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The Cochin Natural History Society is a non-profit making, non-political charitable institution registered under the Travancore-Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955. This is a society of amateur naturalists who live in harmony with nature and seek to protect and to preserve the biodiversity and healthy natural environment. The mandate of the society is to undertake studies and documentation of biodiversity around us and to draw attention to the aesthetic, economic, scientific and conservation aspects.The society also intends to provide a platform to those who are concerned to come together and share, enlarge and correct our knowledge about Nature and its magnificence. Any person, who has a love, interest and commitment towards conservation of our biodiversity and natural history may become a member of the society*.

"You can know the names of a bird in all languages of the world,but when you are finished ,
You will know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird.....
So let`s look at the bird and see what it`s doing --that`s what counts.
I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."

-Nobel Laureate Richard P Feynman(1918-1988)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Long, non-stop bird-flight

Great snipes ( Gallinago media) that summer in Scandinavia fly to their winter habitat in Africa in just two to three days, according to researchers led by biologist Raymond Klaasen of Sweden's Lund University.

Writing in Biology Letters, Klaasen said the snipes not only flew over seas and deserts but also attractive rest and feeding grounds.

Little was known previously about the migratory behaviour of the shorebird, a relative of the common snipe. Klaasen's team captured 10 great snipes at their summer habitat in central Sweden and fitted them with tiny geolocating devices that recorded their flights.

The team recaptured three of the birds a year later and were able to reconstruct their migration. All three crossed the Baltic Sea, the Balkans, the Adriatic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Libyan coast and Sahara Desert on their way to central Africa.

While other migratory birds take advantage of many possible stopovers en route to rest and feed, great snipes fly the distance almost nonstop, Klaasen said.

They also shun stops on the return trip. He said they reached speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour — without assistance from tail winds, as meteorological data showed. — DPA

The report published in The Hindu dated 16-6-2011

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