Birds of the Indian Hills Trivia Questions and Answers

Which of these birds is known for its boldness and is often seen picking up scraps outside kitchens?

  • Himalayan House-crow
  • Blue-magpie
  • Black-throated jay
  • Green-backed tit

Correct Answer: Black-throated jay

Correct Answer Explanation: The Black-throated jay is a handsome bird with a striking black throat and a bold personality. It is often seen near human settlements, scavenging for food and even picking up scraps outside kitchens, demonstrating its fearless and opportunistic nature.

What is the approximate width of the Tarai, the marshy land covered in tall grass that borders the Himalayas?

  • 5-10 miles
  • 10-20 miles
  • 20-30 miles
  • 30-40 miles

Correct Answer: 10-20 miles

Correct Answer Explanation: The Tarai is a unique ecosystem found at the base of the Himalayas, characterized by its dense vegetation and marshy terrain. Its width is estimated to be between 10 and 20 miles, providing a vital habitat for a wide range of plant and animal life.

What is the average length of the Great Himalayan barbet?

  • 6 inches
  • 1 foot
  • 1.5 feet
  • 2 feet

Correct Answer: 1 foot

Correct Answer Explanation: The Great Himalayan barbet is a large and striking bird, with a distinctive yellow beak and a mournful wailing call. It is one of the largest barbet species, reaching a length of over a foot, making it a prominent and easily identifiable inhabitant of the Himalayan forests.

Which bird is considered the most abundant game bird in the Nilgiris?

  • Grey jungle-fowl
  • Red spur-fowl
  • Nilgiri wood-pigeon
  • Southern hill-bulbul

Correct Answer: Red spur-fowl

Correct Answer Explanation: The Red spur-fowl is a partridge-like bird, characterized by its reddish-brown plumage and its preference for open grasslands and scrubland. It is considered the most abundant game bird in the Nilgiris, making it a popular target for hunters and a vital part of the local ecosystem.

What is the typical habitat of the Southern scimitar-babbler?

  • Open grasslands
  • Dense forests
  • Mountain streams
  • Near human settlements

Correct Answer: Dense forests

Correct Answer Explanation: The Southern scimitar-babbler is a shy and elusive bird, rarely seen but often heard in the dense forests of the Nilgiris. Its long, curved beak is adapted for foraging among the leaves and branches, seeking insects and other small invertebrates.

How many miles broad are the Himalayas?

  • 40 miles
  • 60 miles
  • 80 miles
  • 100 miles

Correct Answer: 80 miles

Correct Answer Explanation: The Himalayas are an immense mountain range, spanning several hundred miles in length and approximately 80 miles in width. This vast and diverse landscape provides a unique environment for a variety of plant and animal species, including the many birds that call the Himalayas home.

Which bird is known for its fondness for nesting in holes in house walls?

  • Green-backed tit
  • Himalayan whistling-thrush
  • Grey-winged ouzel
  • Black-and-yellow grosbeak

Correct Answer: Green-backed tit

Correct Answer Explanation: The Green-backed tit is a small and brightly colored bird, with a distinctive “kiss-me” call. It is known for its fondness for nesting in holes in walls and other sheltered locations, often taking advantage of human structures for its nesting sites.

What is the primary food source for Himalayan black bulbuls?

  • Insects
  • Seeds
  • Fruits
  • Nectar

Correct Answer: Nectar

Correct Answer Explanation: The Himalayan black bulbul is a noisy and aggressive bird, unlike its more meek counterparts. It is known for its harsh calls and its fondness for feeding on the nectar enclosed within the calyces of rhododendron flowers.

Which of these birds is the most abundant on the Nilgiris?

  • Southern hill-bulbul
  • Nilgiri laughing-thrush
  • Nilgiri blue-flycatcher
  • Nilgiri flower-pecker

Correct Answer: Southern hill-bulbul

Correct Answer Explanation: The Southern hill-bulbul is a lively and brightly colored bird, known for its constant twittering and its fondness for wild raspberries. It is the most abundant bird on the Nilgiris, making it a common sight throughout the region’s forests and grasslands.

What is the average house in the Himalayas described as?

  • A stately mansion
  • A modest cottage
  • A ramshackle affair
  • A modern bungalow

Correct Answer: A ramshackle affair

Correct Answer Explanation: The houses in the Himalayas are often described as ramshackle affairs, with cracks and chinks galore. This is due to the harsh climate and the limited resources available in these remote mountain regions.

What is the approximate size of the Black-and-yellow grosbeak?

