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Title : Indian Migratory Birds (Migratory Birds Coming to India in Summer Season and Migratory Birds Coming to India in Winter Season) Previous topic PreviousNext Next topic

At the beginning of summer, migratory birds from various part of the world, which arrived in India. Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Sometimes, journeys are not termed "true migration" because they are irregular (nomadism, invasions, irruptions) or in only one direction (dispersal, movement of young away from natal area). Migration is marked by its annual seasonality. Indian subcontinent plays host to a number of migratory birds in summers as well as winters. It is estimated that over hundred species of migratory birds fly to India, either in search of feeding grounds or to escape the severe winter of their native habitat. Usually, birds start migrating towards other areas when they perceive the tailwind to be favorable. However, once they start their migration journey, nothing can stop them, except extremely bad weather. Many birds prefer to fly at a higher altitude while migrating. This is because winds usually prevail at higher altitudes and at the same time, the cold temperature at these altitudes helps them in diffusing the body heat, which is generated by their flight muscles. The timing of the migration is usually a mixture of internal and external stimulus. The primary motivation for migration appears to be food; for example, some hummingbirds choose not to migrate if fed through the winter. Also, the longer days of the northern summer provide extended time for breeding birds to feed their young. This helps diurnal birds to produce larger clutches than related non-migratory species that remain in the tropics. As the days shorten in autumn, the birds return to warmer regions where the available food supply varies little with the season.

Few Of The Migratory Birds Coming to India in Summer Season :

A) Asian Koel : The Asian Koel is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. Asian Koel lives in Australia, India, from south-eastern Asia to New Guinea, and Salomon Islands.. It forms a superspecies with the closely related Black-billed and Pacific Koels which are sometimes treated as subspecies. The Asian Koel is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of crows and other hosts, who raise its young. They are unusual among the cuckoos in being largely frugivorous as adults. The name koel is echoic in origin with several language variants and the bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry. Birds living at the fringes of the range (eastern Australia), migrate to warmer areas in winter. Most of populations are resident in their range, but others perform some dispersion.

B) Black crowned Night Heron : Commonly abbreviated to just Night Heron in Eurasia, is a medium-sized heron found throughout a large part of the world, except in the coldest regions and Australasia (where it is replaced by the closely related Rufous Night Heron, with which it has hybridized in the area of contact). Black-crowned Night Herons are small stocky, short-legged compared to other herons. They are handsomely attired in a tri-colour plumage of black, grey and white, with two long plumes on the nape. Most Black Crowned Night Heron populations in our region are resident. A few populations that breed in the north may migrate, doing so at night and resting during the day. During their migration, they call to keep together to come out mainly at night.

C) Eurasian Golden Oriole : The Eurasian Golden Oriole or simply Golden Oriole is the only member of the oriole family of passerine birds breeding in northern hemisphere temperate regions. It is a summer migrant in Europe and western Asia and spends the winter season in the central and southern Africa. Golden orioles have an extremely large range with large populations that are apparently stable. Therefore, they are evaluated as least concern by BirdLife International. They generally migrate during the night, but may travel during the day in the spring migration. During the fall migration they migrate via the Eastern Mediterranean where they feed on fruit; they are often considered a pest in this region because of this. The Golden Oriole is a summer migrant meaning that it migrates north for the cooler summer climates, and flies back south to the tropics when the winter begins to emerge. The Golden Oriole is nearly always found in well-timbered forests and woodland, along with parks, orchards and gardens.

D) Comb Duck : The Knob-billed Duck, or Comb Duck, is an unusual, pan-tropical duck, found in tropical wetlands in sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and south Asia from Pakistan to Laos and extreme southern China. It also occurs in continental South America south to the Paraguay River region in eastern Paraguay, southeastern Brazil and the extreme northeast of Argentina, and as a vagrant on Trinidad. This African duck tends to migrate long distances, occasionally traveling more than 2,200 miles!.

