Assam records first sighting of rare Hodgson’s frogmouth bird

A birding journey to the south of Assam among the many Borail ranges of the Dima Hasao district led to a second of enjoyment for 5 birders of the state.

The birders, Namketeung Jeme and Ramen Das, each retired DFOs of Assam forest division; Dhurbajyoti Borgohain, retired chief engineer of Brahmaputra Board, wildlife lovers Sapon Baruah and Bijoyananda Chowdhury together with their driver Biren Kalita, began the journey on March 4, 2021.

With the winds of ‘Phagun’ calling out the wild in direction of the wilderness, the workforce headed in direction of the Cachar Hills with cameras, tripods and all sources required for the journey to the forest in anticipation and hope to seize new species of birds.

Spending the night time at Haflong, early subsequent morning, they headed in direction of Mahur after which a diversion from there, the workforce moved in direction of the forests of the Borail ranges, uphill by means of undulating territory to succeed in an altitude of 1000 metres.

Big patches of secondary forests with an abundance of bamboo grooves thriving with fauna and flora particularly a wide range of birds, this area is certainly a birder’s paradise.

Because the night set in throwing elongated shadows of the bamboo timber, a way of disillusionment lingered upon the workforce as nothing new had been seen or heard, no new species of hen sighted to date and the times virtually carried out.

Because the silence of the forest bore upon the second, a definite name from amongst the grooves, a sound so pure and nascent that renewed vitality reverberated the night sky and the workforce jumped to motion.

It was the Hodgson’s frogmouth (Batrachostomus hodgsoni), a species belonging to the household of Frogmouths Podargidae. These frogmouth species are distributed in Northeast India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, South China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

And this was the primary sighting within the state of Assam. The sooner sightings had been within the state of Arunachal Pradesh within the Mishmi Hills (https://www.northeastbirdingtours.com/hodgsons-frogmouth) and in Sikkim as reported by the Bombay Pure Historical past Society (https://zookeys.pensoft.web/articles.php?id=3024)

The Hodgson’s frogmouth is a extremely elusive, nocturnal hen. It’s a small hen, measuring 20 to 25 cm in size and weighing 50 grams. The plumage varies between female and male frogmouths. The male Hodgson’s frogmouth is rufous-brown on the higher facet and pale brown on the underside.

The feminine is far paler. There’s a necklace like pale recognizing on the chest. The eyes are small, although it’s a nocturnal hen. The invoice is vast giving large frog-like gape, which is beneficial in capturing bugs. The frogmouth has bristles across the base of the invoice.

The eyebrows are paler and have lengthy bristles. The Hodgson’s frogmouth name is an extended whistling sound.

These Hodgson’s frogmouth species are distributed within the evergreen, temperate forests in Northeast India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

The frogmouth subspecies B. h. hodgsoni is distributed in Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura states in India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The Hodgson’s frogmouth subspecies B.h. indochinae is distributed in Myanmar, South China, North Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

This journey was historic as this elusive hen let the workforce seize pictures and movies for the primary time within the state of Assam. Photographic proof of the presence of Hodgson’s Frogmouth within the state of Assam may very well be recorded for future references.

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