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The Amur Falcon is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China before migrating in large flocks across India and over the Arabian Sea to spend winter in Southern Africa.
A rare spectacular Amur Falcon was spotted by Dr. R. Suresh, Scientist from Department of Endangered Species Management, Wildlife Institute of India, and his team along with the community members of Yaongyimchen and the chairman of Lemsachenlok, Y Nuklu Phom, on November 10 at around 2 p.m. The snow white Amur Falcon was seen hovering around the Yaongyimchen Community Bio-diversity Conservation Area and was photographed by Nikil.
It was a phenomenal experience for the community as well as the team since such white Amur Falcons have never been seen until now. The appearance of the new Falcon was similar to "Gyr Falcon or Ger Falcon" found in the Arctic Coast and listed among the endangered species.
Immediately after the bird was spotted and photographed, it was named "Snow White Amur Falcon" (Aso Mesung Loih in local dialect).
Yaongyimchen community of Longleng district has been conserving a large bio-diversity area since 2010 and which has been witnessing a rapid increase in the number of wildlife and marine life each year. The community members along with safeguarding many other varieties of species in its community conservation area have been working on safeguarding the "Amur Falcon" which started roosting in the area since 2012.
It was observed that the number of roosting of Amur Falcons in this conserved area has been increasing every year. Amur Falcons come in two colors: males are dark grey with reddish brown thighs and undertail coverts, reddish orange eye-ring, cere, and feet, while the females are duller above with dark scaly markings on white underparts, and an orange eye-ring, cere, and legs. Only a pale wash of rufous is visible on their thighs and undertail coverts.
The discovery of this snow white Amur Falcon has raised many questions as to whether there are other such white Falcons already migrating to Nagaland and the need to conserve them.