File image of Amur falcons flocking at Doyang, in Pangti village of Nagaland's Wokha district. Courtesy: E-Pao!

Four Amur falcons which were satellite transmitter tagged in Manipur and Nagaland are appeared to be racing each other on their annual migration trip, a Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientist said on Thursday.

‘Chiulon’, a male Amur falcon named after a village in Manipur’s Tamenglong district radio-tagged along with four other falcons on October 31 and November 1 this year, has moved to Tanzania.

On the other hand, ‘Longleng’, a female Amur falcon which was radio-tagged in Nagaland in 2016 reached Somalia for the fourth time after successfully crossing the Arabian Sea, says WII scientist Suresh Kumar.

The four other radio-tagged pigeon-sized birds apart from ‘Chiulon’ were named ‘Puching’, ‘Phalong’ (all names of villages in Manipur), ‘Irang’ and ‘Barak’ (both names of rivers of Manipur).

“Irang has reached Maharashtra coast and is very likely flying over the Arabian sea now. On the other hand, Barak has started off and has arrived in Odisha,” the scientist said.

Interestingly ‘Longleng’ which is the most experience of all the radio-tagged falcons, has also created history in India after it set the record of being satellite tracked for the longest duration.

‘Longleng’ weighing around 175 grams flies at a speed of 45 km per hour when it reached her breeding area in northern China precisely in the wee hours of May 25, 2019.

Tamenglong forest division in their facebook post on Thursday evening said, “We are extremely delighted to report that Chiulon, Barak and Irang the Satellite Transmitter Tagged Amur falcons released from Puching village on October 31 and November 1, 2019 have all moved from Tamenglong district in Manipur.”

“They have reached different destination today. Chiulon has reached Tanzania, Irang has reached Maharashtra and Barak has reached Odisha.

“Further Amur falcon Longleng which was Satellite Transmitter tagged in 2016 in Nagaland has set the record of the longest surviving Amur falcon and has reached Somalia,” the post added.

The radio-tagging programme started in Manipur last year as part of a project to study the flight route of these long-distance migratory birds and environmental patterns along the route since India is a signatory to an international agreement to conserve migratory birds of prey.

Thousands of Amur falcons spend the summers in their breeding grounds in northern China and migrate to South Africa during winters.

They arrive in large number on Northeast particularly in Manipur and Nagaland in October annually for food before their start their non-stop flight to Africa in November.

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