‘Veda Raghu’ Sighted for first time in NM sanctuary

‘Veda Raghu’ Sighted for first time in NM sanctuary


An Asian blue cheeked green bee-eater commonly known locally as ‘Veda Raghu’, was seen in the Nandurmadhmeshwar sanctuary a few days back...for the first time here.

The bird sighting was recorded by bird watcher and president of Nature Club of Nashik, Prof. Anand Bora.

"This bird has been seen for the first time in the Nandurmadhmeshwar bird sanctuary. It is fascinating to see the green bird with blue cheeks", Bora said.

Nandur Madhyameshwar Bird Sanctuary comemorated in 1911 at Khangaon Thadi in Niphad Taluka, is also a Ramsar site. The sanctuary is home to many wetland birds and during winters hosts many species of migratory birds. More than 265 species of birds can be seen at Nandurmadhmeshwar presently.

The arrival of Veda Raghu in this water habitat has attracted many bird watchers to take a glimpse of it.

The blue-cheeked bee-eater (Merops persicus) is a passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. The name Merops is ancient Greek for bee-eater and Persicus is Persian in Latin.

These birds breed in North Africa and the Middle East from Turkey to Kazakhstan and India. It is slender and mostly green. His face has blue sides with a black eye patch. The throat is yellow and brown. The beak is black. They measure about 31 cm (12 inches) in length.

These birds breed in sub-tropical semi-deserts and build their nests by making tunnels 1 to 3 meters (3.3–9.8 ft) long. They lay 4 to 8 round white eggs. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs, with the female alone incubating them at night. Incubation takes 23-26 days.

Blue-cheeked bee-eating species feed mainly on airborne flying insects. There are two recognized subspecies of this bee-eater. In India, this bird is found in the states of Maharashtra including, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. This species is found up to 2200 m altitude.

This bird was seen for the first time in Nandurmadhmeshwar this year and was not on the record list of the sanctuary till now.

Three species of Veda Raghu are now seen, in this area. One has to keep an eye out for migratory birds that arrive in winter. It also has to be studied whether there has been any change in the migration of birds due to the heavy rains this year.

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