Amur falcons, which undertake one of the longest migrations, spotted in Kerala

  • Leading birders across the State, along with some of their counterparts from Tamil Nadu, have started flocking around the Malampuzha dam here to get glimpses of the rare and elusive Amur falcons, small birds of prey that undertake one of the longest migrations.
  • This is the first time that Amur falcons, which breed in south-eastern Siberia and North-eastern China, are being spotted in Kerala. For the past one week, they have been arriving in small groups at the southern edges of the Malampuzha reservoir, presumably for a stopover.
  • Ornithologists say Nagaland was their home in India. Every year, they travel 22,000 km from Nagaland to South Africa then onto Mongolia and back to Nagaland. The bird has one of the longest and most fascinating migratory paths in the avian kingdom.
  • The falcons normally breed in south-eastern Siberia and North-eastern China where the Amur river divides the Russian Far East and China, hence the name Amur.
  • Amur falcons typically begin their annual journey from north- eastern Siberia and Northern China, heading to north-east India and roosting in Nagaland, before leaving for Africa, where they spend winters.
  • In some parts of Nagaland, tribal people consider the falcons as messengers of God, their arrival indicating a good year and a bountiful harvest. The birds eat winged termites and other insects that destroy crops.

Source:The Hindu

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