Thursday, December 15, 2016

Asian openbill (শামুকখোল পাখি) - Anastomus oscitans

Bengali Name : Shamukkhol (শামুকখোল পাখি), Shamukbhanga (শামুকভাঙ্গা পাখি).
Common Name : Asian openbill, Asian openbill stork.
Binomial/Scientific Name : Anastomus oscitans
Family : Ciconiidae
Photo Taken : Bangladesh

Asian openbill stork is not a very common bird from Bangladesh. Once upon a time we had plenty of this bids, but now a days counts are decreasing. Commonly this bird is known as Asian openbill. In Bangladesh we call this bird as Shamukbhanga (শামুকভাঙ্গা), Shamukkhol (শামুকখোল), Shamukkhola (শামুকখোলা), etc. Binomial name of the bird is Anastomus oscitans and it belongs to the bird family Ciconiidae. This bird is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Asian openbill (শামুকখোল পাখি) is a large sized bird having a very heavy bill (or beak). The length is around 80cm and the wings are around 40cm. Shape of the bird is similar to the egrets (or herons). Birds are having long feet those help them to wade. Primary color of the bird is greyish-white and black. The black color is only at the back side and few portion of upper-side wings and major portion of under-side wings.

The bill of the bird is interesting. It has a gap between, for the adults only by the way. That's why the bird is actually named Openbill bird. This bird mainly diet on frogs, large aquatic insects, and of course the large snails. It is believed that the bird got such bills to adopt the food habit (the snails).

Asian openbill stork (শামুকখোল পাখি) is a gregarious bird. They use to live as a colony. During the evening they use to return back as a group and use to roost on the tree. They prefer to live near the wetlands and the places where the source of food is available. They don't bother to travel long distance when habit condition is not in favor.

This bird is preening

The breeding season for the bird is probably after rainy season in Bangladesh (not confirmed). They use to make nest with the sticks. The nest is not that much attractive. They prefer to make nests in a close proximity within the colony. Even the other birds like egrets, cormorants use to make nest on their colony. Female lays 2-4 eggs and both parents take part during incubation.

The gap between the bill is visible.

Having a large and heavy bill this Asian openbill (শামুকখোল পাখি) bird doesn't have any predator. Their only threat is the expansion of human beings that consumes their wetlands. Also some people hunt this bird for their meat.

This photo was taken after the sunset.

Photos of this article were taken from Rema-kalenga reserve forest during December 2014. It was an unexpectedly cold and foggy winter in Bangladesh. I went there to watch the birds that time.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Friday, November 25, 2016

Apple flower (আপেল ফুল) - Malus pumila

Bengali Name : Apel (আপেল ফুল).
Common Name : Apple.
Botanical Name : Malus pumila
Family : Rosaceae (rose family)
Photo Taken : Ireland

More or less we all know about the popular fruit Apple. Apple plant belongs to the plant family Rosaceae where all the roses reside. Similar to the roses an Apple flower is also very beautiful. This is cultivated as a fruit tree worldwide, but could have been a flowering tree easily had it not been bear the sweet fruits.

Binomial name of the Apple plant is Malus pumila. It doesn't have any other common name. In Bengali we call this as Apel (আপেল). Origin of Apple is Europe and Asia. Later it was introduced in North america by the European colonists.

Apple is a small to medium sized deciduous tree. If the plant grows from a seed then it can be a large one, but a tree from cutting usually become a small one. A tree can grow up to 15 ft in height (in wild up to 40 ft). Oval shaped leafs are alternately arranged. Leafs are toothed at margin.

Apple flowers are delicately beautiful similar to roses. Color of the flower is pinkish white (or rosy white). Flower is having five petals. Shape of the petal is similar to a spoon. Flowers bloom in a small cluster. Central flower from the cluster (that blooms first) is slightly larger one and later that has a chance to become slightly a larger apple.

Apple fruits are usually less than a tennis ball size (many varieties are small apples). Color and size of the fruit can vary based on the cultivars. The Fruit is slightly juicy and contains few small brown seeds. Most of the portion of the fruit is edible.

We usually eat Apple as raw fruit. Pie and sauce can be made from apple. Apple juice is a popular one. Cider and vinegar can be made from fermented Apple.

We have worked in this garden voluntarily. This is before cleaning the apple garden.

