The year was 2002 when I first heard about the tailorbird, the time when I used to be a student of 2nd standard, and now, when I am in pre-final year of my undergraduate course, I am reminiscing that time which left us awestruck. As the teacher began to tell us about the exceptional skill of tailorbird, my eyes were full of amazement and my mind imagining about a small bird having the ability to stitch their nest. Other birds usually collect some hay pieces and gather them in such a form that they end up with a nest, but the tailorbird is a little different. It uses a leave, stacks hay in it and stitches the leaf. As amazing as it sounds, witnessing the procedure is even more wonderful.
Tailorbirds are small birds having a size from 10 cm to 15 cm, that is as long as the classic metre scale we use made of plastic. Tailorbirds are usually not heavier than 10 grams. These facts reckon that these birds are so small that they can fit in our hands. It has a straight standing significant tail, short round wings and strong legs. The main recognition that distinguishes it from other birds is its bill, which has a small curve in the upper direction, which enables it to perform the task it is known for. Tailorbirds usually are of bright colour having mixes of yellow, orange and greyish shade throughout their body.
Tailorbirds are humid loving birds and are usually found throughout South East Asia. These birds are found in plenty in the humid regions of India, Pakistan, Inonesia or in the mangroves of China. These are the birds resident of India, and can be rendered as “Asians”.
The name of this bird says a lot. As it specifies, they are known for the process of tailoring their nets. The process is not much complicated, but every bird is not equipped with the ability to do the same. These birds simple fold up a leave, punch holes in the meeting side with the help of their beak, and weave the two open ends with the help of a dried up stem of a plant or a spider web. Yes, they even make use of home of a spider to build their own home. After properly joining the two ends, they deposit the conventional hay and other materials inside the leaf to build a proper house to live in. They lay their eggs and can seal up the leaf if required, as a prevention measure from their prey or to protect themselves from the temperature. These stitching abilities are usually found only in female birds.
Tailorbirds are usually known for their ability to form an unusual nest, but they also have a hidden talent in them, which is in front of us but we often ignore it. Their way of communication, that is their sound. They produce a high pitch musical sound of the form “chi-o chi-up chi-row”. They use their musical sound to communicate with other birds and to attract their prey. They have the ability to vary their pitch for various purposes. They can warn others of their kind in need of emergency or any other such situation.
Tailorbirds are in most ways, similar to other birds. They belong to the family of small birds that feed on insects, larvae or other such things. They usually keep on flying or resting on a tree or in their nest, but they can often be seen jumping on the ground, so that the worms could come out of their holes and they could fulfill their dietary needs, and could also feed their young ones.
- Present Habitat
These birds are usually found in the populated regions of South Asia, due to which, they are not getting the proper nature to grow up in. The population rise is asking for cutting up of flora plantations for creating new places for the residential and other purposes of humans. In spite of this depleting flora regions, these birds have started adjusting to the changing conditions of the Earth. They have adjusted to the extreme climatic variations and have started adjusting living with human population.
These are one of the unique species on this planet. Their stitching abilities differentiate them from rest of the birds. They can be seen easily in the remaining forests of India, and usually don’t go up flying over the cities, so spotting them could be a little cumbersome in residential areas. These small birds usually remain in a group, but sometimes, they do become solitary and fly alone. As I always say, trapping any fauna species in a cage is totally non human on our part. Similarly, trapping a bird in the name of pet is totally wrong and should not be done. Birds are meant to fly and live a life in the habitat they feel right, but are not at all meant to be trapped in cage for the sake of entertainment of us, human beings. These tailorbirds are one of a kind and are not found around the globe. Their are only particular regions where you can see them, so hunting them down or trapping them would be extremely wrong, as trapping them won’t allow them to show their talent, that is stitching.