Ornithological Note 19

Yunnan Nuthatch from Walong, Arunachal Pradesh: new species for India

Jainy Kuriakose April 02, 2014
Country: India
Section(s): range extension, General

On 13th March 2014, during our birding trip to Walong, Arunachal Pradesh (India), Chewang R. Bonpo and I had good sightings of Yunnan Nuthatch (Sitta yunnanensis) in Helmet top which is 19 km away from Walong village in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh. We noticed silhouettes of some small Nuthatch-like birds calling up high in the pine trees. Later as we walked down, a kilometer from the top we came across a flock of these Nuthatches, with some of them perching in front of us on a small tree at eye-level with ample time to photograph these birds. The identification of the species was done with the help of Oriental Bird Images database as Yunnan Nuthatch, with a confirmation note from Krys Kazmierczak. The species seems to be locally common in Helmet top and flocks of these birds were also sighted in Tilam top, which shares similar habitat. We assume the species requires a habitat defined by tall and mature pine trees with thick undergrowth of bushes, which we observed in both the hills. Probably, the hilly terrain of Walong/Anjaw district, lined by pine trees may support the species. However, during our visit we noticed large areas of forest under fire (most likely clearing up land space for agriculture and probably not forest fires), which might be a threat for the survival of the species. Since the species is a globally threatened species, its occurrence in India is particularly significant. Further studies are suggested to establish the status, distribution and the range extension of this species.

Recommended Citation

Kuriakose, J. (2014). Yunnan Nuthatch from Walong, Arunachal Pradesh: new species for India. HBW Alive Ornithological Note 19. In: Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow-on.100019