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.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Monsoon brings black-headed ibis to Delhi-NCR for breeding


The birds have built their nests on date palm groves — an unusual habitat

Heavy rain in Delhi-NCR this monsoon may have spelt chaos for residents, but it has brought rare joy to birdwatchers as a large flock of the black-headed ibis, a threatened species, has flown to Surajpur Wetland of Greater Noida for breeding.

Not just the black-headed Ibis, the rain seems to have done wonders as nearly a dozen other bird species have also been spotted with their nestlings.

While sightings of the black-headed Ibis are not exactly rare in the Capital, experts say they hardly choose the region for breeding. So a flock of at least 50 birds nesting at Surajpur Wetland has been a pleasant surprise for bird lovers and experts.

“Generally, this threatened species flies to the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary in Agra for nesting and breeding. There, they are found in large numbers. But this is probably the first time that Delhi-NCR has witnessed such a large flock for reproduction,” said T.K. Roy, the Delhi state coordinator for Asia Waterbird Census.

Unusual habitat
This is not all. The birds have sprung another surprise by building their nests on date palm groves — a highly unusual habitat for them. They mostly build their nests on Jamun trees. However, they may have been unable to settle there because of constant human disturbance for plucking of the fruit.

“The rain has revived the Surajpur Wetland. The area now has good marshlands and thick grasslands that provide good nesting and breeding ground for birds,” Mr. Roy added.
One of three species

The breeding of black-headed Ibis took place in a very small numbers at the Delhi zoo over five years ago.

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