SUBJECT :The Bejjur forest in Telangana’s Kumram Bheem Asifabad district, well known for its vast range of biodiversity, now adds Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) to its long list of birds. 

Visitor from afar: The male Amur falcon seen at Bejjur in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. 

‘Their presence is valuable as their sightings have become rare these days’

By - S. Harpal Singh

Kagaznagar, May 4, 2019: The Bejjur forest in Telangana’s Kumram Bheem Asifabad district, well known for its vast range of biodiversity, now adds Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) to its long list of birds. A pair of this migratory bird was sighted a few days ago at Mathadi natural springs about 7 km away from the headquarters of the range.

“Yes, we identified them as Amur falcons,” confirmed Kagaznagar Forest Divisional Officer M. Raja Ramana Reddy, expressing happiness over the sighting and a noteworthy addition to the list, though it is only a migratory bird.

“I suddenly spotted the pair sitting close to each other on the dried up branches of a tree and instantly knew that these birds were not seen before,” said Rajesh Kanny, a wildlife photographer working with the Kagaznagar Division, who sighted the birds and clicked some photographs also.

“It’s a valuable sighting,” asserted avid bird-watcher Humayun Taher, associated with the Hyderabad-based Deccan Birders. “The pair could possibly be vagrant that somehow got separated from a migrating flock,” he said. “The birds were occasionally seen in southern States in the country, but the sightings have become rare these days. They seem only to pass through and not stay,” he added.

These small raptors are migratory birds and usually fly in large flocks between China and Somalia, flying over Mongolia, Russia and peninsular India. “The Kagaznagar forests, one of the larger portions of it being the Bejjur range, are not far out of the way for the migrating birds,” the bird-watcher said.

“One Amur falcon is being tracked in an experiment which got under way a couple of years ago,” Mr. Ramana Reddy said of the latest developments in the study of the migratory pattern of the raptor. “A GPS-fitted transmitter has been tagged onto a bird and currently, its predicted migratory pattern could have it flying over this area,” he added quoting from an exchange of the information with those concerned with the experiment.


Source: thehindu.com