Look who’s chirping: Oriental White-Eyes

Oriental White-Eyes are resident breeders in the Indian subcontinent. I have seen them all over southern India. And each time I have talked to them like I used to with my niece. Back when she was too young to communicate in an intelligible manner. For the first 2 years of her life, I just made faces and spoke gibberish.

It is how a lot of us talk to babies. We make up words and string them together, adding a melody to the delivery. It always starts with a semblance of linear thought. We ask them if they are hungry, why they are crying or if they want to sleep.

Then we go to this wonderful and weird place where we make no sense at all. Yet somehow we manage to get the message through. That we are thrilled about how cute they are.

It’s how I feel around Oriental White-Eyes. Perhaps it’s because of their diminutive sizes. And the assumption of fragility that comes along with it. Or the way they fly around, looking like eager half-eaten pears with yellowing overcoats.

It might even be their white-ringed and wide-eyed hopeful stares that sometimes give way to frightened glances.

Whatever it is, I can assuredly say stuff “aww sweetpeetie babywooobydoooo” and not feel like an idiot about it.

I want to take

baby steps from

the cradle to the hearse.

I won’t find

ignorance in bliss

unless it finds me first.

(Photographs: Kodaikanal, Munnar,  Thekkady, Nandi Hills, Chittoor)

23 thoughts on “Look who’s chirping: Oriental White-Eyes

Add yours

    1. D’aww thanks Shannon,.I can do a lot better (i posted a photo of myself smoking a cigarette on facebook and pretended that I didn’t do it to appear vaguely cool, arghh i can be the worst) but she brings out the best in me.

      From what I have read, it is a feathers-related coloration although I’d love for their irises to actually be that large too!


  1. we call this bird babunai in Bengali, now i think the word might have derived from some cute, loving gibberish…at least the word sound suggests that…my favorite portions have already been quoted here…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, I can completely understand wanting to speak like that to one of these gorgeous little birds! Those little circles round its eyes and the sweet shades of yellow with the white. And so fluffy-looking. Kind of like chicken chicks with attitude! smiles And – ah – ‘eager half-eaten pears’!

    Liked by 1 person

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