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In a first, East Asian birds make Andaman stopover

In a first, East Asian birds make Andaman stopover

According to Zoological Survey of India (ZSI); sighting of the new species has gone up since the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.

Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo

Distinguished by the green and brown plumage on its back, the diminutive Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo (Chalcites basalis) is a native of Australia and New Guinea.

It is a tiny word measuring 15cm and weighing just 22gram.

Two other first time visitors were also recorded on the islands over 2017-18.

The Zappey’s Flycatcher (Cyanoptila cumatilis) a song bird that breeds in China and spends the winters in the Malay peninsula, Sumatra and Java, was spotted six times in different areas of Andaman and Nicobar Islands between December 2017 and March 2017 — at least thrice in pairs.

Why they are flying to Andaman and Nicobar?

Researchers are intrigued by the fact that number of new sightings has increased post the tsunami.

The new records include the Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki), Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis), Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes) and the Chinese Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone incei).

These birds also use Andaman and Nicobar Islands for a few week rest before they can fly along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF).

The EAAF extends from Arctic Russia and North America to the south Australian boundaries and includes the most of the east Asian regions including Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with just about 0.25 % the country’s landmass, is home to about 350 species of exotic birds.

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