TODAY -

The incredible and mysterious journey of Amur falcon (Falco amurensis)
- Part 1 -

R.K. Birjit Singh *

Amur falcon (Falco amurensis)
Amur falcon (Falco amurensis)



Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) is a small bird of prey, a long distance, trans–equatorial migrant and one of the least known bird species among falconiformes till recently but well known to the people of Manipur, particularly to the Rongmei tribes in Tamenglong district since time immemorial. The bird species is locally known as Akhuaipuina in Rongmei language.

In the past, the majestic and graceful arrival of the species had been warmly welcomed and rejoices by the Rongmei tribes with traditional song and dance. The myth and belief of the ancient Rongmei tribes of Tamenglong district is that the arrival of the bird species provides a rich harvest of rice, vegetables and fruits. In fact, their myth and belief is scientifically true as the species consume a lot of insects and termites during its migratory stopover roosting sites otherwise the insects will damage the crops, fruits and vegetables. They strongly believed that the god had sent the bird to protect their crops during the critical hour to combat famine in the area.

They never usually harvest any of the crops or vegetables until the species left for its next refueling migratory stopover. It heralds winter as hundreds of thousands of Amur falcon flaps their wings over the sky of Phallong, Dailong, Barak, Lenglong and other villages of Tamenglong district indicating that the harvest is going to be plenty.

In this way, a strong bond of love and relationship was evolved with our brethren Rongmei tribes with the bird species and still prevalent in Dailong village, some 12 kilometers away from Tamenglong district headquarters in Manipur. The relationship slowly grown to a number of beautiful traditional songs, dances, rhymes and become a very much integral part of the rich cultural traditions of the colorful and vibrant people of Rongmei tribes particularly belonging to Gonmei, Pongringmei, and Pammei.

"Chakaan pat mun kazi ye, Khoipuina kaliap guang nga, Khokupuina san kangzang. mei guai guang zao lo Rongmei khou khoipuina, Sam kangzami. Hei Raguang ta thuanna bam bu ye"

This is a folk song still sung by the Rongmei tribes particularly in Dailong village since time immemorial glorifying the arrival of Amur falcon. The meaning of the song is - "As the Amur falcon flaps its wing in the sky, it heralds winter and the harvest is going to be plenty, Oh! Come everyone and see the Amur falcon hovering and dancing in the sky. Hey! People are praising God….."

They live in close communication with nature, and their natural environment has a major influence on their lifestyle. The intimate interaction with the surrounding natural environment slowly evolved the living rich cultural traditions of the indigenous Rongmei tribe which has been drastically changed after the conversion of the villagers into Christianity during the last century. The goodies of the past are no more amongst the younger generations of the present day, particularly their looks towards our natural environment.

In the North-east and Manipur, particularly, in the hill districts where people are pride themselves as traditional hunters, it would be pity soon enough if they are left with no birds and animals to hunt at all. It needs to be admitted that the message of conservation are yet to reach the interior hills of Manipur. Every young boy was seen carrying a catapult and adults carrying guns and they would not let even a small bird to fly freely in the sky. There has been paradigm shift in the rich indigenous cultural traditions of these people which severely affected the environment. One can see hunting and harvesting of Amur falcon in most of the village even though it is not in the large scale as in Nagaland.

There are 69 species of raptor reported from India. The Amur falcon is an international bird, touching the shores of three continents – Asia, Africa and Europe during its migration. It is noteworthy for undertaking one of the most arduous annual migrations of any bird of prey. The congregation of thousands to tens of thousands of falcons at their communal roosting sites in southern Africa is said to be one of the most spectacular bird of prey phenomena in the world.

Amur falcon (Falco amurensis)



The name of the species had been derived from Amurland, an unofficial term for a territory in Northeast Asia, which was formerly controlled by the Qing Dynasty and now belonging to Russia. It is considered as a part of Manchuria in some of its definitions. Russia officially received this territory by way of the Treaty of Aigun in 1858 and the Treaty of Peking in 1860.

The real shocking and heart-breaking threat to this majestic species came from Nagaland when news was trickled by Ramki Srinivasan of Conservation India (CI) about the massacre and industrial scale slaughter of the species at Doyang area of Wokha district, during October, 2012 which led to an international outcry and drawn the attention of the world for the conservation of the species.

Classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Falconiformes
Family Falconidae
Genus Falco
Species Amurensis
Falco amurensis, Radde, 1863 -


The species is known as

Rongmei Akhuaipuina
Meeteilon Kharang khongang
Liangmei Ahoipuina
Zemei Hohoimena
Hmar Sielsi


Description of the species:

The male is a largely dark grey bird, with a chestnut lower belly and thighs, and a white under wing, visible in flight. The female is similar in size to the male but differs markedly in plumage, having cream or orange under parts, with dark streaks and bars, grey upperparts.

Biometric measurement:
Wing length 23 cm.
Bill depth or culmen 2 cm.
Bill length 1.5 cm.
Tarsus 6 cm.
Tail length 13 cm.
Weight 93 cm.
Wingspan 66 cm.

