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The Amur Falcons have arrived!

Nagaland has been host to the migratory Amur Falcon [Falco amurensis] for many years now.  The birds arrive in the Wokha district in the months of October and November of each year.  They arrive in large numbers, sometimes blotting out the sky.

 

About the falcons:

The falcons migrate from their Asian breeding grounds in South Eastern Siberia and North China and travel to North East India where they stay for a while before undertaking a long overwater passage of any raptor to Africa.  Winds are strong at an altitude of about 3000m and the birds are thought to fly at a height of above 1000m during migration. The route taken to return to their breeding grounds is not clear but they avoid the long ocean crossing and possibly take an overland route northward through Africa and to the west of the Himalayas.  Vagrants have been recorded as far west as in Italy, Sweden, St. Helena and the United Kingdom.

 

Males are dark grey with reddish brown thighs and undertail coverts; reddish orange eye-ring, cere, and feet. Females are duller above with dark scaly markings on white underparts, an orange eye ring, cere, and legs.

 

The Falcons are attracted to termite emergences, locust swarms, and crop harboring beetles and other insects. This species searches for prey from telephone or electricity lines, or while hovering, dropping to the ground, kestrel-fashion, to capture prey and return to the perch to eat it. [source: http://globalraptors.org/]

 

Other names for the falcon: Amur Red-footed Falcon, Eastern Red-footed Falcon, Eastern Red-footed Kestrel, Manchurian Falcon, Manchurian Red-footed Falcon, Red-legged Falcon

 

The India Trail has two trips planned to the Wokha/ Doyang region where you can witness this spectacle.  If you are interested, please write to us at rohan.abraham@indiatrail.org or at david.angami@indiatrail.org

 

[Some information has been extracted from Wikipedia]

[Image By ChanduBandi (Flickr: Amur Falcon) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]

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