ducks.Also they can not meet.Since then the two love birds stay apart during night.Stay far away and male keeps on calling….Awaaaaa..and the female replies…nawaaa……the pityfull call continue through the night.In the morning again they reunite and continue with feeding and courtship.During breeding session the female becomes excessively aggressive towards any intruder.She chases the intruder making loud noise.If the intruder does not respond, she returns to the male and instigate him to fight back and the male responds obidiently.After all Lover Birds they are….
Spreading the message of love, the Brahminy Shelduck arrives into Indian subcontinent during October and returns to Mangolia, Tibet in Mid March-April.Till then Happy Valentines day to both.