The flight of the Amur falcon 

Though the annual arrival of the Amur falcon in northeastern India is a grand event, the birds are also hunted.

Published : Jun 02, 2023 16:06 IST - 1 MIN READ

The Amur falcon

The Amur falcon | Photo Credit: SUMEET MOGHE

Every year, from mid-October till early November, the skies of northeastern India, especially States like Manipur, Nagaland and Assam, get dotted with flocks of Amur falcons. Known as the longest travelling raptor, Amur falcons breed in Siberia and northern China, and winter in southern Africa. They visit India en route to Africa. To gather data on their long journeys, some are captured and tagged for satellite tracking. One such radio-tagged Amur falcon, Longleng, a female, covered nearly 1,50,000 kilometres in a period of some four years (2016-2021), and provided loads of data regarding the locations she visited. 

The arrival of the birds in Pangti village in Nagaland and Nuisa village in Arunachal Pradesh is a grand spectacle that no birdwatcher wants to miss. However, the Amur falcon is also hunted, with shotguns and catapults. Till recently, roasted Amur falcons were seen on sale in village markets of Manipur and Nagaland. Each year, local authorities and conservationists hold awareness programmes to prevent hunting and protect the roosting grounds of these marvellous birds. 

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