Baikal Bush-warbler, Dibru-Saikhowa

Porag Jyoti Phukan

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

The Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, a part of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, is an important bird area (IBA). It is home to over 500 species of birds. The discovery of the Baikal Bush Warbler is testimony to the park's biodiversity and unique habitat.

The migratory bird, Baikal Bush-warbler (Locustella davidi), was spotted and photographed by Ranjan Kumar Das, a geography teacher at Tinsukia College, on December 2, 2013. It was seen in the Koliapani grassland of Motapung-Maguri beel near Dibru-Saikhowa national park.

This bird was photographed in Nov 2014 by Porag Jyoti Phukan, a wildlife photographer from Duliajan, Assam.

The Spotted Bush Warbler was previously treated as a species with several subspecies, breeding in eastern Russia and adjacent parts of China, as well as in central China and the Himalayas. Analyses of plumage, biometrics, egg coloration, song, mitochondrial DNA and habitat/altitudinal distribution show that this is better reclassified as three species — Spotted Bush Warbler, Baikal Bush Warbler and the West Himalayan Bush Warbler [Alström et al. 2008].

The Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, a part of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, is an important bird area (IBA). It is home to over 500 species of birds. The discovery of the Baikal Bush Warbler is testimony to the park’s biodiversity and unique habitat. The park is an area of grassland and swamp forest sandwiched between the Brahmaputra and Dibru rivers in the east of Assam. It has numerous internal water channels and bodies, seasonally flooded forests, beels, and grassy pockets. This makes it an interesting birding destination for rare specialised grassland and swamp forest birds.



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