Birdwatchers Rejoice: Rare Species Sighted In Pune (PHOTOS)

Birdwatchers Rejoice: Rare Species Sighted In Pune (PHOTOS)

The fact that these birds are now classified as rare is a testimony to the changing climate

Apoorva TopeUpdated: Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 02:03 PM IST
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Birdwatchers Rejoice: Rare Species Sighted In Pune (PHOTOS) |

Pune, the jewel of the Deccan Plateau, is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Rare bird sightings in and around the city attract several ornithologists year-round, with a substantial increase in sightings during the months leading into the rainy season. eBird.org, a dedicated website, tracks these sightings. It provides details about the date, location, and common and scientific names of these birds. Additionally, the website confirms these sightings for statistical accuracy.

Knob-billed duck

Knob-billed duck | IG/@wcsindia

Changeable hawk-eagle

Changeable hawk-eagle | IG/@photo.raptors

Striated heron

Striated heron | IG/@omina000

In the last week alone, there were sightings of six rare bird species in and around the city. These included a knob-billed duck couple on the waters of the Pimpelgaon Joga Dam. The knob-billed duck is a freshwater bird with dark wings found throughout India and Southeast Asia. It is often confused with the comb duck, which is slightly smaller with darker flanks. A Jerdon’s nightjar, native to the south of the Himalayas, was spotted in the Amby Valley area. This nocturnal bird is also active in the early hours of the day and is found along the wooded areas of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Another sighting was of the grey-fronted green pigeon in the Kharmari quarry. This bird is known for its odd vocals that resemble the tuning of an old radio. The striated heron, another rarity, was spotted in the same area. It is similar to the green heron but with a grey neck and is seen across grasslands, fresh and saltwater bodies, and agricultural regions.

Jerdon’s nightjar

Jerdon’s nightjar | IG/@bklynbirdsong

Jungle babbler

Jungle babbler | IG/@vinuninan

Grey-fronted green pigeon

Grey-fronted green pigeon | IG/@syampotturi

Two other rare bird species were spotted in the Pabe Ghat region: a changeable hawk-eagle and a jungle babbler. The changeable hawk-eagle was of the crested variety, with a wingspan ranging from 100 to 160 cm. Contrary to its name, which might suggest a colourful plumage, it comes only in two colours - pale and black. The jungle babbler was of the black-winged variety, also known as the ‘seven sisters’ because they usually live in groups of 6-10.

The fact that these birds are now classified as rare is a testimony to the changing climate. Birds that were once commonly found in and around the city are now seen only in secluded parts of the forests, away from the chaos. This calls for concrete steps to reverse the impact of climate change and create a green district that boosts the rehabilitation of rare and endangered species.

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