Khonoma is a beautiful green village located in Nagaland, India. In fact, according to Wikipedia, it is the very first green village of India. Khonoma is actually a land of many firsts, the most significant of which being that twenty years back, it became the first village in Nagaland to ban hunting and declare a big part of their forests as the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary.
Khanoma is extremely rich in all forms of wildlife, especially birds. According to The Morung Express, out of the 500 bird species found in Nagaland, 340 are found in Khonoma alone.
Now, out of those, let us know more about some of the most popular bird species found in Khonoma!
- Blyth’s tragopan
Blyth’s tragopan is the most popular bird species found in Khonoma. It is in fact, the state bird of Khonoma and people come to see it from all over. Over the years, large numbers of Blyth’s tragopans were killed, as a result of which, it has become nationally endangered. This was one of the reasons why hunting was banned in Khonoma and a huge chunk of the forests were declared as the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary.
Blyth’s tragopan is a pheasant that belongs to the family of Phasianidae. Its binomial name is Tragopan blythii. The male birds are around 65-70 cm long while the female ones are 55-60 cm long. The male birds are absolutely gorgeous looking with a red and black head and the facial skin being yellow. The upper body is spotted with white dots and the underbody is mostly grey. The female birds are however not as bright as the male ones. They are generally dark brown in colour. Blyth’s tragopans are found in wooded areas and dark forests. They eat ants and insects as well as seeds, fruits and berries. Their breeding time is at its peak between March and May. While the females incubate the eggs in the nest, the males bring food and when the females come out of the nests, the males take their places.
- Chestnut-vented nuthatch
The chestnut-vented nuthatch is a bird species from the Nuthatch family. Its binomial name is Sitta Nagaensis. It is a medium-sized bird that has a lot of energy and keeps its balance on its strong legs and feet. Its upper body is blue and grey and the underbody is white, with the flanks being somewhat a mix of orange and brown. It is mostly found in temperate, subtropical and tropical moist montane forests. Its basic food is seeds and invertebrates. The nests are generally built by the females, with the males sometimes helping them. They sometimes stay in the same nest for a whole year or even more than that.
- Blue-throated barbet
The blue-throated barbet is a colourful bird species with the body being green, the head being red and black and the face and throat being blue. Its binomial name is Psilopogon asiaticus. They are mostly found in evergreen forests, teak forests, gardens and cities which have trees that grow fruits. Their length is around 9-11 inches and their weight falls between 2.7-3.6 oz. They mostly eat fruits, flowers and also some insects. After breeding, the parents together build the nests and share the load while taking care of the chicks.
- Olive-backed pipit
The olive-backed pipit is a bird species from the Motacillidae family. Its scientific name is Anthus hodgsoni. The upper body of an olive-backed pipit is slightly greenish in colour, because of which it gets this name. The underbody is white with specks of brown. It is quite active and agile in nature. It is generally 14 cm long, with its weight being around 21 g. The olive-backed pipits usually feed on insects and seeds. They are found in areas with a lot of trees and grasses and also in gardens. Their nesting time is during May-June. They are also known by the names, tree pipit, Hodgson’s pipit or Indian pipit.
- Red-vented bulbul
The red-vented bulbul is a bird species from the bulbul or Pycnonotidae family. Its scientific name is Pycnonotus cafer. It is generally dark brown in colour with the head being completely black and the red coloured part coming under its tail. The red-vented bulbuls generally feed on flowers, fruits and insects. They breed mostly from January to October. They lay around two to four eggs at one time. They have a forceful nature and often get into a fight with other birds. They are also counted as one of the world’s most invasive alien species. The red-vented bulbuls are mostly found in bushy areas, such as forests and gardens.
- Green-backed tit
The green-backed tit is a bird species from the Paridae family. Its scientific name is Parus monticolous. It is known as green-backed tit because of the colour of its back being green in colour. It is mostly found in temperate and boreal forests. The green-backed tits eat fruits, seeds and insects. Their nests are made in tree holes and after breeding, the females keep the eggs warm while the males get food.
- Black-breasted thrush
The black-breasted thrush is a bird species from the Turdidae family. Its scientific name is Turdus dissimilis. There are quite a lot of differences in the way a male and female black-breasted thrush look. While a male black-breasted thrush has a black head and grey upper-body, the female one has olive brown head and upper-body. The bird gets this name because of the male one’s breast being black. They are mostly seen in forests and woods of the tropical and subtropical areas. They generally feed on insects, snails and berries. They are very active and swift in the way they move on the land and are extremely smooth in their flight.
- Black bulbul
The black bulbul is a bird species from the Pycnonotidae family. Its scientific name is Hypsipetes leucocephalus. It is also known by the names Asian black bulbul and Himalayan black bulbul. The black bulbuls are generally 24-25 cm long. They can be either grey or black in colour, with slight variations here and there. They mostly eat seeds and insects. They are quite noisy in nature and make various sort of sounds.