Karnataka has many unexplored areas and new species of flora and fauna are still being discovered; the Western Ghats region of Karnataka is especially a biodiversity hotspot. Here, the weather is pleasant throughout the year and the habitat is perfect for some birds.

This photograph of a Plum-headed Parakeet was taken one winter, near a paddy field, on a Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma) tree. Many species of birds are found feeding on this tree, and they are most active in the mornings. Parakeets usually perch on this tree and eat its flowers.

The Plum-headed Parakeet is a mainly green bird, 33 cm long, with a tail up to 22 cm. The male has a red head which changes to purple-blue on the back of the crown, nape and cheeks, while the female has bluish-grey head. They are distributed across the Indian subcontinent. 

I spent lot of time trying to get a perfect portrait. Among all bird species, parakeets are fast and play around a lot, allowing for very little time to capture the perfect pose, so we have to be very quick.  Adding to this, the lighting was changing continuously. After spending some time understanding the parakeets’ behaviour, I was able this frame this beautiful juvenile Plum-headed Parakeet on a flower perch.

This image won a special mention in the ‘Young Photographer’ category, NiF Photography Awards 2017.