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Gurul bird had been a small bird of Khaira (grey-brownish) color. Weighed just around 100 grams of the size of a chick before the appearance of feathers on their body. I cannot find the good name of the bird. It’s just the local name I have mentioned above.

They used to be very swift and adept in camouflaging with the grasses and the paddy field. These birds would be particularly found during the paddy harvesting time . As the paddy straw had been of traditional varieties , the straw would be long and lodge down to the ground providing sufficient coverage for them to hide under. After the harvest they would be more visible due to lack of coverage. We would chase the bird when we would find one and it would be caught before it could hide, run away or fly away. They would rarely fly. They used to hide around in surrounding paddy fields, straw stacks or bushes.

Nowadays bushes have also vanished , the short paddy varieties and the agro-chemicals have put the last nails in their coffins.

My friend had been skilled to catch or hurt the birds by hitting them with hard earthen clods or sony materials found handy. These birds would be very tasty, as they would say. I never had tasted it. I had problems. I could not catch them. I could not come to terms with myself to catch or kill the birds. But as a child I would accompany my friend Panchu as we would roam about the fields every now and then, except within my study hours before noon and in the evening!

In those days the labourers used to have a unique method of capturing the birds. While harvesting paddy, they would cut down the paddy plants in a circular manner. For square/rectangular plot they would just finish harvesting keeping aside a corner of the plot to be harvested in the end. The birds would assemble in the corner where the paddy plants would be there yet to be harvested. The labourers would cover the top of the plants with their gamchha ( Bengali word for a thin towel or a piece of fine cloth used to be carried with specially during working time) to capture the escaping birds while flying.



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Children and Birds

Children have greatest interest and love for Nature. They collect information about the birds and their nests because the birds attract them so much! Birds are the symbol of freedom to them! Children are imaginative and playful. Birds catch their imagination very easily while they fly away with their magical wings ! They like to catch, domesticate and feed the birds. They know where the birds do nest. I would like to give shelter to the pigeons and be concerned about their safety from the cats.

Birds are a symbol of freedom to all of us. This is more so to the children! They can fly, travel anywhere in a moment of time, fly past our heads! They are like the Wings of Imagination for us. We are taken to our childhood days while we see them. We the humans are so advanced in so many aspects, but can never match their agility and ability to fly and go anywhere they like to !

In our childhood everyone of us has spent a lot of time watching birds! Life is incomplete without birds and their sweet songs! This applies specially to the dreamful children. By leading the bird species and sub-species we , in a way, are snatching the dreams of our children !