Formerly a weblog focused on Umred, this blog has transformed to delve into topics that align with my interests.
Ultimate reward for an Ornithologist…
Ultimate reward for an Ornithologist…

Ultimate reward for an Ornithologist…

…or even for a bird-watcher…the Great Indian Bustard (GIB). The scientific name is Ardeotis Nigriceps, referred to as Maldhok in the regional language of Marathi and locals popularly call it – Hoom.

It may well look like a young Ostrich, until you watch it take off, from the ground and into the sky. One of the heaviest flying birds in the world, it stands as tall as 3.3 feet; smaller only to the Kori Bustard of Africa and the Great Bustard of Europe.

We got lucky yesterday with this very shy and a hard to find bird in the picture. (Apologies for the bad picture quality, this is the best I could get from a distance.)

Mr. Gajanan Ingle, a farmer in Mandwa-Umred, sighted a pair (male and a female) on his farm and promptly informed the wildlife conservation group in the area. Mr. Ingle passionate about farming has also been helping the conservationists monitor this species.

Less than 250 remain in the world, about 9 in Maharashtra and two or three of these have been sighted in the Umred region.

In 2011, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) included GIB in the list of the ‘Critically Endangered’ species. Hunting, disturbance, habitat loss and fragmentation could be the cause of the decline in numbers. Attempts at breeding in captivity have been futile.

I realize that it could be my last time watching this bird outside of the books and off the screen, but I hope that they will survive long enough until an effective recovery program is put in place to save them.

It was a great opportunity, many thanks to Mr. Gajanan Ingle and our district wildlife warden for Nagpur, Mr. Rohit Karoo.


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