  • Half the size of a sparrow
  • The size of a sparrow
  • Twice the size of a sparrow
  • Three times the size of a sparrow

Correct Answer: The size of a sparrow

Correct Answer Explanation: The Black-and-yellow grosbeak is a striking bird with black head and yellow body, resembling the black-headed oriole. It is about the same size as a sparrow, making it a common and easily identifiable bird in the forests of the Himalayas and Nilgiris.

What is the most common bird in the Western Himalayas?

  • Spotted forktail
  • Grey-winged ouzel
  • Himalayan whistling-thrush
  • Hodgson’s grey-headed flycatcher-warbler

Correct Answer: Hodgson’s grey-headed flycatcher-warbler

Correct Answer Explanation: The Hodgson’s grey-headed flycatcher-warbler is a small, brightly colored bird with a distinctive, often-heard call. It is found throughout the Western Himalayas and is considered the most common bird in the region.

Which bird is known for its striking black and brown plumage?

  • Painted bush-quail
  • Indian red-munia
  • Common kingfisher
  • Alpine swift

Correct Answer: Painted bush-quail

Correct Answer Explanation: The Painted bush-quail is a small bird, no larger than a sparrow, but it boasts striking black and brown plumage that makes it easily identifiable. It is found in grasslands and scrubland, often hiding among the vegetation.

What is the primary difference in avifauna between the Nilgiris and the Himalayas?

  • The Nilgiris have a more diverse avifauna than the Himalayas.
  • The Himalayas have a more diverse avifauna than the Nilgiris.
  • The Nilgiris have a smaller avifauna than the Himalayas.
  • The Himalayas have a smaller avifauna than the Nilgiris.

Correct Answer: The Nilgiris have a smaller avifauna than the Himalayas.

Correct Answer Explanation: The Himalayas are a much larger and more diverse mountain range than the Nilgiris, leading to a wider variety of habitats and a greater diversity of bird species. The Nilgiris, while beautiful and diverse in its own right, has a smaller avifauna due to its smaller size and less varied climate.

What is the maximum speed of the Alpine swift?

  • 60 miles per hour
  • 80 miles per hour
  • 100 miles per hour
  • 125 miles per hour

Correct Answer: 125 miles per hour

Correct Answer Explanation: The Alpine swift is a remarkable bird, known for its incredible speed and agility. It is capable of reaching speeds of up to 125 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest birds in the world. This incredible speed allows it to navigate the mountainous terrain and capture its prey with ease.

Which of these birds is known for its unique calls and its fondness for bamboo seeds?

  • Grey jungle-fowl
  • Red spur-fowl
  • Nilgiri wood-pigeon
  • Southern hill-bulbul

Correct Answer: Grey jungle-fowl

Correct Answer Explanation: The Grey jungle-fowl is a common bird on the Nilgiris, with a distinctive call that is often described as a “kok-kok-kok.” It is also known for its fondness for bamboo seeds, which are a significant part of its diet.

Which of these birds is known for its striking dark blue plumage?

  • Nilgiri blue-flycatcher
  • Nilgiri laughing-thrush
  • Nilgiri flower-pecker
  • Nilgiri wood-pigeon

Correct Answer: Nilgiri blue-flycatcher

Correct Answer Explanation: The Nilgiri blue-flycatcher is a striking bird with a deep blue plumage that makes it easily identifiable. It is known for its fondness for catching insects on the wing and its ability to perch on branches close to the ground, allowing it to quickly snatch its prey.

What is the approximate length of the Nilgiri flower-pecker?

  • 1 inch
  • 2 inches
  • 3 inches
  • 4 inches

Correct Answer: 3 inches

Correct Answer Explanation: The Nilgiri flower-pecker is one of the smallest birds found on the Nilgiris, measuring only about 3 inches in length. Despite its small size, it is a colorful and active bird, often seen flitting among flowers and feeding on nectar and insects.

How does the Indian skylark sing its song?

  • While perched on a branch
  • While flying in a circle
  • While soaring high in the air
  • While hopping on the ground

Correct Answer: While soaring high in the air

Correct Answer Explanation: The Indian skylark is known for its beautiful and melodious song, which it sings while soaring high in the air. This behavior is similar to that of the European skylark and highlights the shared ancestry and adaptations of these birds.

What is the size comparison between the Nilgiri flower-pecker and a sparrow?

  • The flower-pecker is twice the size of a sparrow.
  • The flower-pecker is the same size as a sparrow.
  • The flower-pecker is two-thirds the size of a sparrow.
  • The flower-pecker is half the size of a sparrow.

Correct Answer: The flower-pecker is two-thirds the size of a sparrow.

Correct Answer Explanation: The Nilgiri flower-pecker is a tiny bird, less than two-thirds the size of a sparrow. This makes it one of the smallest birds in the region and highlights the incredible diversity of size and shape found among bird species.

