IUCN Red List – 8 Indian bird species have been added

According to the latest IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List (2014), a whopping 173 Indian bird species now fall under the category Threatened. Many moved from Vulnerable to Threatened, and even Critically Endangered (like the case of Bugun Liocichla from the North-East). According to a press release by Bombay Natural History Society, studies conducted by BNHS-India, BirdLife International (UK) and other partner organizations have found that eight other bird species have newly entered the threatened list.
Woolly-necked Stork, Andaman Teal (both uplisted from Least Concern to Vulnerable), Andaman Green Pigeon, Ashy-headed Green Pigeon, Red-headed Falcon, Himalayan Griffon, Bearded Vulture and Yunnan Nuthatch are the eight species of birds newly added to the list. These birds have been uplisted from Least Concern to Near Threatened. Uplisted, in this parlance refers to moving up the list, “deeper into the danger zone” according to the press release.
Bugun Liocichla
First described by modern science in the 1990s this tiny bird has till now been reported from a few areas such as Eaglenest Sanctuary and Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh, India. It is likely to exist in other areas of the state and some neighbouring areas of Bhutan and China.
Bugun Liocichla - courtesy Wikipedia
Bugun Liocichla – courtesy Wikipedia
 Woolly-necked Stork
Although found in most parts of India Woolly-necked Stork is facing rapid population decline.
Woolly-necked Stork - by Kaipally on Wikipedia
Woolly-necked Stork – by Kaipally on Wikipedia
Andaman Teal
Andaman Teal is found only on Great Coco Island and Andaman Islands of India with less than 1000 individuals recorded till now.
Andaman Teal courtesy Indianaturewatch.net
Andaman Green Pigeon
Endemic to the Andaman and Nicobar islands of India, it is estimated that a couple of thousand individuals may exist.
green pigeon courtesy indianaturewatch.net
green pigeon courtesy indianaturewatch.net
Ashy-headed Green Pigeon
 This bird is confined to the north-eastern states of India.
Red-headed Falcon
Still found in declining numbers in most parts of India (except the Himalayan ranges) and several neighbouring countries, it has disappeared from many areas. In Pakistan it has declined partly due to the falconry trade.
Red-Headed Falcon - courtesy Wikipedia
Red-Headed Falcon – courtesy Wikipedia
Himalayan Griffon
Found only in the Himalayan ranges, Himalayan Griffon is likely to decline further due to the impact of diclofenac use in livestock, as in the case of several other vulture species.
Griffon by Jan-reurink on Wikipedia
Griffon by Jan-reurink on Wikipedia
Bearded Vulture
Bearded Vulture or Lammergeyer is also found in the Himalayan ranges in India and similar habitats in other parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. It has been facing moderately rapid population decline.
Bearded Vulture - by Richard Bartz on Wikipedia
Bearded Vulture – by Richard Bartz on Wikipedia
Yunnan Nuthatch
Yunnan Nuthatch found in Yunnan province of China, has been recorded only in Arunachal Pradesh in India. Habitat loss from a variety of factors such as infrastructure development and forest fires and poaching and use of chemicals are jeopardizing the existence of these and other threatened species.
Yunnan Nuthatch - by L Shyamal on Wikipedia
Yunnan Nuthatch – by L Shyamal on Wikipedia
The total number of species recognised by BirdLife in the 2014 Red List is 10,425. Among them category-wise break-up is as follows: Extinct: 140; Extinct in the Wild: 4; Critically Endangered: 213; Endangered: 419; Vulnerable: 741; NearThreatened: 959; Least Concern: 7,886 and Data Deficient: 62. Species are assigned to a particular category based on whether they meet criteria linked to population trends, population size and structure and geographic range. Species listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable are collectively described as Threatened.
All data from BNHS press release.

 

Birds of my backyard – Part II

The rains have brought in a bevy of beauties to the backyard. I spotted a few newbies in the bunch and some strange behaviors too. Although the pictures this time are better, they are no way world class. But I am quite satisfied with the peacock picture you will see here. There is something about that picture I can’t quite put a finger on that is making it a cut above the rest. To think that I took it in a hurry.

Plus, I am also not promising totally new ones as opposed to the earlier post but the ones here are certainly better pictured. Or so I think. Read and leave a comment so I know you visited!

Black-hooded Oriole

Black-hooded Orioles are very common in our backyard in Kerala. Their stark yellow coat, black hood and pink beaks are ubiquitous as they hop from tree to tree looking for insects and fruits.

Black hooded golden oriole
Black-hooded Oriole
Black hooded golden oriole
Black-hooded Oriole

White-cheeked barbet a.k.a Spot the Bird in the Picture

Honestly, this bird has got to be a lifer (the term used to denote in birders tongue that I am seeing this one for the first time). Though these resident birds are not rare to come by, they are supremely well camouflaged making them difficult to spot. As you can see, let your eyes get used to the picture until you figure out the bird in the picture.

White-cheeked barbet
White-cheeked barbet
White-cheeked barbet
White-cheeked barbet

Common Birds – Myna & Jungle Babbler

These are resident birds of every household in Kerala. If you have a house with a big enough front-yard, these birds will be constant company on your lazy afternoons and rainy evenings. Rain drenched, their beauty is accentuated as you can see here.

A jungle warbler
A Jungle Babbler
A common myna
A common myna

Green Damselfly

No that’s not what this damselfly is called, I just made it up (although it is quite possible it is what this one is called). I take my excuse in the fact that classification of damselflies (in western ghats) is still at a nascent stage.

A dragon fly
A dragon fly

Jungle Owlet

This one seems to have mistaken the clouded, gray day to be the onset of the dusk. He was out around noon, when on a drab, rainy day. Also I think this guy / gal is a juvenile.

Jungle Owlet
Jungle Owlet

Rufous Woodpecker

Another common resident with a ‘shaggy crest’ and ‘short black bill’ as noted by Carol & Timm Inskipp in their ‘Birds of the Indian Subcontinent.’

Rufous Woodpecker
Rufous Woodpecker

Yellow-billed Babbler

I saw a Yellow-billed babbler feeding on a chick. The chick was making quite a racket but it got me thinking whether it could be the chick of the Yellow-billed babbler at all. Because for one, the chick seemed to be bigger than the adult babbler itself. Any thoughts? Have I got the bird wrong and witnessed a strange behavior?

Yellow-billed Babbler
Yellow-billed Babbler
Yellow-billed Babbler feeding
Yellow-billed Babbler feeding

Mystery birds

I couldn’t fathom what these birds are. One looks like a sunbird and the other I have absolutely no clue of. Care to clarify? Leave a comment and let me know. I will be grateful to you, expert birder.

Mystery bird - sunbird?
Mystery bird – sunbird?
Mystery bird - no clue
Mystery bird – no clue

Peacock

Peacock is a persistent company in the backyard, so are their calls. This one knew he was the center of my camera’s attention and skittered away soon. But I managed this shot. You like? Leave a comment.

The skittering peacock
The skittering peacock

What does your backyard have? Leave a comment and let me know.