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Ruddy-breasted crake makes maiden visit to Pong Dam Lake

 

Wildlife enthusiasts have a reason to cheer as the ruddy-breasted crake, a species of migratory birds, has been spotted for the first time at the Pong Dam Lake (Maharana Pratap Sagar) here.

The ruddy-breasted crake has been spotted for the first time at the Pong Dam Lake.
The ruddy-breasted crake has been spotted for the first time at the Pong Dam Lake.

 

Divisional Forest Officer, Wildlife, Hamirpur, Sangeeta Chandel told The Tribune, “The ruddy-breasted crake was spotted for the first time by wildlife wardens at the Pong Dam lake a few days back.”

About 22-23 cm long, the ruddy-breasted crake nestles in a habitat of swamps or wet areas across the Indian subcontinent. Its body is flattened laterally to allow easier passage through the reeds or undergrowth. It has long toes and a short tail. The bird has a pale brown back and chestnut head and under parts, with white barring on the flanks and under tail. The bill is yellowish and the eyes, legs and feet are red.

These birds find food in muddy, shallow water and pick it by sight. They relish shoots, berries, insects and snails.

They are territorial in nature and hide amid grassy shrubs and bushes when disturbed.

The DFO said, “The arrival of a new species of birds in the Pong Dam is an indicator that the quality of water and flora and fauna in the area is good as birds always look for good environment and food.”

The lake, which was named Ramsar Wetlands by the Ramsar Bureau of Switzerland, is a famous abode of a large number of migratory birds from the plains of India, Central Asian countries and Siberia in the winter season.

The lake is abuzz with the cackle of thousands of migratory birds these days. A total of 99,888 migratory birds have been spotted in the Pong Dam this season (October-March) till now. Among these, the largest number is that of the bar-headed geese - 30,000.

Among others, the number of ruddy shed lacks spotted was 1,556; common teals was 5,600; northern pintails was 15,000; common poachers was 16,500; and the number of common coots spotted was 8,700.

The Tribune (15-01-2013)