On 29th May 1982, I witnessed an interesting behaviour of Spurfowl. In Bhomat, a hilly tract west of Udaipur, there is a place called Kiary covered by dry deciduous miscellaneous forest. I entered a narrow ravine strewn with boulders and scrub jungle looking for Grey Jungle Fowl (Gallus sonneratii). While negotiating a bend, I startled a family of Spurfowl in front of me near a fair-sized boulder.
The cock started circling the boulder chuckling and gave a spectacular display of its feathers while the hen with its five chicks started climbing the steep slope to my left, taking advantage of every bit of cover. The chicks were very small and the side of the ravine was quite steep so the progress of the hen was very slow. I changed my direction and edged forward to reduce the distance between me and the boulder and the hen as well. The cock increased its pace. It circled the boulder thirteen times and on its last two rounds it passed within a few feet of me. Meanwhile the hen and the chicks reached a dense patch of scrub and were hidden from my view. The cock, when it was on the other side of the boulder, flew away and joined its family.
To save its progeny, the cock had diverted the attention of the intruder madly; circling around the boulder while the hen led the chicks to safety.
In these birds, devotion of the cock towards its offspring is very great and it took considerable risk to protect them.
Published in Journal of Bombay Natural History Society:
Tehsin, R. H. (1986) Red Spur-fowl (Galloperdix spadicea caurina). J. Bom. Nat. Hist. Soc. 83(3): 663
About Dr. Raza H. Tehsin
Raza H. Tehsin is a well-known figure in the Southern Rajasthan region, hailed as the pioneer of the wildlife conservation movement in the area. Coming from a lineage deeply connected to nature, he is the son of the renowned shikari (hunter) T. H. Tehsin, who later transformed into a devoted conservationist. Growing up in the company of jungles and wildlife, Raza was surrounded by the rich beauty of the natural world. His father's involvement in the arms and ammunition business in Mewar, combined with a passion for hunting, led to Raza spending considerable time in the forests from a young age. This exposure not only brought him in tune with nature but also enriched his understanding of indigenous herbs and medicinal plants. Today, Raza's efforts and knowledge continue to leave a lasting impact on the conservation landscape of Southern Rajasthan.
Also Read Recent Books by Arefa Tehsin:
The Witch in the Peepul Tree - Click Here
Lora and the Quest of Five- Click Here
About Arefa Tehsin
Arefa Tehsin's literary prowess spans across fiction and non-fiction, catering to both young readers and adults alike. Her insightful works have graced the pages of prestigious publications such as The Indian Express, The Hindu, Deccan Herald, Outlook Money, and TerraGreen, where she shares engaging columns, features, and travel articles. Notably, her book "The Chirmi Chasers" achieved recognition, being shortlisted for the esteemed Neev Book Award in 2021. Through her diverse writing, Arefa Tehsin captivates audiences and leaves an indelible mark on the world of literature and conservation. In 2017, Arefa Tehsin's outstanding contribution to literature was recognized when she was shortlisted for The Hindu Young World-Goodbooks Best Author Award for her book "Wild in the Backyard." Arefa Tehsin, daughter of the esteemed naturalist Dr. Raza H. Tehsin, grew up immersed in the wonders of nature. Her childhood days were spent adventuring alongside her father, exploring jungles, delving into caves, and fearlessly handling snakes. As she embraced her deep connection with the natural world, Arefa's journey led her to become the Honorary Wildlife Warden of Udaipur district. Through her writings and columns, she passionately advocates for nature conservation, inspiring others to cherish and protect the invaluable treasures of our planet.