Way before aeroplanes made it possible for humans to cross oceans, migratory birds around the world flew thousands of miles looking for favourable habitats. The birds would migrate in search of suitable ecological niches for a myriad of reasons such as escaping extreme weather, nesting, and foraging for food.
Earlier this week, Indian Forest Service officer Parveen Kaswan shared a clip that tracked the route of a Pallid Harrier. The clip showed how the migratory birds travelled over 6,000 km by flying over an altitude of 2658 meters and at one point flying at the speed of 87 km per hour.
While sharing the video, Kaswan wrote, “See how less migratory humans are. A Pallid Harrier was satellite tagged and its route was monitored. The bird travelled 6000 km and went upto Russia. Beautiful revelations. The real tourists !!”.
Kaswan also added the video was based on a study of the “Central Asian Flyway” during which “Four raptors were satellite tagged which were powered by solar energy”.
In his tweet, he also linked the paper titled, “Home Ranges and Migration Routes of Four Threatened Raptors in Central Asia: Preliminary Results”, which was published in a journal by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute.
Commenting on Kaswan’s post, a Twitter user wrote, “Unbelievable….Just imagine the strength of their wings and their stamina. Amazing”. Another person wrote, “Visa issues for humans. No such constraints for birds you see. On a lighter note!”.
While migratory birds like Indian Spotted Eagle, Tawny Eagle, and Pallid Harriers continue to migrate great distances, their population is on the decline due to climate change and encroachment of their habitat.