E) Blue-cheeked Bee Eater : Blue-cheeked Bee-Eater differs markedly from European Bee Eater in its predominantly bright green plumage and rufous-chesnut throat, with yellow only on chin. Elongated central tail feathers of adult are longer. It has longer, finer black bill, giving it a longer, more streamlined look than European. Narrower black face mask bordered above and below by pale bands frequently whitish-looking than bluish, gives it distinctive facial expression, even at a distance when colours are hard to see. In flight from below, look quite dark-throated, and underwings are much paler and obviously coppery overall with narrower, less obvious dark trailing edge. It is migratory, moving in small or large flocks mainly by day, passing on broad front often at considerable height. They vacate breeding grounds in August. On long sea crossing, they have to migrate by night. It is a long distance migrant.

F) Blue-tailed Bee-Eater : Blue-tailed Bee-eaters usually forage in open habitats near freshwater as well as coasts. Blue-tailed Bee-eaters roost together and a roost may include huge numbers (roosts of hundreds have been observed). They prefer to roost in tall trees inland, as well as in mangroves. Like other Bee-eaters, the Blue-tailed Bee-eaters nest in small colonies. They tunnel out a nest and prefer light sandy soil that allows good drainage. Those that breed in the north are believed to migrate southwards in winter. These birds are seen occasionally at Sungei Buloh in August-March. In Singapore, Blue-Tailed Bee-Eaters are found in scrub, mangrove, forest, cultivated areas and grasslands.

G) Cuckoos : The cuckoos are a family, Cuculidae, of near passerine birds. The order Cuculiformes, in addition to the cuckoos, also includes the turacos. Some zoologists and taxonomists have also included the unique Hoatzin in the Cuculiformes, but its taxonomy remains in dispute. The cuckoo family, in addition to those species named as such, also includes the roadrunners, koels, malkohas, couas, coucals and anis. The coucals and anis are sometimes separated as distinct families, the Centropodidae and Crotophagidae respectively. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the majority of species being tropical. Some species are migratory

Few Of The Migratory Birds Coming to India in Winter Season :

 A) Siberian Cranes : The Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) also known as the Siberian White Crane or the Snow Crane, is a bird of the family Gruidae, the cranes. They are distinctive among the cranes, adults are nearly all snowy white, except for their black primary feathers that are visible in flight and a naked red face, with two breeding populations in the Arctic tundra of western and eastern Russia. The eastern populations migrate during winter to China while the western population winters in Iran and formerly, in India. Among the cranes, they make the longest distance migrations.
B) Greater Flamingo : All flamingos are found in tropical and subtropical areas. The Greater Flamingo is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is found in parts of Africa, southern Asia (coastal regions of Pakistan and India), and southern Europe (including Spain, Albania, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Italy and the Camargue region of France). Flamingos are generally non-migratory birds. However, due to changes in the climate and water levels in their breeding areas, flamingo colonies are not always permanent.

C) Ruff : The Ruff is a medium-sized wading bird that breeds in marshes and wet meadows across northern Eurasia. This highly gregarious sandpiper is migratory and sometimes forms huge flocks in its winter grounds, which include southern and western Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Australia. It is usually considered to be the only member of its genus, and the Broad-billed and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers are its closest relatives.

D) Black winged Stilt : The Black-necked Stilt is a locally abundant shorebird of American wetlands and coastlines. It is found from the coastal areas of California through much of the interior western United States and along the Gulf of Mexico as far east as Florida, then south through Central America and the Caribbean to northwest Brazil southwest Peru,east Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. The northernmost populations, particularly those from inland, are migratory, wintering from the extreme south of the United States to southern Mexico, rarely as far south as Costa Rica; on the Baja California peninsula it is only found regularly in winter.

E) Common Teal : The Eurasian Teal or Common Teal is a common and widespread duck which breeds in temperate Eurasia and migrates south in winter. The Eurasian Teal is often called simply the Teal due to being the only one of these small dabbling ducks in much of its range. The bird gives its name to the blue-green colour teal.

