By Charles Creasey
A wildlife photographer caught the moment two parakeets appeared to ‘kiss’ in the rain – both leaning in with beaks entwined like a ‘necking’ couple.
Bhavik Thaker spotted the bright green birds ‘necking’ on a branch in the middle of a monsoon in his garden in Mumbai, India, on September 9.
The 30-year-old quickly rushed to get his camera as the male and female rose-ringed parakeets started getting cosy, impressing each other with fawning displays of affection.
The resulting snaps show the loved-up birds acting like two teenagers enjoying a new romance, cuddling together and smooching on their branch.
Bhavik said: “When I caught sight of the female parakeet, with the male approaching, I just knew exactly what was going to happen.
“I rushed to get my camera and waited in anticipation – as it happens I was rewarded with a great shot.
“The pictures were taken in my tree at the front of my home and I feel a special connection with that tree because it’s full of wildlife.
“The male, which has a black ring on its neck, was clearly trying to impress the female.
“As part of the ritual they bring food.
“What they do is eat the seed or fruit, keep it in their stomach, regurgitate it, and pass it mouth to mouth to their partner – though to us humans it appears to be kissing.
“But it is true that male to female behaviour such as nibbling or necking are displays of bonding.
“At the time I took my cup of tea, camera, binoculars and headed to the terrace garden in my home – I was just there sipping my tea and scanning for birds.
“The pictures were taken in the drizzle so the images have the falling rain as the backdrop.
“Sometimes the rain was too harsh to take pictures and the light was a problem too – but I managed to get a good shot.
“It’s late monsoon right now in Mumbai. I always have my camera ready as I observe birds around my home – especially on that particular tree.
“I must have observed more than 20 species across the year.”
While birds are one of the most common subjects of his work, Bhavik is eager to photograph a wide array of animals.
Bhavik said: “I love photographing tigers aswell and I would love to go to Costa Rica one day to photograph birds and amphibians.
“I always try in life to preserve the present moment.
“I love photographing and capturing everything from the most common species to the endangered ones.
“People sometimes just aren’t aware of exactly what’s around them – I hope my pictures change that.
“Freelance photography may not give me the most ‘high profile’ life style but I am happy doing what I do and making people smile so in that sense I have no regrets.”