Kochi

Kochi gets special feathered visitors

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Sighting of Amur Falcons, the species known for its long winter migration, is a rarity in Kerala.

Annually, thousands of these small raptors take the long flight from Siberia to Mongolia, Nagaland and from there to South Africa and back to Mongolia. The birds usually breed in Mongolia. They fly all this distance back when weather conditions become conducive. During these transnational journeys, some may fly over the skies of Kerala, too.

Birders of Kochi were lucky to spot one on Sunday, the day on which the 8 edition of the Bird Race was conducted.

A group of birders led by K.G. Dileep of the Cochin Natural History Society spotted a female bird of the species at near Nedumbassery. It was located at near a swamp in Nedumbassery. It could be the third instance of spotting the bird in Kerala, said Dr. Dileep.

During its migration to South Africa, these birds are known to be flying over the West Coast. Some might be opting to flying over Kerala to reach its destination. But, precious little is known about the journey of the birds over Kerala, said P.O. Nameer, the State coordinator, Indian Bird Conservation Network and Important Bird Area Programme.

They need not be considered as accidental visitors to Kerala. It must be those individuals that take the different routes that were located in Kerala, he said.

Besides Kochi, one Amur Falcon was spotted in Thiruvananthapuram also. They are classified as vagrant as the species has not been studied in detail including its presence and stay in the State, he said.

Students of the College of Forestry, Thrissur, had sighted some individuals of Asian Fairy Bluebird and Velvet Fronted Nuthatch from the campus of the Kerala Agriculture University.

While around 1,500 Glossy Ibis were found from Kole wetlands, a Mountain Hawk Eagle was spotted from Idamalayar area by a group led by Ginu George, said Vishnupriyan Kartha, secretary of the Cochin Natural History Society.

In the central Kerala region, around 100 participants in 22 teams, drawn from Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kottayam and Alapuzha districts participated.

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Printable version | Nov 14, 2019 4:16:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-gets-special-feathered-visitors/article6610872.ece

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