Kumram Bheem Asifabad: Showing richness of forests and habitat for avian community, the sight of Rufous bellied eagle was reported at Palarapu cliff, where long-billed vulture conservation project was situated on the outskirts of Nandigaon of Penchikalpet range under Kagaznagar forest division on Sunday afternoon. The discovery cheered authorities of the Forest department and environmentalists alike.
“The sighting of a juvenile Rufous bellied eagle was recorded at the cliff for the first time in Telangana. It is an indicator species. It generally inhabits lush green habitat such as Nallamala forests of Andhra Pradesh. It is a welcoming sign that rare birds are migrating to the wild of this region,” Penchikalpet Forest Range Officer Satla Venugopal told ‘Telangana Today’.
Rufous-bellied eagle is an aerial eagle with short bushy crest, longish wings and tail and feathered tarsi. An ndult Rufous has bright underparts and underwing-coverts. Upper part is jet black. Juvenile is strikingly different, with completely white under parts and under wing. It was spotted by Venugopal and his team at the picturesque cliff around 12.30 pm
As per eBird.org, the sighting of the eagle was the maiden record for Telangana region. The eagle is usually found in evergreen and moist deciduous forest, mainly in foothills. It feeds on birds and mammals, e.g. squirrels. It is an aerial hunter; captures prey on or near ground or treetops after spectacular stoops, reminiscent of Peregrine Falcon.
The forest attributed the sighting of rare bird species in the forests to the serenity prevailing in the woods due to decline in dependency on the wild by humans and increased greenery. “Like wild animals, in particular tigers, the avian community tends to live in peaceful forests where they can find sufficient food and don’t get harmed. They play a vital role in regeneration of forests,” the FRO reasoned.
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