Rare ‘Tytler’s leaf Warbler’ bird spotted for first time in Bihar

Patna: A rare bird – Tytler’s leaf Warbler – was spotted for the first time in Bihar, a state forest official said on Sunday.

A medium-sized leaf-warbler with a comparatively long and slender bill and prominent supercilium was recently spotted at Sundervan in the bird ringing station in Bhagalpur district, state Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Chief Wildlife Warden PK Gupta said.

Tytler’s leaf Warbler is a “threatened bird species” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list.

“During the bird monitoring activities at Sundervan in Bhagalpur, we recently spotted a warbler of the Phylloscopidae family.

“It is the first authentic record of the occurrence of this species in the lower elevation at an altitude of 52 metres above the mean sea level (MSL) and also in the Gangetic plains in Bihar. Therefore, we are very excited after the discovery of the rare bird species,” Gupta told PTI.

As far as available records, Tytler’s leaf Warbler follows an altitudinal migration, he said.

“It breeds in the western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand at the high altitude. In winter, it migrates to southern India, particularly in the Western Ghats and the Nilgiris,” he said.

Earlier, the species was occasionally sighted in the Saurashtra and Morbi region of Gujarat, Panna and Melghat tiger reserves and Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary (Karnataka), the forest official said.

“Collection of the species from Etawah (on April 7, 1879) and Gorakhpur (February 18, 1910) is the easternmost existing record of the species reported during return migration,” the chief wildlife warden said, adding, after that, “no sighting of Tytler’s leaf Warbler has been recorded” from this area.

Gorakhpur, according to the forest terminology, is considered in eastern India.

Bihar has become the fourth state in the country to have a bird ringing (tagging) station wherein rings are placed on the legs of winged species to study their migration pattern, mortality, territoriality and other behaviour with the help of encrypted codes embedded in the attached tracking device, Gupta said.

“Bird ringing is a useful research instrument used to collect information on the survival, productivity and movement of migratory birds, helping us to keep an eye on their populations,” the official added.

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