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22 February, 2013

Wintering Raptors Record

Short Note on Wintering Common Buzzard

In last winter I saw one Common Buzzard near to my home (around 200 m distance), which was never seen during summer. Everyday this bird was mostly seen perched on the same tree on the top of the slope of agricultural land at Balkot, Bhaktapur. The bird was frequently seen searching prey over the agricultural field however I didn’t see any hunting attempts. After the winter (probably in second week of Feb) the bird left this area and never seen in spring and summer.  This year when I have returned back from the field after 2012 raptor migration count, the bird (might be same individual) was seen exactly the same location and seen mostly perched on the same tree which was used last year. In this location there are lot of crow’s nest and it was not seen the crows chasing the buzzard. It spent few weeks (7-8 weeks) with the crowd of house crows and disappeared from the 2nd week of this February. I believe this common buzzard use this place every year for wintering purpose which could be exactly the same as other raptors do in many parts of the world.

Winter record of few raptors in Arghakhanchi  

Last month I was visiting western Nepal in Arghakhanchi District, Dhrampani village which is geographically situated at the co-ordinate of 28001.630’ N and 083011.012’ E at the elevation of 1350 m from the sea level.  During that day I found lots of raptors were circling over the carcass of cow near to the Egyptian Vulture nesting cliff at Malarani. Many of the Himalayan Vulture (>100) were feeding the carcass with few other vulture/raptors. I have counted the species seen in the area and following was the count record.

 a.   Himalayan Vulture                                           >100
        b.   White-rumped Vulture                                     2
        c.   Cinereous Vulture                                             2
        d.   Bearded Vulture                                               2
        e.   Red-headed Vulture                                         4 (including 2 first year bird)
        f.   Steppe Eagle                                                    3 (2 juveniles and 1 adult)
        g.  Golden Eagle                                                   1 (Juvenile)
        h.  Black Kite                                                        6

In this area Cinereous Vulture, Steppe Eagle and Golden Eagle are the winter visitors and other species seen were resident species. Beside these species Bonelli’s Eagles are local breeding birds, other raptor includes Common Kestrel, Northern Sparrow Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Common buzzard etc.