PUBLISHED: 23:32, 8 September 2014 | UPDATED: 23:33, 8 September 2014
Known scavengers, black kites consume about 100g of food daily and help dispose of waste
A recent study by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has brought a piece of good news for bird lovers in Delhi.
Among the major cities of the world, the national Capital has the highest density of black kites (Milvus migrans govinda). And for the past five decades, Delhi has been maintaining a stable breeding population of this bird, commonly known as ‘cheel’.
According to the report by the Dehradun-based institute, the bird’s ‘nesting density’ in Delhi is 15 pairs per sq km, which is almost the same as the figures for 1970s.
In 1971, Russian scientist Vladimir M. Galushin had conducted a similar study across 150 sq km and assessed the black kite’s ‘nesting density’ at 16.1 pairs per sq km.
Ghazipur in Delhi remains a hot spot for black kites, with abundance of food in the dumping yard, a large number of slaughter houses, and chicken/fish markets located there.
To count the number of black kites in that locality, WII researchers developed the method of photograph-based count using software Image J.