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| Last Updated:: 24/01/2015

Rare bird sighted in Rajapalayam

 During the Pongal bird count, a team of birder spotted the Broad-tailed grass bird, which is endemic to the Western Ghats.


A group of young birders have spotted the Broad-tailed grass bird near a reservoir on the outskirts of Rajapalayam during the Pongal bird count.


On the final day of the count on January 18, the team, led by birder and wildlife photographer Sharan Venkatesh spotted this rare bird, which is endemic to the Western Ghats.


“We sighted just this bird among the prinias [small insectivorous birds]. It looked different. Initially, we were not sure what bird it was. After photographing it, we came to know that it was a rare sighting,” says Sharan, a final year student at the Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai.


The four-member team, comprising Sankar, Pranav and Lokesh, all members of the Wildlife Association of Rajapalayam (WAR), also sighted Osprey, Striated heron, Orange-headed ground thrush and Yellow-footed green pigeon among 150-species of birds identified in the count.


Disturbed habitats


After confirming with ornithologists, T.S. Subramania Raja of WAR, says the lack of recent records of spotting the bird is indicative of its disturbed habitats and declining population.


The bird has been sighted only in the Valparai ranges in recent years, he adds.


Happy at the sighting of the birds during the survey, the young birders plan to conduct more surveys to document bird life in the region.