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| Last Updated:09/04/2024

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New winged visitor arrives in Ernakulam (Source: The Indian Express 12/12/2023)


A new winged guest has come calling in the district. Known as Taiga Flycatcher (Ficedula albicilla), it is the 418th bird species to visit Ernakulam so far. The little bird was spotted for the first time on November 21 near Pookkattupadi in Ernakulam. Software engineer and naturalist Anoop K came across the bird by chance. Anoop, a member of the Cochin Natural History Society Birders’ Association, said he was able to click a good picture of the bird only on December 6. “I was on my usual bird-watching trip when I came across the little bird flitting around trying to catch tiny insects, its prey,” Anoop said. Vishnupriyan Kartha K, secretary of the Cochin Natural History Society, said, “The photo was sent for verification. The Malayalam name of the bird is Chemkandan Pata Pidian.” The bird was seen in the area around wards 9 and 10 of Edathala panchayat. “So far, 125 bird species have been spotted in the area, which comprises Palancherrymugal and sacred groves around the Vettakkorumakan temple, besides the wetland,” Kartha said. He said Taiga Flycatchers hail from the region between eastern Russia (Eastern Europe) and eastern Siberia (Kamchatka province). “Towards the south, they are found in northeastern Kazakhstan, northern Mongolia, and Amurland. They are also found in southern Nepal, northeast India, Bangladesh, southeast Asia and southeast China during the winter. This is its first recorded sighting in Ernakulam though,” Kartha said. He said unlike other migratory birds, Taiga Flycatchers are not found in large numbers. “They come in pairs. More than two or four have never been spotted together. They are rare in northern parts of India,” Kartha said, adding their arrival here might be an indirect effect of climate change. In any case, the arrival of the little birds has become an occasion to celebrate for the birders. “Every day, many people come here to enjoy their hijinks and click photos. The two female birds here are enjoying their new habitat and their antics seem to be getting louder all the time,” said Kartha, an ardent birder.