‘One of my favourite birds is the white-eye. It is a dapper little creature measuring only four inches long from the tip of its beak to the end of its tail, and its colouring is pleasing. Its upper body is golden-yellow tinged with green, parts of its wings are dark brown, its chin and throat are bright yellow, its breast is light grey, and the yellow motif is repeated on its abdomen. But its most distinguishing mark is a white ring round each eye, which gives it the appearance of wearing a pair of white horn-rimmed spectacles.’
Malcolm MacDonald’s description of the bird which appears on the cover of this book is fresh and arresting. These qualities mark his accounts of Delhi’s birds in Birds in my Indian Garden, and made it an instant classic when it was first published. Readers will learn about the drama of the lives of the city’s avian residents and visitors—their quirky courtship and mating rituals, the industriousness and skill with which they build their nests, the hatching and training of their young, their desperate efforts to fend off ruthless predators who hunt their eggs and hatchlings, and much more. The numerous birds described include mynahs, flycatchers, drongos, white-eyes, hoopoes, sunbirds, shikras, crows, sparrows, kites and koels; all of them come gloriously alive in the pages of MacDonald’s masterpiece.