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Monday, Oct 25, 2021
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Bird Man From Begusarai

This trapper doesn't really hunt birds; they fly to him like moths to the flame. Meet Ali Hussain, practitioner of an ancient craft.

Bird Man From Begusarai
Bird Man From Begusarai
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

FOR two weeks in February this year, Ali Hussain watched with seeming indifference the efforts of Peter Bloom, a UK-based wildlife expert, to trap raptors at the Bharatpur bird sanctuary. Attempting to snare some eagles in his wire trap, Bloom spent the better part of each day boating in the park and setting up his bait of mice. But the eagles just weren't interested. White man plus white mice—that formed too obvious a lure. The day before Bloom was to end his rather desultory and unsuccessful stay, Hussain approached Asad Rahmani, head of the wildlife division at Aligarh Muslim University and soon to become director of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) under whose auspices Bloom was making his sojourn, and said: "It doesn't look nice sir that we should send away a guest disappointed. If you give me just a couple of hours I will catch an eagle for him."

Rahmani assented. The rest, we could say, went into the already thick Hussain lore. Wading waist-deep in water, Hussain set up a Deccan trap—three sticks smeared with...

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