Hulimavu, an area of southern Bangaluru, a city in the south of India, features luxury shopping, restaurants, and upscale homes.

A sacred site, the Hulimavu Cave Temple, is also located there. Inside a single giant rock, clean, elegant passageways extend though the cave and lead to areas of worship for three deities: Shiva; Devi, the Goddess; and Ganesha. The temple has been declared to be a 2,000 year old single rock cave.

India, of course, is filled with many thousands of extremely ancient sites.


Two baby birds

On the evening of June 1st, 2023, two small young baby birds (who, as far as we know, knew nothing of the ancient history of their region) unfortunately took a tumble and fell from a significant height on to the grass below their nest.

Two kind residents of Hulimavu came across them, but, at first, the people were not quite sure what to do to help them. Early the next morning, they thought of bringing them to the WRRC (the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre), and they rushed them there as soon as they could.

Dr. Roopa Satish examined the little birds on arrival, judging them to be about a month old. She found no external injuries; however, internal injuries could not be ruled out because they had fallen from a significant height.


Breakfast helps a lot

They were definitely hungry, and the two were fed banana and papaya, which they eagerly gobbled up. Soon they were eating on their own and making happy sounds. White-cheeked barbets make an energetic, repetitive call, which when they are grown up, resounds through the forest.

They live especially in this area of southern India, in the tall forests. Their main range is along the mountains of the Western Ghats. These birds rarely leave the trees, and they obtain most of the water they need from eating fruit.

Within two weeks the little birds were moved into a large aviary to practice their flying skills. It’s important that they have adequate space to practice so that they become strong fliers.

They flew well naturally and started flying with ease almost immediately.


Oops! Back to freedom, one way or another

As can sometimes happen with lively, active birds, one of them escaped when the keeper came in to put down their feed. They could see the escapee hanging around, almost daring his companion to escape as well.

Dr. Roopa writes, “Sure enough, in two days the lonesome twin in the aviary used the same old trick and escaped between the legs of the keeper who by now knew the shenanigans of the barbet.

This escape flight between a human’s legs is a very daring act for a shy timid bird like the barbet. The fact that both the twins managed it successfully fills us with pride for their skill and bravery.”

Soon, these brave birds will find their way out of the large area of the WRRC (where hundreds of birds and animals are cared for). They will fly into the large, deep Bannerghatta Forest, which is adjacent to the WRRC, where they can expect to lead their wild lives in freedom, eating fruit and singing their enchanting, happy notes for many years to come.


Photo Credit: WRRC Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, Bangaluru, India

© Copyright, Forest Voices of India, 2023

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