Monday, October 30, 2017

SPOT the birds - Article on The Hindu Newspaper about wetland bird destinations (October 17, 2014)

After journeying thousands of miles across mountains, vales and rivers, migratory birds have flocked to Kerala’s warm climes once again, much ahead of schedule. Thanks to its long coastline, extensive wetlands and leafy forests, the State is an ideal winter home for these birds. Local birding enthusiasts, who have been tracking the movement of the birds for several seasons now, checklist destinations nearby where you can spot the birds in plenty this year. 

KSRTC Mechanic on the trail of ants - Article on The New Indian Express Newspaper About K Manoj's work on Ants (october 04, 2014)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Migratory Birds Make an Early Visit to Winter Homes in Capital - Article on The New Indian Express Newspaper about TNHS wetland bird monitoring (October 07 2014)

Migrant birds are here already, says a group of bird watchers from the city.The migratory birds usually arrive around December, but the bird enthusiasts from Travancore Natural History Society (TNHS) say that they have already spotted some visitors in Poovar and Veli as early as October.

Dr Kalesh S, co-founder of TNHS, says that this is not very unusual as this could be the first wave of migrants.“Last time, we had spotted rare birds like Saunders’s tern and Little tern in Veli. Those haven’t arrived yet. In the coming days, we plan to go on more birding trips to Poovar and Veli. It will be a good season for four months now.”

The memento (October 1 2014)

The memento: Presented by the Honorable Minster of Forests and Environment of Kerala,to TNHS for organizing the Wildlife Photography exhibition at Forest Office Complex in Trivandrum.

Exotic butterflies come calling - Article on The Hindu newspaper about Baiju K's & Kalesh S's work on Trivandrum Zoo Butterfly park (June 20, 2014)

The Red Pierrot warmed up quickly to its new ‘hosts.’ This striking little butterfly fluttered around the new plants in the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, brought here only a couple of hours ago on Monday morning. R. Baiju watched, almost endearingly, as the unusual butterfly species finally adopted a leaf as its home, or egg-laying spot, even before the plants were taken out of their bags and planted into the soil.

He is a Hindi teacher of a government upper primary school in Palode but he was on leave on Monday to engage in a serious hobby of his. Mr. Baiju is one of the more active members of the Travancore Natural History Society (TNHS), the group that is supporting the city zoo in its endeavour to transform the neglected ‘Butterfly Park’ on its premises.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Exploring the anthills of wisdom - Article on The Hindu Newspaper About K Manoj's work on Ants (february 28, 2014)

K. Manoj inhabits two worlds — that of ants and humans. A bus repairman by profession, the 27-year-old Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employee is a self-taught amateur natural historian whose passion is to observe and record the lives of ants.

It is not unusual for his neighbours at Vembayam to find the recreational myrmecologist scrambling over ground on all fours to document the lives of ants with his digital camera.At his father’s tea shop, Manoj would frown if somebody stopped his favourite black ants from making a beeline for the sugar jar.
He has innumerable ‘ant stories’ to regale listeners. A favourite narrative of his is the one on weaver ants, the aggressive red ones which knit leaves to make large nests on mango trees.“The weavers grow small insects in their colonies to harvest the nutrient-rich nectar they produce. It is like us humans keeping cows for milk,” he tells his audience.