This bird of prey has been in the news for past 6-8 weeks and I along with few friends had an opportunity not only to spot it but capture some wonderful images. Finally a long drive over 1600 kms truly paid off our efforts in a big way.
The Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis), formerly Eastern Red-footed Falcon, is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China, wintering in Southern Africa. It feeds mainly on insects, including locusts, grasshoppers, beetles, and flying termites.
The Amur falcon is a fascinating bird. It is only the size of a pigeon, but it has one of the longest migratory paths in the bird kingdom, travelling up to 22,000 km in a year. The bird of prey visits Nagaland in large numbers close to 1 Million this year, from October to November every year, probably before taking giant leap across Indian Ocean. The raptor spends its day in search of food and settles on the trees for roosting during the night. This particular behavioral pattern of Amur Falcon is being exploited by the hunters. Major efforts have been taken to conserve this bird by Nagaland Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Trust (NWBCT), Conservation India (CI) and several other NGO’s, thanks to Ramki Sreenivasan who kept providing us the live update from Nagaland.
Three Amur falcons were satellite tagged and released on 6th November 2013 in Pangti. The birds were named Naga, Wokha and Pangti. The three birds were fitted with satellite tags with antenna and solar panel weighing 5 gram on their back.
Wokha female was released on 7th November spent 2 days near Doyang until 9th November, further flew over Silchar-Aizwal of Mizoram entering Bangladesh near Chittogang, flying over Bay of Bengal, entered Andhra Pradesh near Srikakulam fly over Vishakapatnam-Khammam, Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar, entered Karnataka near Raichur fly over Bagalkot - Belgaum and entered Arabian sea near Panjim Goa, flew over Arabian Sea reached Somalia through Gulf of Aden flying near Ceerigaaboin in Somalia. It took thirteen days to fly from Doyang, Nagaland to Somalia. It took approximately three and half days to cross Arabian Sea. The final Destination of these birds is South Africa where they spend summer and fly back to Mongolia. If you wish to view the migration route pl click the link below -
Camera - Canon EOS 1DX, Canon f4 600mm IS II + 1.4x TC
EXIF - ISO 200 Av 8 Tv 1/640 sec EC +0.7 Focal length 840mm Spot Metering, Cropped
Location - Karnataka-Maharashtra state border
Date & time - 21st Nov'13 @ 8:16am