Sunday 26 February 2012

Rare black eagle spotted after 90 years

NEW DELHI: It was a chance spotting and the group would have just walked past had the bird not taken a sudden flight. Amitava Misra and his friends, birding in the dense Aravali Biodiversity Park foliage earlier this month, saw a highly rare visitor to Delhi - the Indian Black Eagle. The last sighting record for this bird is for the winter of 1920-21, making it a 90 year gap between the last and the recent sighting. 

"We were about to finish birding for the day when we saw the bird perched on a tree right in front of us. We initially passed by thinking it was a Black Kite. However, suddenly the bird took flight and settled on another tree. It was then that we saw its non-forked tail, huge size and realized it was an eagle. Delhi has five to six species and we tried matching its features with all of those. However, since it did not match any of those, it could only be a Black Eagle," said Misra. 

None of us were able to identify the bird positively since nobody even thought that it was possible for it to be a Black Eagle, said Kanwar B Singh, an experienced birder who was part of the group. "The bird is usually found in cool forests, preferring rolling hills. We posted its pictures on the web and only then that we received a positive identification," he said. "It is difficult to say why a lone bird strayed towards Delhi but it could be because of an extended winter in the hills," Singh added. 

According to sources, the last positive sighting of the bird was by one Basin Edwardes in 1920-21. This reference has been quoted in 'A Guide to Birds of Delhi Area' (1975) by Usha Ganguly. However, even this reference has been disputed in Bill Harvey's 'Atlas of Birds of Delhi and Haryana' (2005). 

The bird is usually found between northeast Pakistan, along the base of the Himalayas from Himachal to Bhutan, in the south Assam hills to the Lushai hills, northeast peninsula in Odisa, the northeastern and southeastern Ghats and Sri Lanka.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails