Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'
Monitor lizards are opportunistic predators that will eat almost anything that they can find, catch or overpower. Being excellent climbers, they often raid nests of hole nesting birds.
I photographed this sequence of a pair of Rose-ringed Parakeets (Psittacula krameri) attacking a Monitor Lizard (Varanus bengalensis) in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan.
Parakeets use cavities in tree trunks to nest, and the parents diligently protect the eggs from predators, including snakes. Monitor lizards are egg thieves, and this one’s attempt to steal the parakeet’s eggs resulted in an aggressive attack by the parent birds.
Monitor lizards are tropical reptiles that belong to the family Varanidae. Due to rampant illegal poaching monitor lizards have suffered significant population declines throughout India. Monitor Lizards are listed in Schedule I of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.