Some microphones playing bird sound recovered from the paddy field.

Sounds weird, but true.

Some villagers in Assam’s Nagaon district have been using microphones and loud speakers to hunt migratory birds and sell those caught birds to some meat lovers for hefty prices.

The sleuths of Assam forest department and the Assam Forest Protection Force (AFPF) in the wee hours on Tuesday recovered 16 Purple Moorhens (schedule IV) from agricultural fields in and around Juria in Nagaon district.

“Based on specific information, a team from Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary was sent to some of the agriculture fields near Juria. Our team have recovered some microphones playing bird sound from these fields,” said TC Ranjith, divisional forest officer (Wildlife) of Nagaon Forest division.

“A search operation was carried out in the morning and we found around 16 numbers of Purple Moorhens (schedule IV) and cages along with microphones, loud speakers, nets etc left in the agriculture field,” he said.

“The hunters play these bird sounds in loud speakers to attract the birds. When the birds land, they were caught using nets. All items were seized and search is on to apprehend the hunters involved in the act,” Ranjith said.

He said these hunters interestingly have a huge clientele who gets these birds home delivered to avoid being caught by forest officials.

“There is no market to sell these birds now. The hunters operate on phone and home delivers these birds after fixing the price over phone,” the official said.

Most parts of the Northeastern region including Assam witnesses arrival of migratory birds during the winter season. The birds normally starts arriving by mid November and stay put till January.

After the recovery of the birds and a minor boy, the forest department sleuths are now trying to get to the customers who pay for catching and killing of these birds.