Monday 5 May 2014

Vagrant Birds

World Migratory Birds' Day is to be celebrated this weekend. Some of you lucky birders  must have come across vagrants or 'off-range' birds. These are birds that stray away from their breeding, wintering or migrating range. Bird vagrancies occur because of several reasons. Storms and blizzards may blow marine birds inland. Inexperience may cause juveniles to overshoot their destination. Some genetic abnormalities may interfere with the bird's perception of the earth's magnetic field, hence affecting their journey. Some may even be consumed by wanderlust, simply travelling to new places to witness new cultures and meet new people. Kidding. Whatever the reason, watching vagrant birds is a delight for birdwatchers as it brings a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tick that elusive 'off-ranger' off your checklist. One such recent record was that of the Black-legged Kittiwake from my hometown, Nagpur in Central India.

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