As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 9 August 2013

A mystery bird that surfaces in the monsoon

Not many would have heard of the Lesser Florican, a rare bird found only in the Indian subcontinent. Interestingly, this bird is seen only during the monsoon, which is its breeding season, after which it disappears with its young ones. Not much is known of its movements for the rest of the year. Some bird-watchers speculate that it spends its non-breeding time in central India while others think that it flies off to the Western Ghats.

Also known as ‘Khadmor’ or ‘Likh’, it belongs to the bustard family and can be found in some parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan during monsoon (June to October) for breeding. Like the peacock, the male of lesser florican is very attractive — it has a black body with elongated head feathers that are its distinct feature. During the breeding period, the male bird attracts the female of the species by taking 7-8 feet high jumps above the ground and making frog-like “croak calls.” This is the only time when these shy birds become visible to us, otherwise, they hide themselves in the grass or behind crops. Birdwatchers also eagerly wait for this moment.




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