IMPHAL, April 27 - Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across various corners of the world, the radio-tagged Amur falcons which flew non-stop for 5 days covering thousands of kms to reach African countries as part of their routine annual migratory journey in November 2019, have started returning to the North East for onward journey to their breeding sites in northern China, a scientist from the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun said.
Chiulon, a male Amur falcon radio-tagged with a satellite transmitter along with four other falcons, namely Puching and Phalong - both names of villages in Tamenglong district, besides Irang and Barak - both names of rivers in the district, by the Forest Department in collaboration with Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientists in Tamenglong district on November last, arrived in Mizoram on Sunday, scientist Dr R Suresh Kumar from the WII said when contacted.
The bird which left Somalia coast on April 21, was located at a place close to Zwalpui in western Mizoram on April 26 at 4 pm after the falcon reported in Madhya Pradesh on the morning of April 25.
The scientist felt that Chiulon may skip Manipur and instead fly across to Myanmar on his way to the breeding site.
Amur falcons were radio tagged with satellite transmitters to study the flight route of these long-distance migratory birds and environmental patterns along the route.
Though all the falcons were transmitting data during this radio tagging programme, Puching and Phalong failed to transmit any data just a few days after being tagged. Meanwhile, Barak and Irang are said to be in Mogadishu till Sunday.
On April 24, Chiulon was reportedly in the middle of the Arabian crossing covering a distance of 3,150 km and gliding over the jet stream, the scientist, who is currently monitoring the route of the migratory birds, informed.
On the other hand, Longleng, a female Amur falcon named after Nagaland�s district had already arrived in India on April 23 and flying non-stop towards Karnataka, the scientist informed. The bird which was radio-tagged in October 2016, started her 4-day return passage from Somalia to India on April 20.
The Amur falcons spend the summer in their breeding grounds in northern China and migrate to South Africa during the winter. En route to their wintering grounds, these birds enter the North East of India in October.