F) Common Greenshank : The Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) is a wader in the large family Scolopacidae, the typical waders. Its closest relative is the Greater Yellowlegs, which together with the Spotted Redshank form a close-knit group. Among them, these three species show all the basic leg and foot colours found in the shanks, demonstrating that this character is paraphyletic. They are also the largest shanks apart from the Willet, which is altogether more robustly built. Common Greenshanks are migratory, breeding in Palaearctic regions and moving south in a broad front, along the coasts and inland to their non-breeding areas. Greenshanks arrive in Australia in August and numbers increase slowly until September, with larger numbers arriving until November. Following their arrival, they normally remain in the same location with some local movements. Birds move north again in March and April.

G) Northern Pintail : The Pintail or Northern Pintail is a widely occurring duck which breeds in the northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America. It is strongly migratory and winters south of its breeding range to the equator. Unusually for a bird with such a large range, it has no geographical subspecies if the possibly con-specific Eaton's Pintail is considered to be a separate species. Found at lakes, reservoirs and marshes; one of the commonest migratory species in North India. Highly gregarious, keeps in flocks up to hundreds, arrives in North India by September-October and departs by end of March. Common and widely distributed winter visitor to whole of India.

H) Yellow Wagtail : The Yellow Wagtail is one of the early winter visitors in India. All wagtails are dainty, delicate birds but the yellow one is the most graceful of them all. When they arrive in parties on the marshes, the males are wonderfully brilliant. Running lightly within inches of grazing cattle, their slight bodies are often hidden, but bright colours, golden, catch the eye.  The Yellow Wagtail is a small passerine in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. This species breeds in much of temperate Europe and Asia and has a foothold in North America in Alaska. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, such as western Europe, but northern and eastern populations migrate to Africa and south Asia. The Beringian population winters further down the Pacific coast.

I) White Wagtail : The White Wagtail is mostly an aquatic bird, but this species can be common in various types of habitats, as well near water to hunt as in urban parks and cities for roosting in trees. This species breeds in much of Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa. It is resident in the mildest parts of its range, but otherwise migrates to Africa. It has a toehold in Alaska as a scarce breeder. In some areas, notably Britain and Ireland, the sub-species Pied Wagtail predominates. During migrations or winter, it also frequents various wet areas such as edges of reservoirs, lakes and ponds, ricefields and irrigated fields, towns and cities, campsites and beaches. This species can breed from lowlands to high mountains (up to 5000 metres of elevation in the Himalayas).

J) Northern Shoveler : The Northern Shoveler, Northern Shoveller in British English, sometimes known simply as the Shoveler, is a common and widespread duck. It breeds in northern areas of Europe and Asia and across most of North America, wintering in southern Europe, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Central and northern South America. It is a rare vagrant to Australia. In North America, it breeds along the southern edge of Hudson Bay and west of this body of water, and as far south as the Great Lakes west to Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon.

K) Rosy Pelican : The Rosy Pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus also known as the Eastern White Pelican or Great White Pelican is a bird in the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia and in Africa in swamps and shallow lakes. Primaries black with white shafts; secondaries black but with much white on the outer webs, often extending to the inner also; there is also a sharply-denned but narrow black edging to the secondaries and sometimes to the scapulars; remaining plumage white, the whole head, neck and long crest suffused with rosy-pink, which extends to the back and scapulars and breast; at the base of the fore-neck the long lanceolate feathers are yellow-ochre or tan-yellow.

L) Gadwall : Gadwalls are medium-sized, streamlined ducks with mottled brown-and-black body plumage and light brown heads. Females and males in eclipse plumage may look superficially similar to Mallards. Pairs are generally formed during fall migration. In the spring, gadwall are one of the latest nesting dabbling ducks with nesting starting around mid to late May. Gadwall like to nest in tall, emergent vegetation near water and prefer islands.

