Thursday, November 29, 2007

Scops owl found in state, Europe says impossible.

Express news service
Posted online: Thursday , November 29, 2007 at 12:00:00

Vadodra, November 28 Disproving the findings of two European experts, city-based wildlife activists have finally sighted the breeding site of the Scops owlet in the city. According to ornithologists, this species existed in Gujarat. But European books on the birds of the Indian subcontinent, had rubbished this claim in successive editions in 1998 and 2000.
Ornithologist B M Parasharaya said: “While the Scops owl existed in Gujarat, no one had really recorded its presence. A team of wildlife activists, led by city-based expert Manoj Thakker, have not only found this bird in the state but have now sighted its breeding ground.”

The spot is in Dabhoi on the outskirts of the city.

A few years ago, European ornithologists Krys Cazmierczak and Grimmett Inskipp had declared that India did not have this species, Parasharaya said.

“This bird has been around in Central Gujarat. It was also sighted in Anand by a group of experts few years ago.

Besides this, the Scops owl finds mention in the Bhavnagar royal family records, detailed by the family’s scion Dharmakumarsinhji,” he said.

Parasharaya said these records show the bird was also found in the Gir region. It has been sighted in Rajasthan as well. Manoj Thakker said, “The Scops owlet was sighted on the Dhabhoi Road in the Haribhakti Industrial Estate. However, we took some time to confirm the bird belonged to that genus.”

Scops owls are usually gray, brown, and sometimes red in color.

The bland colours help to camouflage them in the backdrop of tree barks.

Parasharya further said, “Compared to the common Barn owl, these birds are smaller and mostly insectivorous.”


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