Biometric measurement of the bird rescued from Thinungei village on 01/11/2016.

Wing length 23 – 30 cm.
Bill depth or culmen 2 cm.
Bill length 1.5 – 2 cm.
Tarsus 6 cm.
Tail length 13 cm.
Weight 93 gm. – 150gm M 110 – 190 gm F
Wingspan 63 – 71 cm.

Biometric measurement of the bird from Phallong village taken on 24/11/2014 by the author


To be continued....


* R.K. Birjit Singh wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is Asst. Professor, State Coordinator, Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN), Manipur and Member Manipur Biodiversity Board (MBB)
The writer can be contacted at bsningthemcha(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on October 08, 2017.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • The two sibling Machin moupa :: Funga
  • Lhingneichin, Lungsumpou: eMing
  • Day 4 : Eikhoigi Iranyai #2 : Gallery
  • Dance from Thailand & Zimbabwe : Gallery
  • All about understanding Bob Geldof
  • Career options in banking #2
  • Learning from Miss beauties
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Driver required for Distribution Company
  • Beggar culture shd be clean from mindset
  • In news for wrong reasons: Men in white
  • 305-cr Central aid for calamity-hit Manipur
  • Nupilal Ningsing Lamjen : Gallery
  • Day 7: Dhol Chollom #1: Gallery
  • Day 7: Manipuri Folk Song : Gallery
  • Why hurry Mapithel dam commissioning?
  • Hello, Dear Chief Minister
  • International Human Rights Day
  • Love in Car :: Poem
  • Army's assistance to accident victims
  • Conference: Handloom Sector Challenges
  • Nupi Lan -A reminder to respect women
  • Centrepiece: New Writing & Art from NE
  • NE artisans to get online platform
  • Nupi Lan comes: Double standard has to go
  • Day 10: Closing of Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Folk Tales of Manipur, Vol 1 : Book Review
  • Prize Distribution : Polo : Gallery
  • Day 4: Kangpokpi Cultural : Gallery
  • Sweet sixteen :: Poem
  • Nagaland CM respond to Neiphiu Rio
  • Jobs at NIELIT Kolkata
  • Jobs at Cobigent Technologies
  • Some positive introspective on FA
  • Deep divide FA: Scheduled human chain
  • Naga talks: Ravi to consult 5 Manipuris
  • Mukna Kangjei Tournament : Gallery
  • Nupi Lan : Women's War Of Manipur
  • cYK_rb TwaI :: Seireng
  • Crowd @ Flower Festival @ Mao #1 : Gallery
  • Day 4: Folk Song @Kangjeibung #2 : Gallery
  • Naga peace & deals within rebel structure
  • Volunteers create worlds
  • Bishnupriya Manipuris call 101hr blockade
  • 3rd Flower Festival @ Mao #1 : Gallery
  • Day 7: Stalls @Khonangkhong #2 : Gallery
  • Day 5: Maibi Jagoi @Kangjeibung #2: Gallery
  • Day 5: Thang Ta @ BOAT #1 : Gallery
  • New Residential Design in Foothills
  • Accreditation of diagnostic laboratories
  • 'Swachh Hi Sewa' in Rono Hills by RGU
  • Jingle Bells Season 2 kicks off
  • Appointment for Faculty / Trainers
  • Humiliation to mother earth
  • Question to BJP: Mum on critical posers
  • WC seeks views for political solution
  • China taking keen interest on NE militancy
  • Tekcham Ranjita- FIFA Referee : Profile
  • Day 7 : Pherzawl Artistes : Gallery
  • Day 4: Kathak & Manipuri Dance: Gallery
  • Welcome Yongchak in Manipur household
  • US recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital
  • CADA Imphal Committee re-organized
  • Hopes for a new future
  • Make Orange Fest more meaningful
  • Day 3 : Night Scene @ Loktak #2 : Gallery
  • Three-headed men- Makok ahum :: Funga
  • Junior Boy's Inter District Football : Gallery
  • Day 6 : Thailand Dance #2 : Gallery
  • Day 6 : Artistes from Kamjong : Gallery
  • The Green Lotus :: Poem
  • FIFA honour for Manipur referee
  • Nothing on inter-state borders in FA
  • Urgent call to look in the function of COHSEM
  • Of collaboration ... Manipur and Nagaland
  • Day 10: Closing of Sangai Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Orange Festival @Tamenglong #1 : Gallery
  • Day 5: Mandalay Vs Manipur #2 : Gallery
  • AFC Transformation Challenge : Gallery
  • The Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919
  • When rejection is more lethal than HIV
  • Walk-In: Guest Lecturers @Govt Polytechnic
  • Penguin Fever- literary festival in Shillong
  • NE Flavours opens in Delhi promote NE
  • Calls for Recreation
  • Setting a deadline before the Govt
  • Finals @ Polo International : Gallery
  • Day 5 : Pung Chollom : Gallery