We have worked in this garden voluntarily. This is after cleaning the garden.

Photos of this article were taken from the following places of Ireland:
1) May 2016: Dublin City University.
2) August 2016: Botanic garden

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tomato flower (টমেটো ফুল) - Solanum lycopersicum

Bengali Name : Tomato (টমেটো).
Common Name : Tomato.
Botanical Name : Solanum lycopersicum
Family : Solanaceae
Photo Taken : Bangladesh

Tomato is a very popular fruit that can be found in many foods (we even don't know those contains tomato). Most of the world's popular fast food contains some form of tomato directly or indirectly. For example, apart from Salad it can be in Ketchup, Sauce, Puree, etc. How many of us have seen the flower of tomato?

Origin of the Tomato is South america. It spread by the Spaniards when they have conquered America during 15th century. Now a days it grows everywhere in the world commercially. We have plenty of variety of tomato. Botanical name of Tomato is Solanum lycopersicum. It belongs to the plant family Solanaceae. In Bangladesh we call this as Tomato (টমেটো).

Tomato (টমেটো) plant is an annual herb plant that grows as a vine (or erect bush). Plant is hairy (both stem and leaf) and has a very nice smell. Leafs are pinnate those have toothed leaflets (I am not sure what this shape of leaf is called).

Green tomato. It becomes red when ripen.

Tomato flower (টমেটো ফুল) is yellow in color. It has six lobbed petals those forms a star. Flower has yellow filaments those protrude outwards and covers the style of the flower. Flowers bloom as a cluster. Fruits are berry type and contains plenty of seeds. Inside the fruit is juicy.

Green tomato around the vine.

Tomato (টমেটো) can be eaten as raw, cooked, or processed. There are lot of dishes available those are made from tomato. Also a lot of dishes available which uses another form of tomato (i.e. sauce, puree, etc). Tomato is a great source of vitamin were the vitamin C is predominant.

Green tomato around the vine.

In Bangladesh we use to grow this plant commercially. It is mainly a winter crop here. But people are growing this throughout the year.

Photos of this article were taken from the following places of Bangladesh:
1) February 2015: Rupganj, Narayanganj (রূপগঞ্জ, নারায়ণগঞ্জ).
2) January 2016: Jamalpur (জামালপুর).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Indian silverbill (চাঁদিঠোঁট মুনিয়া) - Euodice malabarica

Bengali Name : Munia pakhi (মুনিয়া পাখি), Chandi-thot munia (চাঁদি-ঠোঁট মুনিয়া).
Common Name : Indian silverbill.
Binomial/Scientific Name : Euodice malabarica
Synonym : Lonchura malabarica
Family : Estrildidae
Photo Taken : Bangladesh

Previously I've written about the bird Scaly-breasted munia. This time it is another Munia bird named Indian silverbill. This bird is also known as White-throated munia. In Bangladesh in general this bird is known as Munia (মুনিয়া). But Bengali academic name per birdwatchers is Chandi-thot munia (চাঁদিঠোঁট মুনিয়া).

White rump of the Indian silverbill (চাঁদিঠোঁট মুনিয়া) is visible.

Binomial name of the bird is Euodice malabarica with a synonym Lonchura malabarica. It belongs to the bird family Estrildidae. This bird is native to Bangladesh and South asian region. It was introduced in many other countries later.

Indian silverbill (চাঁদিঠোঁট মুনিয়া) is a small sized bird similar to the finch or sparrow. Upper side of the bird's color is brown with the edges of the wings are dark brown. Front side of the bird is whitish. Upper portion of the tail (or rump) of the bird has white spots. Those spots are mostly visible while flying and less visible while perching.

Beak of the bird is conical and color is silver-grey. Both male and female birds are similar. They use to forage in a small group. They mostly forage over the paddy fields, open grassland as they mainly live on the grains.

This bird is not good at making nests. It prefers to make nest on thorny acacia plant. They sometimes seen reusing the nest of Baya weaver birds (after abandoned by the weaver). One such nest can hold up to 8 eggs from the female. Later both male and female do the incubation.

