‘Cheel’ is the dominant scavenger hiding in the blue sky of Tricity | Chandigarh News
Chandigarh: The common black kite or “ cheel ” is the city’s proverbial stray dog skies. It is an ultra-successful scavenger that hides with omnipresence in the Tricityaround. The kite is an avian species that has benefited enormously by adapting perfectly to human habitation and habits. The intelligent bird ruthlessly exploited the inefficient disposal of garbage by civic authorities and the tendency of citizens to carelessly throw away leftover food!
Kites are so well suited to collecting human waste that their hunting for live prey has been virtually relegated to a secondary instinct. These beautiful brown raptors are found everywhere in the urban habitat, from well-watered lawns and school playgrounds, to bickering for the fish of Sukhna Lake, to skillful diving in traffic and scavenging from water. ‘a piece of a busy road with a consummate demonstration of aerial maneuvers and survival skills.
By far the most adaptable, numerous and best performing of the raptor species, the “ cheel ” has challenged the declining trend in numbers of other raptor species that show marked susceptibility to the destruction of the habitat and food sources associated with toxicity, such as poisoning of prey species. (rodents, frogs, small birds) through intensive use of agricultural chemicals. Unlike the other common raptor of Tricity, the shikra, âthe cheelâ does not flap an eyelid while searching for non-living prey. The shikra is attracted to hot blood, so it must kill live prey, the kite is not bound by any sophistication of taste and will pick up cold waste from outside a butcher shop or stinky waste from landfill of Dadumajra to fill his stomach. Except for the grains that people produce for pigeons, kites eat virtually anything, including breadcrumbs, and are classic omnivores, a rare trait among raptor species that normally love blood.
Formations of “cheels” can be seen at dusk, flying over the IGP and heading towards nearby forests to roost in large groups. He’s the brave and naughty thief who is adept at school kids’ tiffin snacks during the brief break from classwork! “Go sting and whisk away a dead rat or other treat lying in the middle of a congested artery, twisting and twisting with masterful skill to avoid the tangle of overhead electrical wires and bustling traffic below.” Or someone will bide their time and suddenly jump out of nowhere before the picnic sandwich reaches their mouth, carefully pull it out of their hand, and run away as suddenly as it came! wrote Dr Salim Ali, the legendary birdman of India, while describing the irascible habits of the kite.
In golf clubs, kites took golf balls off the fairways much to the chagrin of players who eventually managed to hit a good shot but found the results of their dream shot vanish into thin air. The many large and mature trees of the Tricity are widely used for nesting by kites. They protect the nests and are able to precisely identify the human perceived as a threat. Nesting kites distinguish a human from a group and repeatedly attack it, as evidenced by Sector 8, Chandigarh, a resident fond of flying drones. A pair of kites had a nest on a large tree in his house and every time he moved the kites would dive bombarding him much to his nervous nerves’ discomfort! The kite pair paired it with the drone, which they said was a real threat to their nest and chicks.
“When nesting near buildings, they are known to break glass when people appear at windows facing the nest, and to attack maintenance workers on the heads of tall buildings,” the specialist wrote. of raptors Rishad Naoroji in his seminal volume, ‘Birds of Prey from the Indian Subcontinent’. The “cheel” also suffers from frequent misrepresentation. He is illegally captured and falsely exhibited as “Guru’s baaz”, which is in fact the very rare goshawk enjoying a genuine historical association with Sikh gurus.