KGF welcomes an Amur falcon

Taking a detour: In a first, an Amur falcon was spotted near Kolar Gold Fields.

Taking a detour: In a first, an Amur falcon was spotted near Kolar Gold Fields.  

Satellite-tracked bird’s route from Somalia throws new light migration

On May 1, perched on a lookout in Somalia, the Amur falcon named ‘Longleng prepared to fly towards India, the mid-point of a nearly 22,000-km journey to Northern Mongolia. The project has provided new evidence on altered flight patterns of the species.

After a four-day crossing of the sea – a non-stop flight – it halted near Pune before “surprisingly” heading towards Kolar Gold Fields.

“This is the first time one of our tagged birds has gone south during this season, rather than fly across the Gangetic plains towards Nagaland,” said R. Suresh Kumar from the Department of Endangered Species Management at Wildlife Institute of India (WII), which is tracking three other falcons to better understand their migration routes.

Between October and November, Amur falcons go from Nagaland towards Central Peninsular India and then to Somalia before wintering in Southern Africa. On their return, they fly over 5,500 km from Somalia into Northern India and then Southeast Asia.

On why the Amur Falcon turned up in KGF, Mr. Kumar said: “While it is too early to say, we believe it may have something to do with the cyclonic depression over the Arabian Sea. These birds follow rain, and air currents letting them to fly longer with little effort.”

Short rain spells may have brought the bird here, with termite mounds that thrive just after showers providing food.

Contact lost

WII’s programme began in November 2013 with tagging of three birds for satellite tracking. After contact with them was lost, five were tagged in October 2016 : Longleng, Hakhizhe, Phon, Eninum and Intangki — all of them named after villages in Nagaland.

Contact was lost with Intangki, while the other three birds were traced to locations in Somalia.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 2:15:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kgf-welcomes-an-amur-falcon/article18415487.ece

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