The first flock of migratory Amur falcons has arrived in Nagaland from Siberia, and at least two of the birds are returning visitors. The birds were satellite-tagged in 2013, and conservation officials have found they have returned to the Wokha district for the third time in a row.
“We had satellite-tagged three falcons in 2013 to track their movement. While the one named Wokha has remained inactive since last year, the other two — Naga and Pangti — are in Pangti village along with thousands others. They are expected to stay in Nagaland till late November,” M Lokeswara Rao, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Nagaland, said over the telephone from Kohima.
The two birds have covered about 44,000 kms since they were satellite-tagged in November 2013, Rao said. “The most amazing lap of their annual journey is the non-stop flight from India’s west coast to the east coast of Africa across the Arabian Sea, which takes between 72 to 84 hours,” he said.
The Amur falcons start their annual journey from south-eastern Siberia and Northern China to Northeastern India in the first week of October, roost in Nagaland and some adjoining Assam districts for five to six weeks, and then leave for southern Africa, where they spend the winter.
India is a signatory to the Convention of Migratory Species, and the three birds were fitted with satellite tags in Pangti village by the Wildlife Trust of India.