Satellite-tagged female Amur falcon ‘Tamenglong’, eponymously named after Tamenglong district of Manipur which was among tens of thousands of Amur falcons after taking shelter in north east states, reached her stop-over site in Somalia after five days eight hours of non-stop flight covering about 5700 km from northeast India, scientist Dr R Suresh kumar of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun said.
Terming ‘Tamenglong’s flight was an epic journey, Dr Suresh Kumar who had been tracking the bird through the satellite data when contacted said ‘Tamenglong’ reach in Somalia around 1 pm (Indian time) on Saturday (November 24).
“Now she must be exhausted and likely to spend few days there in Somalia,” he said. “I am hoping that she will continue to transmit data that is her location and keep us all excited.”
A WII team in collaboration with Forest department and biologists from Hungary fitted radio transmitters to ‘Tamenglong’ along with ‘Manipur,’ a male bird for the first time at a roosting site at Chiuluan village in Tamenglong district of Manipur on November 5, started non-stop migratory journey from November 19.
But ‘Manipur’ could not join the trip to Somalia after he was killed by unidentified miscreants somewhere in Tamenglong district on November 9.
Tamenglong being an adult female and she must have made the Arabian Sea crossing many times before. So is ‘Longleng’, another satellite fitted female Amur falcon who made her fifth flight over Arabian sea after fitting the satellite transmitter in November 2016.
‘Longleng’ which started her journey from Assam-Meghalaya border on November 19 reached Somalia around 5 pm on Friday(November 23), the WII scientist who had so far tagged ten birds since 2013 said.
“However, she continues to move and is currently located close to the famous Tsavo East National Park (one of the oldest and largest National Parks) in Kenya where she is likely to spend some days.”
From now on, the two falcons will make regular pit stops during their next phase of migration that will be another 5000 km journey to their wintering destination in South Africa, the scientist said, adding that tracking of migratory birds particularly the Amur falcon helps to understand the bird and conservation activities because through its migratory route one can study the environmental cue including wind pattern etc.