  • Day 8: Trekking @Leimaton #2 : Gallery
  • Day 4 : Folk Song @ BOAT #1 : Gallery
  • Career options in banking
  • Of tongue cleaner and angels
  • Screening: Aribam Syam's Biopic @Delhi
  • Hiring Charge for BOAT
  • Sexual relation main reason for HIV
  • Preconceived mode of protest
  • Manipur and people : Take collective stand
  • Day 4 : Hmar Fahrel Tawklam : Gallery
  • Jadonang Football [11 Nov] : Gallery
  • Workshop on Nano Devices at IIT-G
  • Advent season 2017
  • Kovindji on Mirabai and Manipur
  • Jobs at Sanglakpam IT Solutions
  • Baking Assistant @Michelle's Bakery
  • Launch of North East Flavours, Delhi
  • Protests against eviction of tribals
  • K Radhakumar's Atopa Shangsar Amada
  • Reminding the issue of permit system
  • Time for State BJP to state stand
  • Mukna Kangjei Tournament #1 : Gallery
  • Day 10 : Fashion Show #1 : Gallery
  • Day 9 : Heritage Park : Gallery
  • Day 6 : Qawwali @ BOAT : Gallery
  • Challenges before media w.r.t Manipur
  • Development in Jiribam & Pherzawl #2
  • Recruitment mode of Asst Prof
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Day 3 : Night Scene @ Loktak #1 : Gallery
  • Community gardening @Ema Keithel: Gallery
  • Day 6: 'Reel of Dance' #1 : Gallery
  • Day 6: Pamyanlon Folk Dance : Gallery
  • Thus spake the moonstruck :: Poem
  • 1st Double Renal Angioplasty in Manipur
  • Rohingya crisis: Talk at Philippine University
  • Getting the big picture
  • Gold after 2 decade: Sports Powerhouse
  • Day 9: Robert Naorem's Fashion : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Day 9: Phoushu Jagoi : Gallery
  • Day 2: Dhol Dholok Cholom : Gallery
  • 11th Manipur Polo International #2 :: Gallery
  • Govt needs tool for Sangai Fest Impact study
  • Royal Crematorium at Bangkok #1 : Gallery
  • Araang League 2017 (Football) @Ukhrul
  • Celebrating World AIDS Day
  • The good & some bad of Sangai Fest
  • International Kang Tournament : Gallery
  • Day 8: Trekking @Leimaton #1 : Gallery
  • Day 4: Kom Dance performance : Gallery
  • Sangai Run-Marathon @Sendra #3 :: Gallery
  • Is it Meetei or Meitei ?
  • The Buddha's Metta and Karuna #4
  • MUTA Colloquium Series : Vision for MU
  • Is our legal system responsible ?
  • Unique history of Nagas ... of Manipur
  • NSF memo to Prez 'for solution before polls'
  • Day 8: Hiyang Tanaba #1 : Gallery
  • Day 7: Stalls @Khonangkhong #1: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Leisem Jagoi : Gallery
  • 'One never stops learning in Polo'
  • Cherry Blossoms as a catalyst of change..
  • Mining tussles in Manipur
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • Free media: hope for success of democracy
  • Far sight leader in Muivah: Looking beyond
  • Day 7: Night Scene (Hot Air Balloon) : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 7: Fashion Show #1 : Gallery
  • Opening: Jadonang Football #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 6: Thai Dance : Gallery
  • Supertree - Kannimara Mahavriksha
  • Beware of women centric cyber offences
  • Understanding education
  • No longer 'communal Govt'
  • Imphal Art Camp @Kangla: Gallery
  • Maibi Jagoi @Kangjeibung #1 : Gallery
  • Final: Hazari/Tombi Polo #2 :: Gallery
  • 22nd Winners' Cup (Football) #2 :: Gallery
  • Day 5: Mandalay Vs Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Khongjhom Parva / Maring Dance :: Gallery
  • Dhanamanjuri Kang Tournament :: Gallery
  • Day 2: Thang Ta performance : Gallery
  • Day 2: Basanta Ras/Dasa Avataar : Gallery
  • Felicitation of Manipuri students at B'desh
  • Dr. Ngaseppam Iboyaima : Awarded in food
  • Day 3 : Pureiromba Naheirol :: Gallery
  • 3rd NE Fashion Week @Itanagar :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2 : MMTA Adventure :: Gallery
  • Hazari/Tombi Polo [7 Nov] :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #5 :: Gallery
  • Inaugural Day Sangai Festival :: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #5 :: Gallery
  • Kokkhum Festival #2 :: Gallery
  • Culturals @Mera Houchongba #2 :: Gallery
  • Kang Chingba @ Wangkhei :: Gallery
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • 'Weaves of Ching-tam' @London :: Gallery
  • Priyogopal (Senior Artist)- Photo :: eRang
  • Paonam Lily (Archery) Reception :: Gallery
  • U-17 Footballer honored by Guv :: Gallery
  • Pui Thangamliu -Photos #1 :: eRang
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • SPONSORED ADS