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.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Himalayan griffon spotted in Goa

Birdwatchers in south Goa have reported spotting the rare Himalayan griffon, also known as Himalayan vulture.

Birdwatchers in south Goa have reported spotting the rare Himalayan griffon, also known as Himalayan vulture.

Mandar Bhagat and Omkar Dharwadkar of the Goa Bird Conservation Network (GBCN) said they spotted the bird in Cacora village recently.

“Notes taken from the field and photographs of the bird taken were sent to several expert ornithologists across the country to confirm the species and our suspicions were correct. It is indeed the Himalayan griffon,” said Mr. Dharwadkar, who was the first to spot the avian.
According to the GBCN, the Himalayan griffon was previously believed to belong to the upper Himalayas and was presumed to stray till the Gangetic plains at the most. In 2013, however, “an exhausted juvenile” was rescued in Thrissur district of Kerala. In the same year, multiple sightings of the species were also reported from Bangalore in Karnataka and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. Earlier this year, the same species was reportedly spotted in Kaiga in Karnataka, the network of avid birdwatchers said.

“Himalayan griffons do not breed in the first three years, and hence juvenile birds of the species do not remain in breeding grounds to avoid competition. Such long-distance straying from home territory also points towards a lack of navigational experience in immature birds. All individuals of the species previously reported as sighted from south India, including the one spotted in Goa, are the immature ones. With this, the list of birds of Goa officially stands at 460 species, of which 14 additions were made in the last three years alone,” said Pronoy Baidya, a reviewer for eBird, an online programme that crowdsources information from birdwatchers.

Continued ...

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