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, 22 July 2016

Ornithologist captures rare Amur Falcon in Bastar

Rashmi Drolia| TNN | Jul 13, 2016, 09.52 AM IST

Raipur: Fondly called 'cutest falcon' by birdwatchers, Amur Falcon, a lesser known threatened species of raptor that breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China was spotted for the first time in Central India's Bastar region by a birder recently.

Birder and head of department, zoology of Government PG College, Jagdalpur, Dr Sushil Dutta released his first research papers with photographic documentation on Tuesday.

He stated that Eastern red-footed Falcon, one of the least talked-about species, was spotted for two successive days while it was migrating from China to South Africa in November last year. Earlier, spotted in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, the Falcon crosses 22,000 kilometres via India and halts in MP and Chhattisgarh as well.

Dr Dutta told TOI, "On November last year, this bird first arrived at north eastern side of Rajnagar tank, about 26 kilometres from Jagdalpur. Thereafter, it moved on to a nearby power line and next morning, the bird was seen perched on the power line. These birds on their trans-equatorial migration come from China and north east and fly across to South Africa in the south west and Bastar seems to be the pathway on the route."

Dr Dutta added that they usually return in March-April from South Africa and fly away to far north east. But in February, March and April, I made several visits to the spot where I had sighted the bird but it was not to be seen."

It is the first ever photographic documentation of the bird in Central India. The two sighting events revealed most of the morphological characters helpful for identification.

Talking to TOI, ecologist ML Naik said, "Certainly it's a good report to know that area of distribution of species has been observed to be wider than earlier. Such news is good for the state if rare species of birds feel safe here. If they get food, they might stay longer, which is also an indication that state's area is safer and suitable for birds."

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