What is the approximate length of Tickell’s golden-backed woodpecker?

  • 6 inches
  • 8 inches
  • 10 inches
  • 12 inches

Correct Answer: 12 inches

Correct Answer Explanation: Tickell’s golden-backed woodpecker is a large and striking woodpecker, with a distinctive golden-yellow back and a black and white head. It is over a foot long, making it significantly larger than its counterpart found in Madras.

What is the most distinctive feature of the Lesser green barbet?

  • Its bright red plumage
  • Its loud, persistent call
  • Its long, curved beak
  • Its fondness for nectar

Correct Answer: Its loud, persistent call

Correct Answer Explanation: The Lesser green barbet is a small and brightly colored bird, known for its loud, persistent call, “kutur-kutur-kutur,” which resounds throughout the hillside. This call is a distinctive feature of the bird and allows it to communicate with its mates and warn off rivals.

What is the approximate size of the common kingfisher?

  • Half the size of a sparrow
  • The size of a sparrow
  • Twice the size of a sparrow
  • Three times the size of a sparrow

Correct Answer: The size of a sparrow

Correct Answer Explanation: The common kingfisher is a small bird, not much larger than a sparrow. Despite its size, it is a striking bird with a bright blue and red plumage, making it a popular subject for birdwatchers.

What is the size comparison between the brown-necked spine-tail and the Alpine swift?

  • The spine-tail is twice the size of the swift.
  • The spine-tail is the same size as the swift.
  • The spine-tail is two-thirds the size of the swift.
  • The spine-tail is half the size of the swift.

Correct Answer: The spine-tail is two-thirds the size of the swift.

Correct Answer Explanation: The brown-necked spine-tail is a smaller bird than the Alpine swift, reaching a maximum speed of 100 mph compared to the swift’s 125 mph. However, both birds are known for their incredible speed and agility, demonstrating the diverse adaptations found among bird species.

What is the approximate length of the Indian red-munia’s bill?

  • 1/4 inch
  • 1/2 inch
  • 3/4 inch
  • 1 inch

Correct Answer: 1/2 inch

Correct Answer Explanation: The Indian red-munia, also known as the amadavat or lal, is a tiny bird with a bright red bill and eyes. The bill is about 1/2 inch long, which is well-suited for feeding on seeds and grains.

What is the meaning of the term “avifauna”?

  • The birdlife of a particular region or period
  • The study of bird behavior
  • The conservation of bird species
  • The breeding habits of birds

Correct Answer: The birdlife of a particular region or period

Correct Answer Explanation: Avifauna refers to the birds found in a particular region or during a specific period. It is a term used in ornithology and ecology to describe the diversity of bird species that inhabit a given area.

What is the meaning of the term “cere”?

  • The fleshy part at the base of a bird’s beak
  • The tuft of feathers on the head of a bird
  • The lower part of a bird’s leg
  • The band of contrasting color around the neck of a bird

Correct Answer: The fleshy part at the base of a bird’s beak

Correct Answer Explanation: The cere is the fleshy part at the base of a bird’s beak. It is often brightly colored and can be used to attract mates or to camouflage the bird.

What is the meaning of the term “collaret”?

  • The fleshy part at the base of a bird’s beak
  • The tuft of feathers on the head of a bird
  • The lower part of a bird’s leg
  • The band of contrasting color around the neck of a bird

Correct Answer: The band of contrasting color around the neck of a bird

Correct Answer Explanation: A collaret is a band of contrasting color around the neck of a bird. It can be used to attract mates, to camouflage the bird, or to signal its social status.

What is the meaning of the term “ocelli”?

  • The fleshy part at the base of a bird’s beak
  • The tuft of feathers on the head of a bird
  • The lower part of a bird’s leg
  • Small, eye-like markings on a bird’s plumage

Correct Answer: Small, eye-like markings on a bird’s plumage

Correct Answer Explanation: Ocelli are small, eye-like markings on a bird’s plumage. They can be used to startle predators, to camouflage the bird, or to attract mates.

Which of these terms refers to a bird that is active during the daytime?

  • Diurnal
  • Nocturnal
  • Gregarious
  • Raptor

Correct Answer: Diurnal

Correct Answer Explanation: Diurnal refers to a bird that is active during the daytime. Many bird species are diurnal, as they rely on sunlight for foraging and other activities.

Which of these terms refers to a bird that is active at night?

  • Diurnal
  • Nocturnal
  • Gregarious
  • Raptor

Correct Answer: Nocturnal

Correct Answer Explanation: Nocturnal refers to a bird that is active at night. Some bird species are nocturnal, as they rely on darkness for foraging or to avoid predators.

