The Laughing Gull, a migratory bird native to North America, has been sighted for the first time in India at the Chittari estuary in Kasaragod district.
Observer and Identification
C. Sreekanth, a birdwatcher and school teacher with 20 years of experience, discovered the bird. Noticing its distinctive laughter-like calls, he photographed the bird, which appeared smaller than the brown-headed gull. Upon closer examination, he identified features such as a dark upper part, black legs, long drooping bill, and a dark smudge on the back of the head, confirming it to be a Laughing Gull.
Mr. Sreekanth reached out to J. Praveen, Chief Editor of Indian Birds, along with birding experts G Jinu, John Garret, Aident Kiley, and Hans Larsson. The experts confirmed the discovery, emphasizing the bird’s unique characteristics.
Role of e-Bird Application
The e-Bird application, dedicated to collecting scientific bird information, played a crucial role in disseminating this finding.
Impact on Bird Species Count
This discovery elevates the total number of bird species found in India to 1,367, with Kasaragod district contributing 400 species to the State’s overall count of 554.
Birdwatchers and researchers are eager to conduct further studies to understand the migratory patterns and reasons behind the Laughing Gull’s extraordinary visit.
Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs):
- What is the Laughing Gull known for?
- A. Unique markings
- B. Unique laughter-like calls
- C. Black legs and bill
- D. Dark smudge on the back of the head
- Who confirmed the discovery of the Laughing Gull in Kasaragod district?
- A. C. Sreekanth
- B. J. Praveen
- C. Hans Larsson
- D. All of the above
- What role did the e-Bird application play in this discovery?
- A. Identifying birdwatchers
- B. Collecting scientific bird information
- C. Confirming bird species count
- D. None of the above
- How many bird species are found in India after the discovery of the Laughing Gull?
- A. 1,367
- B. 554
- C. 400
- D. 20
- What aspect of the Laughing Gull’s presence in Kasaragod has intrigued researchers?
- A. Its distinctive calls
- B. Its dark upper part
- C. Its migratory patterns
- D. Its contribution to the state’s overall count