Rare migratory birds of falcon family spotted at Lonavala Lake

Two important migratory bird species Amur Falcon and Peregrine Falcon were spotted recently at the Lonavala Lake, which, according to experts, indicates that the areas are safe, well protected and well conserved. While the Amur Falcon travels the longest migratory route of 22,000 km a year, the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird that flies at a speed of 250 km per hour.

These birds were spotted by a group of well-known and amatuer ornithologists along with a team of Tata Power employees. The team spotted the birds during a bird survey in Lonavala and Valvan areas.

According to ornithologists, the Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China wintering in Southern Africa. This handsome little raptor has one of the longest migration routes of all birds, doing up to 22,000 km in a year. The birds are unusual because they migrate a large distance over the sea and also continue their journey at night. It is estimated that during the peak migration period, 12,000-14,000 birds are hunted for consumption and sale every day, says a member of the group that conducted the survey.

The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known as the Peregrine, is a widespread bird of prey in the Falconidae family. The Peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching over 250 km/h during its characteristic hunting stoop (high speed dive), making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom.

The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species in many areas because of pesticides. Since the ban on DDT from the early 1970s, its population has recovered, supported by large-scale protection of nesting places and releases to the wild, say experts.

Mahesh Paranjpe, head (Hydros), Tata Power, says, "We are delighted with these spottings. This is an indication of a healthy and safe environment and our commitment towards conservation in and around our areas of operations."

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