Shri Jasnath Asan, Rajasthan, India
Photo © Shri Jasnath Asan, 2016
15 NOV 2016
Each morning that I am not traveling I walk the ashram grounds. Out back, behind the palace, is 350 natural acres that is alive with birds. Every day I see new species or observe and amazing behavior. It is never dull … far from it. I know I am privileged. My job here is to discover the beauty and diversity of the natural world and share it with others through my images. I strive to reconnect and strengthen the connection between people and the natural world.
The green bee-eaters were in full force today. In the open country of the back acreage it seemed like every tree had one and each bird was systematically zooming out to catch insects, especially bees and wasps, then returning to their post.
Once back on their perch they smack the bee senseless on their branch, but it is more than just tenderizing or rendering the insect unconscious. The violent repeated expert thrashing of the bee or wasp on the perch actually removes the stinger and venom as well as breaking down the exoskeleton, thus rendering it a tasty morsel fit for consumption. Once the meal is properly prepared, the bee-eater then gulps it down whole. Without a moment of rest, it then immediately he starts scanning the air for another meal. They seem to have an insatiable appetite…much like a human teenager.
Today was the first time I saw purple sunbirds here. This nectar-sipping old world equivalent to hummingbirds is a mere 10 cm in size, delicate and graceful in both motion, form and coloration. This male sunbird was in eclipse plumage, looking much like a female would with yellow breast and dark upperparts but revealed his sex with a bold, broad black stripe down the center of the throat and breast. In breeding plumage, the male looks much different. His plumage is a stunning electric metallic blue-green-purple, almost black, throughout.
Along the Way
Panchla Siddha, India
Sharon K. Schafer
I paint, photograph, and speak about wild places in an act of reciprocity that is as vital to me as heartbeat or breath.
My interest in the magic and mystery of the natural world lies at the intersection of art and science.
Made possible through
the generosity of
Artists for Conservation
Generous support and inspiration provided by
Shri Jasnath Asan