Photos of this article were taken from the following places of Bangladesh:
1) December 2014: Keraniganj, Dhaka (কেরানীগঞ্জ, ঢাকা).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Eucalyptus flower (ইউক্যালিপ্টাস ফুল) - Corymbia citriodora

Bengali Name : Eucalyptus (ইউক্যালিপ্টাস ফুল).
Common Name : Eucalyptus, Lemon eucalyptus, Lemon Scented Gum.
Botanical Name : Corymbia citriodora
Synonym : Eucalyptus citriodora
Family : Myrtaceae
Photo Taken : Ireland

Eucalyptus is basically the genus name of the plant that has different Eucalyptus plants. Most of those are commonly known as Eucalyptus tree. Our today's plant is Corymbia citriodora that is commonly known as Lemon eucalyptus, Lemon scented gum, Lemon gum, and also simply Eucalyptus. This plant belongs to the family Myrtaceae.

Eucalyptus (ইউক্যালিপ্টাস) is native to Australia where it grows naturally in wild. Because of its adaptability and drought tolerance this plant has introduced in many parts of the world. Even in Bangladesh this plant became popular. I have planted one at my village when I was a kid.

Eucalyptus (ইউক্যালিপ্টাস) is a very tall and fast growing plant. It can reach up to 50 meter in height. The plant has a single tall and round stem. The stem is smooth and white or silvery in color. Barks use to come out like cinnamon barks. Leafs are liner and silvery at other side. Alternately arranged leafs have a tendency to break when trying to bend it. Leafs produce a nice sharp smell that is sometimes considered as a lemon.

Flowers of Eucalyptus (ইউক্যালিপ্টাস) is not that much showy as the plant is very tall and the color of the flower is not outstanding from the leafs. Flowers bloom as a cluster and each of the small flower is probably an inflorescence. Flower has long creamy colored stamens those actually define the color of the flower. Flower buds are pear shaped, and the fruit is having a shape of an urn.

I have seen a huge artificial forest (as a part of reforestation) made by Forest department of Bangladesh at Ghatail Thana (ঘাটাইল থানা) of Tangail (টাঙ্গাইল) district. The whole forest is packed with millions of Eucalyptus tree. The area is slightly up and down hills and serpentine narrow road goes through that forest.

This plant is also used as an ornamental as the tall tree looks beautiful for its silvery colored bark. Being tall it doesn't require too much space too and makes it a popular roadside trees in city area.

Photos of this article were taken from Malahide, Ireland. It was during August 2016. This plant is widely available in our Bangladesh and unfortunately I didn't get the flowers there.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cursed buttercup - Ranunculus sceleratus

Bengali Name : ?
Common Name : Cursed buttercup, Celery-leaved buttercup, etc.
Botanical Name : Ranunculus sceleratus
Synonym : Ranunculus umbellatus
Family : Ranunculaceae (buttercup family)
Photo Taken : Bangladesh

Name of the plant is Cursed buttercup. Looking for an authentic Bengali name for this plant. It has few other common names such as Poisonous buttercup, Celery-leaved buttercup, Blister buttercup, Indian buttercup, etc. Botanical name of the plant is Ranunculus sceleratus. It belongs to the plant family Ranunculaceae. Not sure where the plant is native, but this plant is available in our country Bangladesh.

Cursed buttercup is a succulent herbaceous plant that grows as a shape of an umbrella (more precisely like a christmas tree). This is an erect annual herb and can reach up to 20 inches in height. The leaf of the plant has similarity with the celery or coriander leafs (probably that's why species name sceleratus). Leafs are having long petiole. Plant has linear leaflike things which probably the sepals of the plant. This plant prefers to grow in wet soil, specially beside the river, pond or at paddy fields.

Flower of Cursed buttercup is yellow colored with a green ovary at the middle. Flower has five elliptic shaped petals those form a star. The ovary of the flower later converts into fruit having cluster of seeds. As the plant is a small one, and the flowers are also tiny, that's why they are not that much showy.

The notorious prefixes in name of this buttercup flower have a reason. The plant is poisonous. Crushing or wrinkling the leaf and stem produce a sap (I believe contains acid) that causes blistering to human skin. This plant is probably the most toxic plant from all buttercups. These behaviors perfectly justify the prefixes Poisonous, Cursed, Blistering, etc in the name.

This will convert as a fruit.

The small plant on the wet soil that is beside a river.

Photos of this article were taken from Munsiganj (মুন্সিগঞ্জ). It was beside the river Dhaleswari (ধলেশ্বরী নদী) during the month of January 2015.

ফুলের জন্য ভালোবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog