World Migratory Bird Day 2021: A look at Some Endangered Migratory Birds

World Migratory Bird Day takes place on May 8 and October 9 every year to spread awareness about the importance of migratory birds and highlights their need for conservation. The theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day is “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!” and focuses on bird songs and flight.  To commemorate this Day, we take a look at five distinct migratory birds.

Great Indian Bustard

The critically endangered Indian Bustard lives in grasslands, is about one-metre-tall and has a whitish neck and face with a black patch on its crested head. The feathers are brownish with a small black patch and white spots along the wings. The males have a vocal sac used for mating displays and deep calls. It is known to migrate annually between India and Pakistan and shorter distances.

Bengal Florican

The Bengal Florican or Bengal Bustard, found in the Manas National park, Assam and Cambodia is also critically endangered. The adult birds are around 22 inches tall and 27 inches in length. The males have a black head, neck and body with white wings while the females, which are larger in size, are dull brown with a mottled back. They migrate as much as 100kms during floods.

Siberian Crane

This critically endangered bird is white in appearance but has a brick-red face and dark beak. Their black primary feathers can be seen while in flight. They breed in the eastern and western wetlands of Russia and migrate in winters to Iran and China.

Sociable Lapwing

It is critically endangered, found in the grasslands of the Eurasian Steppes and breeds in Russia and Kazakhstan. They have a black beak, black stripes on the head and parallel to the eyes with white in between. Their neck is yellow ochre and the wings are grey, white and brown. They migrate to Afghanistan, the Middle Eastern countries and to India.

Fiji Petrel

Also critically endangered, this migratory species from Gau Island, Fiji, has an extremely small population and breeding area. It has a dark chocolate-brown colouration and measures about 30 centimetres. They migrate to pelagic waters.

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