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Rare bird spotted after decades

delhi Updated: Feb 10, 2012 00:42 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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A rare bird named Marshall's Iora, also known as white-tailed Iora — once common in the region — has been spotted after several decades in northern India.


A group of bird watchers led by Sanjiv Tikri of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) have spotted the bird in Asola Bhatti mines area in south Delhi.

The Delhi government recently rejuvenated the mines area after Supreme Court banned mining there.

The area has been developed into a green wetland that has been attracting a wide range of birds for the past few years. It is one of the key green zones for bird watchers from Delhi and Gurgaon.

The bird — its biological name is aegithina nigrolutea — is widely found in the Indian sub-continent and has been spotted in the Western Ghats as well. But for a long time, they were not seen in and around Delhi.

The main features of the species are its short wing and tail. Adult females are entirely green except for a grey and white tail, said Tikri.

They are known to breed from June to August. They nest low in bushes or bushy trees such as kumtha (acacia senegalensis). The nest is small cup-shaped structure and is well camouflaged.

Bird watches believe the bird was attracted by the green canopy in Asola of passendu trees (diospyros cordifolia). The area where they were seen has large number of such trees.