Dr Asad Rahmani’s book for the Bombay Natural History Society, titled Threatened Birds of India, will shock its readers with a few alarming facts. Almost ten birds from the city have made it to this not-so-envious list.
With the help of 645 photos and 155 maps, the book tells us which birds are Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable and Near Threatened along with conservation requirements for these birds.
These include the Painted Stork (Near Threatened) which is a brightly coloured stork whose roosting colonies are seen on high trees, Greater Spotted Eagle (Vulnerable) which has been spotted near hills between Panvel and JNPT and Nilgiri Wood Pigeon (Vulnerable) that has been spotted in the forested mountain regions near Mumbai.
The Black-necked Stork and the stunning Malabar Pied Hornbill are other near threatened species that make it to the list. Here’s a look at the other five birds that find mention in the book including Eurasian Curlew and the European Roller.
Lesser Flamingo (Near Threatened)
These pink beauties fly down to the mudflats of Mumbai and feed around Sewri, Mahul, Trombay, Airoli, Vikhroli, Vashi and Uran. The numbers of these birds is estimated between 10,000 to 12,000 every year.
Eurasian Curlew (Near Threatened)
This wader bird shares its habitat with the flamingoes in the mudflats of the city. It is characterised by its prominent long curved beak.
Black-tailed Godwit (Near Threatened)
This wader bird can be identified by its long straight beak with a black tip and a black tail.
European Roller (Near Threatened)
This brightly coloured bird is found in the lightly forested and open scrub areas. The Indian Roller(in pic) which is very similar to the European Roller is more common in the Mumbai region. It is characterised by its lighter shade of blue on the head, belly and wings.
Black-hooded Ibis (Near Threatened)
A black head and black curved beak characterise this water bird. It has a general appearance of an egret. It is seen feeding in our wetlands and roosts in big trees such as tamarind, often along with egrets, even in densely populated areas such as Dombivli.