VULNERABLE PARENTS  

RIVER TERN PARENTS PROTESTING FERAL DOGS EATING THEIR CHICKS 

vulnerable parents


It was a Sunday birding visit to Chandrabhaga Lake in outskirts of Nagpur city. After reaching the lake, a pair of river tern was constantly hovering over a small island on the banks of lake, while wondering what’s the matter with the river tern’s pair I found feral dogs attacking their chicks .I pulled up my pants in the slippery surface and start getting close to the dogs I took my position and increased my shutter speed  . The ruthless dogs ignored every protest of the parent terns and started getting closer and closer to the nest .Problematic feral dogs showed no sign of mercy and rather saw this as an opportunity to grab the chick and end up consuming it fully, while the small and helpless parents hover over the dog to show some mercy on them which resulted in negative outcome as the dog left no sign of chick. In the end the hard work of parents went in vain and the merciless dog had its day meal. While I was watching this heart breaking incidence happening right in front of me, made me realise how the government ignorance to complaints made by the NGO’s and birders could have saved a dear life. But the most important but disturbing thing I realised that this same place won’t be used by the river terns pair for future breeding. The river terns are already losing their habitat to human destruction, illegal fishing, lake parties, will face worst situation with menace of feral dogs. Confronting group of stray dogs is not an easy task for parent birds as they give up quickly to these stray dogs which often cause loss of chicks or eggs and also disturb their breeding pattern.