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Eastern Red footed kestrel - Amur Falcon

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I found a power-line with 25 of these perched. I think they were focusing on the swallows. Also Kwa Zulu Natal Midlands Estcourt.

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Yes female Eastern Red-Footed Kestrel, now known as the Amur Falcon

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Who has more Amur Falcon images to share? Especially as so many are being trapped and killed as reported here.

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No more Amur Falcon images as there are no more Amur Falcons!

 

There is a shocking and unsustainable massacre of these beautiful falcons every autumn in India's Nagaland. Over the last couple of years the slaughter has been frightening with recent figures suggesting that over 120,000 birds were killed in one week!

No raptor can survive such attrition for long.

 

See: http://www.wildlifee...assacre.html#cr

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... over 120,000 birds were killed in one week!

That's just obscene. I understand vultures are also being wiped out there

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The Amazing Amur Falcon

 

I am going to do a write up on this amazing bird instead of just posting photos of it. In December 2010 I saw flocks of these birds in Kruger and decided to do some research on them. What I found out was fascinating.

 

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I found out that 10 Amur Falcons were fitted were transmitters in the town of Newcastle, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa in January 2010. People were not sure about the migration route of this bird from Mongolia and Russia to South Africa and back. It was hoped this project would shed some light on the migration path of the Amur Falcon. See link below for more details

 

http://safring.adu.org.za/downloads/falcon1.pdf

 

The largest roost of the Amur Falcon is in Newcastle. The roost is estimated at 25000 birds.

 

We visited Newcastle on 02 February 2013. This photo taken in Newcastle

 

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On March 21 2010 the birds started their migration back to Mongolia. it was found that the bird 95773 flew on an epic 14 560km journey. Part of this was a five-day non-stop 5912km flight, mostly over the Indian Ocean, a journey one scientist describes as “amazing”.

You can read more about this journey and also her return to Newcastle in December 2010 in the link below

 

http://safring.adu.org.za/downloads/falcon2.pdf

 

Very interesting is the discussion on whether they sleep while flying - she flew non stop for five days. Also how do they navigate.

 

Amazing flight path, and said to be longest migration for a raptor

 

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95773, that speedster who flew non-stop for five days from Somalia to Burma, her transmitter went dead in September 2011

But 95778 is still with us and was known as the bird that went around the world one and a half times.

In two years 95778 has made four transcontinental trips, clocking a distance long enough to circle the Earth one and a half times. Now she is back where it all started.

You can read about it in the link below

 

http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/a-little-falcon-s-60-000km-journey-1.1321839#.U4g3Iijkze2

The story leaves us with the sole survivor of the 10 birds that were tagged in January 2010.

Will 95778 return to South Africa in January 2013. What dangers did she face. Did she survice the calamity that many Amur Falcons faced on the October 2012 trip from Mongolia to South Africa.

 

95778 left Mongolia in October 2012 to return to South Africa. She was in Nyagaland in India in November 2012.

Link below was the word from Shuan Smillie on 21 November 2012, the journalist who brought us Flight 95773 Parts 1 and 2 and the 60000km journey.

 

http://thegreentimes.co.za/joy-as-migratory-falcon-arrives-in-kwazulu-natal/

She made it.

She has survived the killing fields of India and if everything has gone well is most likely resting somewhere on the coast of Somalia.


I was happy that 95778 had made it unlike the 140000 Amur Falcons that were massacred in Nagaland

Link below shows the joy as 95778 survive the killing fields in Nagaland

http://www.conservationindia.org/news/joy-as-migratory-amur-falcon-reaches-its-wintering-grounds-again-in-south-africa

It is estimated that 95778 has flown about 90 000km on migration over the last three years between the wintering grounds in southern Africa and the species’ breeding range in north-eastern Asia. The migratory route includes a ±6000km flight across the Indian Ocean which is dependent on favourable tailwinds and is the longest non-stop migratory flight by any raptor known to man. This does not include her daily foraging flights.

 

Some more photos from our trip to Newcastle

 

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That evening we were at the roost. Nothing we read about this bird could have prepared us for what we saw. There was nothing one minute and the then a wave of birds darkened the sky as they made for the roost

 

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It was dark but these videos cover the sounds of the Amur Falcon

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YYCbzaUb5GA

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pI7JuUzGo4I

 

No word on the last surviving bird from the original 10. However another 3 birds were fitted with transmitters last year. You can see their flight paths in link below

 

http://www.satellitetracking.eu/inds/showmap/?check_143=143&check_145=145&check_144=144

 

and read the story below

 

http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/amur-falcons-free-to-trek-across-ocean-1.1612659#.U4hAuCjkze1

 

 

The other goodnews is there was no massacre in Nagaland last year. Sadly it seems one of the 3 birds has either lost its transmitter or did not make the journet back to Mongolia.

 

 

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Thanks so much for that @@Panthera Pardus I feel much more upbeat about the situation now.

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We also saw the ones in Himeville in December, and had the same difficulty with darkness.

 

Great effort putting this together for us @@Panthera Pardus

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From KNP, Jan 2014

 

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