Desert bird found in Padma Char

Desert bird Cyxer Ratchara found recently in Char areas of Padma river in Rajshahi. Photo: Prothom Alo
Desert bird Cyxer Ratchara found recently in Char areas of Padma river in Rajshahi. Photo: Prothom Alo

A bird, mostly found in desert areas, has been sighted recently in Char areas of Padma river in Rajshahi.

The bird called Cyxer Ratchara is a bird with soft brown and brown feathers and white feathers on its wings and tail as well. It is about 21 to 23 centimetres long and can camouflage in nature easily. 

The Bangladesh Bird Club and a team of four British experts have found Cyxer Ratchara in an island of Rajshahi this February. The bird experts said it mainly roams in desert areas.

The British team members are Bill Jones, Matt Pryor, Stephen Samwath and Din Ria.

They said the Cyxer Ratchara was never seen in Bangladesh or West Bengal before. So, this new finding suggests that the roaming area of this bird has doubled. Some endangered and rare breeds of birds have been seen in this island of Rajshahi recently.

In assistance with the Bangladesh Bird Club and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)-Bangladesh, the British ornithologists (bird experts) visited Rajshahi originally for collecting the DNA of Dholalege Shilafiddar, a bird that is rarely seen.

New bird Cyxer Ratchara was caught in the net trap the ornithologists had set to catch Dholalege Shilafiddar.

The team told Prothom Alo that an unknown bird was caught in their net, but they never thought it could be a Cyxer Ratchara.

While they were fixing a ring on its foot and measuring its body they felt that this could be a Cyxer Ratchara.

In order to make the thing sure, they took its biometric information and also took some photos of its wings, tail and throat and sent them to a number of bird experts in different countries. Then the bird was released.

Bangladesh Bird Club vice-president Tareq Anu who visited Rajshahi with the British team said all the experts confirmed that this was indeed a Cyxer Ratchara.

The team said this nocturnal bird mainly roams in the desert areas of India, Pakistan and Iran and migrates to Middle and Northern India in winter.

Finding this bird in an area thousands of kilometres away from its natural habitat is something very special for the ornithologists.

Bangladeshi bird expert Inam Al Huq said this bird lives on desert insects.

“Just because it was found in Bangladesh, we should not think that desertification is underway in Bangladesh. There are many similarities in the soil of a desert and an island,” he noted.  

Matt Pryor has fixed rings on more than 80,000 birds. He said it is an adult Cyxer Ratchara and it is highly possible that this bird is roaming here with its flock and the flock might be found nearby.

*The article originally came out in Prothom Alo print edition and was rewritten in English by Sitesh Kumar Saha