Re-sighting of Collared Bar-headed Geese at Veer Dam, Maharashtra

by Swapnil Girade
Swapnil Girade

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Marking of birds by scientists helps facilitate studies of migration and population characteristics. Reporting observations of marked birds helps piece together their  life histories, movements and needs, and, in doing so, assist in their conservation.

It was indeed exciting when a collared Bar-Headed Goose bearing a dark orange collar “RT” was sighted and photographed at Veer dam in Maharashtra on 01 January 2015. This was the only bird with a collar amongst 193 individuals present. Apart from Bar-headed Goose, one Ruddy Shelduck had a collar but could not be photographed. Mumbai birder Adesh Shivkar and team also recorded a collared Bar-headed Goose (C6) on 13 Jan 2008 from Veer Dam.

The information was mailed to Martin Gilbert, scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Martin Gilbert confirmed that the bird was a male, and was marked by the Wildlife Conservation Society in Mongolia on 15 July 2009 at a lake called Sharga Nuur, Bulgan aimag. This is the first re-sighting for this bird, and thus the observation is very valuable. This shows that regular sightings of these migrants at Veer dam proves the importance of Nira river basin near Veer dam as repeated resting ground for migrants from the same site in Mongolia.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has been engaged in water bird surveys in Mongolia since 2005. During the summers of 2007 and 2008 part of this work has focused on the marking of birds to facilitate studies of migration and population characteristics. Birds are fitted with colour marks such as neck collars (geese and swans) and leg flags (waders) that can be easily identified by observers in the countries through which the birds migrate and spend the winter. By reporting observations of marked birds, observers help us piece together bird life histories, movements and needs, and, in so, doing assist in our ability to conserve them [Courtesy: Birding Mongolia website].

About the author

Swapnil Girade
The author is a research scholar at the Institute of Environment Education and Research, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune.


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