Kerala

Falcon from Mongolia sighted in Madayipara

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First spotting of Amur Falcon, a pigeon-sized migratory bird, in Kannur

Migratory bird Amur Falcon has been spotted for the first time at Madayipara here. The bird was sighted by Jayan Thomas, an ophthalmologist and bird enthusiast, on November 29. The sighting was confirmed by ornithologists C. Sashikumar and J. Praveen.

Amur Falcon is a small pigeon-sized bird weighing just 150 grams. Dr. Thomas said the bird species was first reported from the Amur river basin near Mongolia. In November/December each year the birds fly from Mongolia to northeast India, covering 5,600 km. Then they continue their journey to the wintering grounds in South Africa by flying another 22,000 km via central and western India and then back to Mongolia.

A gory history

Mr. Sashikumar said though Amur Falcon had been sighted in some parts of the State earlier, it was for the first time that the bird was spotted in Kannur. He said the bird had a gory past as it had been killed in large numbers for meat in Nagaland. Steps to protect Amur Falcons were launched in that State in 2012, he noted.

Termite-eater

Dr. Thomas said falcons were normally birds of prey that ate only meat and other birds. However, Amur Falcon was insectivorous and consumed termites which destroyed crops. So they played a crucial role in agriculture and ecology, he added. Birdwatcher Khaleel Chovva who studies the environmental significance of Madayipara said the sighting of Amur Falcon had highlighted the importance of conservation of Madayipara as a special habitat.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 5:47:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/falcon-from-mongolia-sighted-in-madayipara/article21382638.ece

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