In a first in the country, laughing gull from North America spotted at Chittari estuary in Kasaragod

The bird is known for its unique laughter-like calls and has travelled thousands of kilometres to reach the southern State

January 28, 2024 08:07 pm | Updated 09:18 pm IST - KASARAGOD

Laughing gull, a migratory bird from North America, which has been spotted for the first time in the country at the Chittari estuary in Kasaragod district.

Laughing gull, a migratory bird from North America, which has been spotted for the first time in the country at the Chittari estuary in Kasaragod district. | Photo Credit: arranged

Laughing gull, a migratory bird from North America, has been sighted for the first time in the country at the Chittari estuary in Kasaragod district.

C. Sreekanth, a birdwatcher and school teacher, spotted the bird and photographed it. The bird, known for its unique laughter-like calls, has travelled thousands of kilometres from North America to the coastal region of the State.

Amidst a multitude of birds in the estuary, including lesser black-backed gull, slender-billed gull, brown-headed gull, great crested, lesser crested tern, Caspian tern and others, Mr. Sreekanth noticed a smaller bird with black beak, which piqued his interest. It was smaller than the brown-headed gull.

Features

“Upon closer examination, it was found that the bird has a dark upper part, black legs, long drooping bill, and a dark smudge on the back of the head, confirming it to be a laughing gull,” he said.

He then reached out to J. Praveen, Chief Editor, Indian Birds, Journal of South Asian Ornithology, and birding experts G Jinu, John Garret, Aident Kiley, and Hans Larsson, who confirmed this finding.

The e-Bird application, dedicated to collecting scientific bird information, played a vital role in disseminating this finding.

This discovery elevates the total number of bird species found in India to 1,367, with Kasaragod district contributing 400 species to the State’s overall count of 554.

Mr. Sreekanth has around 20 years of birdwatching experience. He has previously spotted THE Asian house martin at Paithalmala in Kannur.

The laughing gull’s presence in Kasaragod adds a new chapter to the region’s rich biodiversity. Birdwatchers and researchers are eager to conduct further studies to understand the migratory patterns and the reasons behind this extraordinary visit.

Nine rare bird species, including Egyptian vulture, were spotted in the district last year.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.