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Sat, 16 Dec 2017

Northeast Today

After 3 Decades, Hornbills Return to Mokokchung

After 3 Decades, Hornbills Return to Mokokchung
December 02
11:49 2017

As the 18th edition of Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival gets underway, a number of visitors are making their way to Nagaland to witness this mega-event dubbed ‘festival of festivals.’

As revered as the Hornbill birds are in the local culture on which the festival is named, Hornbill birds are a rare sight in Nagaland today. The number of visitors to Nagaland during the Hornbill Festival has recorded a steady rise over the years but there is a special type of visitor this year to Nagaland: the real Hornbill birds.

No official confirmation by any competent authority has been made as of date but eyewitnesses have claimed that the famed Hornbill birds have been roosting in flocks at Minkong forest of Mokokchung. While some eyewitnesses identified the birds as the Wreathed Hornbill, some claim that it is the Great Hornbill. Elderly citizens claim that the Hornbill birds are being sighted in the region after almost three decades.

The first reports of sighting of the winged visitors by eyewitnesses at Minkong forest was reported by The Morung Express on November 12. Since then, a number of people have come forward to attest the initial report, some with photographic images of the birds. The flight corridor of the sighted Hornbill birds is from the eastern side of Mokokchung via Noksen area of neighbouring Tuensang district.

The Hornbill birds were also sighted last year during the same season in Mokokchung. The Wildlife Division, Dimapur had last year confirmed that Wreathed Hornbill birds roosted in the dense forests of Jangpetkong Range in Mokokchung district.

While migration of the Hornbill birds to this region has come as a pleasant surprise to many, poaching of the birds in the neighbouring areas of Mokokchung have also been reported on social media.

Photo: Recent picture of a Hornbill that was allegedly shot dead somewhere in Nagaland

Source: Morung Express

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