Blackbuck 4

Nilgai and Blackbuck Sightings and thoughts on Polygamy

It was a simple birding trip. My expectations were limited due to my ignorance. I thought what can one expect in the jungles so near to an overcrowded metropolis like Delhi? Anyways, I was proven wrong and scored more bird sightings than I ever had in a single day. But that is a long story and I have not even began to process the images. Today I am starting with couple of large mammals that came as bonus in that trip. I will be back with more details and bird captures later.

Charge of the Nilgais:

Well, the Nilgais are not rare. If anything, they are the most easily visible and camera friendly wild animals in the Northern and Western India. I have in fact seen many of them in South Delhi, those who live in reserved forest and eat from dustbins like cattle. Anyways, it is always good to see ones in natural surroundings, away from the city. In fact, I was a bit surprised to see them openly roaming around agricultural tracts. These people must be very kind!

It was a village near Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. The guide had taken us to spot some bird (I forgot the name). Anyways, when we were trying to locate the tiny bird, he pointed out at the Nilgai. It was not very far and it was looking directly at us. Just at that moment 5-6 more of them conjured out of thin air and started running across the field, not in fear but to reach the more fertile portions of the lush green pasture.

Harem of the Blackbuck:

Later in the day, somewhere near Bhindawas Sanctuary near Jhajjar, we noticed a group of blackbucks, one male and three females. Again, they were openly grazing on farmland. Now, this raised several questions in my mind. Both in case of Nilgai and Blackbuck, the males are far more colorful than the females. Male nilgais are dark blue and male blackbucks are fashionably black and white. They also have photogenic horns. In comparison females in both cases are pale, fawn colored and can be mistaken as some random domestic animal from a distance. Why is that so? Also, the males seemed to be polygamists, roaming around with at least three females. As a feminist, it looked very disturbing to me. Are all creatures naturally polygamous? And why only males?

Anyways, finally just as we were about wind up, I noticed two more. This time there were two males together strutting around in gay abandon. Was that a sign of changing gender dynamics in the blacbuck society? We’ll never know but at least there was a silver lining.

Jitaditya Narzary

9 thoughts on “Nilgai and Blackbuck Sightings and thoughts on Polygamy”

  1. The Nilgai look so comfortable in those agricultural fields. That really is quite a surprise.
    And those male blackbucks are SO handsome. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Bird Watching February: Sultanpur and Bhindawas Sanctuary | The Travelling Slacker

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