White-cheeked Starling Spotted In Manipur For The First Time - Eastern Mirror
Thursday, May 23, 2024

White-cheeked Starling spotted in Manipur for the first time

By Sobhapati Samom Updated: Apr 29, 2024 10:00 pm
White-cheeked starling spotted at Lamphelpat area in Imphal.

IMPHAL — A white-cheeked starling or grey starling (Spodiopsar cineraceus), a passerine bird of the starling family, was spotted at a wetland on the outskirts of Manipur capital city Imphal during the recent bird survey.

Loyangamba Irungbam, a member of Wildlife Explorers Manipur (WEM), spotted and photographed the rare bird feeding amongst a flock of ‘paid starlings’ also known as ‘Chonga Thijabi’ in local language at Lamphelpat area, on April 14 around 9 am.

The medium sized dark grey-brown bird with white cheeks was recorded for the first time in the picturesque wetland surrounded by green hills on its the western and northern side even though there was a record of sighting the bird only in Arunachal Pradesh, according to WEM.

The bird was sighted in Arunachal Pradesh in 2017, 2019 and 2021.

The identity of the bird was established with the help of Raju Kasambe, former Assistant Director of Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, they said.

The white-cheeked starling, which is native to Eastern Asia, breeds in north-eastern Asia and migrates to Japan, South Korea, South-eastern China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in the winter, with stragglers reaching Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines and of late, India.

Stating that the recent sighting of the species in Manipur contributes to the growing number of sighting records of the species, the WEM secretary E Premjit, who is also a member of the Indian Bird Conservation Network, said that the sighting of the bird for the first time in Manipur has raised expectations that more sightings in future.

In January this year, a team from the WEM also sighted the rare Baikal Teal (Sibirionetta formosa), also known as ‘Surit-man’ in Manipuri (Meiteilon), after 109 years at the Lamphelpat wetland during this winter migratory bird season.

It may be worth mentioning here that the WEM team in the state had conducted the first Amur falcon census in Manipur.

By Sobhapati Samom Updated: Apr 29, 2024 10:00:34 pm
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