Posts tagged with “Pied Crested Cuckoo”

The Pied Cuckoo in 2010 – Mousumi Dutta

Monday, 25 October, 2010

First arrival of the Pied Cuckoo in 2010 in relation to the onset of the Southwest Monsoon

by Mousumi Dutta

Mousumi Dutta is a frequent contributor to the MigrantWatch database. She is an avid birder, and spends her spare time on bird and wildlife conservation. She works with the Indian Meteorological Department, and so has a particular interest in bird migration. Mousumi’s MigrantWatch sightings page is here.

India’s climate is dominated by monsoons. Most of its annual rainfall (86%) occurs during the Southwest monsoon months. The monsoon is a key influence on agricultural output as well as the overall economic growth of India. From ancient times it has been believed that the onset of the monsoon is associated with the appearance of the Pied Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus.

The Southwest monsoon normally sets in over Southeast Bay of Bengal on 20 May and then over Kerala on 1 June. An analysis of the first sighting dates of the Pied Cuckoo and the onset of the Southwest monsoon for the year 2010 (see figure below) shows a fairly systematic pattern. In general, the first sighting of this species in a State is 20-25 days in advance of the onset of the monsoon in that State. This appears to be earlier, relative to the monsoon, than reported for last year.

These patterns indicate an interesting relation between the onset of the monsoon and the arrival of Pied Cuckoos. Long term studies are needed to clarify the details of the relationship between the monsoon winds and Pied Cuckoo migration.

Methods
First sighting dates (after January 2010) for Pied Cuckoos for each State were taken from the MigrantWatch database. (Maharashtra and the four southern States were excluded.) Dates of the onset of the monsoon for each State are taken from the Indian Meteorological Department’s monsoon pages (click on “Northern Limits of Monsoon”). The data used to generate the figure are given below. The links under “Reported by” point to the sighting page on MigrantWatch.

State First Sighting Onset of Monsoon Reported by
Orissa 16 May 13 June Aditya Panda
West Bengal 17 May 14 June Supriyo Ghatak
Gujarat 30 May 16 June Nandita Amin
Madhya Pradesh 10 June 4 July Anand Kumar Bhatt
Uttarakhand 27 May 5 July Sharad Khanna
Chandigarh 6 June 5 July Vikram Jit Singh
Delhi, including NOIDA 31 May 5 July KB Singh, email to MigrantWatch
Haryana 22 June 5 July Vikram Jit Singh
Himachal Pradesh 29 June 5 July Devinder Singh Dhadwal
Rajasthan 24 May 6 July Saandip Nandagudi

 


If you would like to make your own visualisation and analysis of Pied Cuckoo sightings, you can download all 300+ records here. Please share your findings with everyone at MigrantWatch – send us (mw@migrantwatch.in) a small blog post and we will put it up.

Pied Cuckoo in the news (and recent sightings)

Sunday, 7 June, 2009

The early arrival of the monsoon and a possible link with Pied Cuckoo arrivals is the subject of a short article by Max Martinmailtoday_screenshot_small1 writing in the Mail Today on Saturday, 6 June. (Please note that the photo was taken by Clement Francis.) A shortened version also appeared in The Hindu News Update Service on the same day.

We’d like to clarify that the earliest first sighting date for migrant Pied Cuckoos this year was not from the Biligiriranga Hills in Karnataka (which is what the article says), but rather from Kolkata on 17th May by Kshounish Sankar Ray.

Other recent sightings have included:
Chandigarh, 23 May (Vikram Jit Singh); Bangalore, 24 May (Suma Rao); 26 May, Bhubaneswar (Aditya C Panda); 26 May, Dehra Dun (Suniti Bhushan Datta); 28 May, Nagpur (Soham Mehta); 29 May, Jalpaiguri (Mousumi Dutta); 2 June, Pune (Anirudh Chaoji); 7 June, Goa (Fionna Prins). All these sightings were reported to MigrantWatch and can be seen on the Pied Cuckoo Campaign page after you log in. (you can also see records from previous years, all the way back to 1910).

In addition to these sightings,  Sunjoy Monga saw a Pied Cuckoo at Mumbai on 1 June, Mumbai (sent to birdsof bombay); Arunachalam Kumar reported seeing a Pied Cuckoo on 10 May in Mangalore (sent to bngbirds), but it isn’t clear whether the species is migrant or resident in this area.

For those of you who are tracking the progress of the monsoon rains, the Indian Meteorological Department, Mumbai has a very useful map indicating the dates of normal onset of the monsoon (there is also a more detailed map on wikipedia). The map for this year’s onset of the monsoon (from IMD, Pune) shows how much earlier the rains have arrived in 2009.

First Pied Cuckoo sighted in Kolkata on 17th May

Monday, 25 May, 2009

By Kshounish Sankar Ray

17 May 2009, Joka Grassland, East of IIM Kolkata Campus, 22.4N 88.3E.

Mr Bhaskar Das and myself were intently watching a reed bed for the Black-browed Reed Warbler when this bird first-sighting_kolkata_rayflew across our vision and perched on an acacia bush nearby. It was before 6.00 am and the light was quite poor. As we shifted position for a better angle, it flew and I was lucky to get a few rather poor flight shots. No calls were heard. We stayed in the area for another three hours. No further sightings or calls were recorded.

It’s quite intriguing that the bird which is supposed to enter the subcontinent from the west was sighted early in the east. As per previous records, the Orissa coast is supposedly one of the places where it is observed early. A sea route for the migration?

[Note from MigrantWatch Admin: The first Pied Cuckoos in the Kolkata area last year were seen on 16 May by Radhanath Polley at the Dankuni Wetlands. Read more on bengalbird]