M) Wood Sandpiper : The Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) is a common winter visitor and one of the strongest migrants in the genus. It is typically an inland wader. The Wood Sandpiper, Tringa glareola, is a small wader. It is the smallest of the shanks, and breeds in subarctic wetlands from the Scottish Highlands across Europe and Asia. It will nest on the ground, or reuse the old tree nest of another bird, such as the Fieldfare. They migrate to Africa and southern Asia, particularly India. This bird is usually found on fresh water during migration and wintering. These birds forage by probing in shallow water or on wet mud. They mainly eat insects, and similar small prey.

N) Spotted Sandpiper : The Spotted Sandpiper, found along the edges of just about any water source, is probably most easily recognized by the habit of bobbing its tail up and down, or “teetering,” almost constantly while foraging on the ground. In fact, this tendency has earned the bird the nickname “teeter-tail.” The function of this motion has not been determined. Teetering gets faster when the bird is nervous, but stops when the bird is aggressive or courting. Spotted Sandpipers spend winters from the southern states to southern South America. Some birds spend the winter in the Hawaiian Islands. They’ll also be found along Pacific Coast northward to Puget Sound, wherever open water is present. Fall migration occurs in small flocks, mainly at night.

O) Eurasian Wigeon : The Eurasian Wigeon, also known as Widgeon or Eurasian Widgeon is one of three species of wigeon in the dabbling duck genus Anas. It is common and widespread within its range. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name.  The majority of Eurasian wigeons winter from Iceland, the British Isles, northern Europe, southern Russia and Japan south to the eastern Atlantic islands, Africa, Arabia, India, the Malay Peninsula, southern China, Formosa and the Philippines. In North America, the Eurasian wigeon is an occasional visitor to the Pacific coast, from southeastern Alaska to northern Baja California, and the Atlantic-Gulf coast, from Labrador and Newfoundland south to Florida and west to southern Texas.

P) Black tailed Godwit : The Black-tailed Godwit, Limosa limosa, is a large, long-legged, long-billed shorebird first described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1758. It is a member of the Limosa genus, the godwits. There are three subspecies, all with orange head, neck and chest in breeding plumage and dull grey-brown winter coloration, and distinctive black and white wingbar at all times. Its breeding range stretches from Iceland through Europe and areas of central Asia. Black-tailed Godwits spend winter in areas as diverse as the Indian Subcontinent, Australia, western Europe and west Africa.

Q) Spotted Redshank : The spotted redshank is a medium sized elegant wading bird, slightly larger than a redshank. In summer plumage the adults are almost entirely black, save for some white `spotting' on the wings, a white `wedge' on the back showing clearly in flight, and a barred tail. In winter they have a grey back, and paler under parts, with a more prominent eye stripe than a redshank and lacking a redshank's white wing bars. They migrate from northern European across and northern Siberian breeding areas, to winter in Europe, Africa, China and South-east Asia. They are a relatively scarce wintering species in the UK, with over half the population found at fewer than ten sites, making them an Amber List species

R) Starling : The Common Starling, also known as the European Starling or just Starling, is a passerine bird in the family Sturnidae. This species of starling is native to most of temperate Europe and western Asia. It is resident in southern and western Europe and southwestern Asia, while northeastern populations migrate south and west in winter to these regions, and also further south to areas where it does not breed in Iberia and north Africa. It has also been introduced to Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, North America, and South Africa.

S) Bluethroat : The Bluethroat is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae. It, and similar small European species, are often called chats. It is a migratory insectivorous species breeding in wet birch wood or bushy swamp in Europe and Asia with a foothold in western Alaska. It nests in tussocks or low in dense bushes. It winters in north Africa and the Indian Subcontinent.

T) Long billed Pipit : The Long-billed Pipit or Brown Rock Pipit is a passerine bird which has a wide distribution. A number of subspecies have been created for the populations in Africa, through the Arabian peninsula and South Asia. The systematics of this complex is yet to be clarified. Most birds are residents or short distance migrants.

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