Which of these terms refers to a bird that tends to live in flocks or groups?

  • Diurnal
  • Nocturnal
  • Gregarious
  • Raptor

Correct Answer: Gregarious

Correct Answer Explanation: Gregarious refers to a bird that tends to live in flocks or groups. Many bird species are gregarious, as it offers protection from predators, allows for more efficient foraging, and facilitates communication.

Which of these terms refers to a bird of prey, such as an eagle, hawk, or owl?

  • Diurnal
  • Nocturnal
  • Gregarious
  • Raptor

Correct Answer: Raptor

Correct Answer Explanation: Raptor is a term used to describe a bird of prey, such as an eagle, hawk, or owl. Raptors are characterized by their sharp claws, powerful beaks, and exceptional hunting skills.

What is the meaning of the term “tarsus”?

  • The fleshy part at the base of a bird’s beak
  • The tuft of feathers on the head of a bird
  • The lower part of a bird’s leg
  • The band of contrasting color around the neck of a bird

Correct Answer: The lower part of a bird’s leg

Correct Answer Explanation: The tarsus is the lower part of a bird’s leg, between the knee and the foot. It is often covered in scales and can be used to identify different bird species.

What is the meaning of the term “vernacular”?

  • The scientific name of a bird species
  • The common name of a bird species
  • The habitat of a bird species
  • The behavior of a bird species

Correct Answer: The common name of a bird species

Correct Answer Explanation: Vernacular refers to the common name of a bird species, as opposed to its scientific name. Vernacular names can vary from region to region and often reflect local knowledge and traditions.

Which bird is known for its impudence and its tendency to steal food?

  • Himalayan House-crow
  • Black-and-yellow grosbeak
  • Himalayan whistling-thrush
  • Black bulbul

Correct Answer: Himalayan House-crow

Correct Answer Explanation: The Himalayan House-crow is a common sight in the Indian Hills and is known for its impudence and its tendency to steal food, making it a familiar and often mischievous presence in human settlements.

Which bird is known for its loud and pleasant call?

  • Black-and-yellow grosbeak
  • Himalayan whistling-thrush
  • Black bulbul
  • Spotted forktail

Correct Answer: Himalayan whistling-thrush

Correct Answer Explanation: The Himalayan whistling-thrush is a common sight in the Himalayas, known for its blackbird-like song and its fondness for nesting on rhododendrons. Its melodious call often echoes through the mountain forests, providing a soundtrack for the region’s natural beauty.

Which bird is known for its striking black and white plumage and its distinctive tail-wagging?

  • Spotted forktail
  • Grey-winged ouzel
  • Himalayan whistling-thrush
  • Black bulbul

Correct Answer: Spotted forktail

Correct Answer Explanation: The Spotted forktail, often called the hill-wagtail, is a common sight near mountain streams and is known for its constant tail-wagging, a characteristic behavior that gives it its nickname. Its black and white plumage makes it a striking and easily identifiable bird in its habitat.

Which bird is known for its shy, retiring nature?

  • Nilgiri laughing-thrush
  • Southern hill-bulbul
  • Nilgiri blue-flycatcher
  • Nilgiri flower-pecker

Correct Answer: Nilgiri laughing-thrush

Correct Answer Explanation: The Nilgiri laughing-thrush is a shy and retiring bird, often heard but rarely seen in the dense forests of the Nilgiris. Its cheerful, laughter-like calls are a distinctive feature, adding a touch of whimsy to the region’s forest soundscape.

Which bird is known for its bright red patches and its perky, pointed crest?

  • Southern hill-bulbul
  • Nilgiri laughing-thrush
  • Nilgiri blue-flycatcher
  • Nilgiri flower-pecker

Correct Answer: Southern hill-bulbul

Correct Answer Explanation: The Southern hill-bulbul is the most abundant bird on the Nilgiris, known for its constant twittering and its fondness for wild raspberries. Its perky, pointed crest and bright red patches add a touch of vibrancy to its appearance, making it a popular subject for birdwatchers.

Which bird is known for its fondness for catching insects on the wing and its ability to perch on branches close to the ground?

  • Nilgiri blue-flycatcher
  • Nilgiri laughing-thrush
  • Nilgiri flower-pecker
  • Nilgiri wood-pigeon

Correct Answer: Nilgiri blue-flycatcher

Correct Answer Explanation: The Nilgiri blue-flycatcher is a striking bird with a deep blue plumage that makes it easily identifiable. Its fondness for catching insects on the wing and its ability to perch on branches close to the ground allow it to quickly snatch its prey, making it a skilled and agile hunter.

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