23-12-2017 01:12 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
African bird spotted for the first time in India
A rare African bird — namaqua dove (Oena capensis) — was spotted in the Khijadia Bird Sanctuary near Jamnagar city by two Rajkot based bird watchers. The bird is a native of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar and is smaller in size than common doves seen in India.
The namaqua birds are known to migrate from north to south in winter, but never before have they been sighted in India. Bird watchers, Akshay Trivedi and Kunal Trivedi, who spotted the bird, said that when they tried to identify the bird, they did not find its reference in list of rare birds seen in India.
Akshay said that they saw a dove foraging in the short grass and noted that it was different than the common doves found in India. The dove had long pointed tail with bars, black feathers on coverts and bar on the body.
Kunal added that when they moved closer to the bird, it flew away, but its flight was quick and was close to the ground. They then approached Prasad Gunpule who is an expert bird-watcher and editorial contributor of a magazine on Indian birds.
The expert said that they tried to match the characteristics of the bird with an all India comprehensive check list of rare species of birds as well as a reference book on Indian birds. Gunpule said that he didn't find the bird with this kind of description and behaviour. He said, “ After verifying with other's bird database, we came to a conclusion that it is namaqua dove and it has been seen for the first time in India."
Khijadia Bird Sanctuary in Jamnagar is home to nearly 365 species of migratory birds that visit the sanctuary during winter. President of Bird Conservation Society of Rajkot Ashok Mashru said that the namaqua dove is native of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar and since these birds migrate from north to south every winter, their appearance in India is unusual.