Home Cities Common Redshank tagged by BNHS in Navi Mumbai sighted in Russia

Common Redshank tagged by BNHS in Navi Mumbai sighted in Russia

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Navi Mumbai: It is not the pink necked Flamingoes that have the bird watchers rejoicing this time but the sighting of another migratory bird — Common Redshank — all the way in Russia. The tiny bird measuring 27 cm to 30 cm, which was tagged by a team of scientists from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) in TS Chanakya, Nerul in 2020, was sighted in Altai, Russia, on April 26, making it a memorable moment for the bird watching community in Navi Mumbai.

The bird was sighted by scientist and vice-president of Russian Bird Conservation Union (RBCU) Alexey Ebel. BNHS has shared a post detailing the journey of the bird right from its banding to its sighting on Twitter.

“Sighting a tagged bird is a rarity therefore our joy knew no bounds when we got a mail from Alexey stating that he has sighted the Common Redshank tagged in our country. On verifying the information on the tag, it was even more amazing to know that this bird was tagged in 2020 at TS Chanakya,” said Mrugank Prabhu, a scientist engaged in Bird migration studies along the west coast in India at BNHS.

To study the migratory pattern of the species and the route taken by them to feed and breed, 1,300 odd birds were netted and tagged with alphanumeric colour-coded bands. The scientist recalled that a similar activity on the same species of bird was last done in 1965 in Bharatpur in Rajasthan.

“The bird tagged in 1965 was sighted the same year in Russia. That itself was a novelty and now it is after 57 years that the incident has repeated, indicating the time taken to undertake any form of study in migratory birds,” adds the scientist.

Colour-coded plastic bands are used to study the sighting of migratory birds. “To avert confusion, which could hamper the study of ascertaining the travelling pattern of migratory birds, it was unanimously decided by the groups tracking migratory routes of birds to keep tags colour-coded, as per countries. For northern India, the colour is white with alphanumeric data written in red, whereas for southern India the tag colour is black with white alphanumeric inscriptions,” said Prabhu.

According to bird watchers, the city wetlands attract over 200 odd species of wader migratory birds flying from across continents. “Total of 240 different species of birds have been sighted in a year and documented. I too have sighted 80 birds. Common Redshank is one of the migratory birds spotted rarely, just like the Pacific Golden Plover species, that makes Navi Mumbai a pit stop before heading for breeding purposes up into the north,” said an avid bird lover Ranjeet Rane.

Policy analyst by profession, Rane recently shifted his base from Koparkhairne to Pune. He, however, visits the city regularly to engage in his hobby of bird watching.

“Flamingoes over the past few years have become the flag bearer of the importance of wetlands preservation. They have evoked interest among residents to identify other types of birds. Only if wetlands are preserved will more migratory species consider stopping over,” said program coordinator with BNHS, Asif Khan.

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