Rarely seen strawberry finch spotted at Akkulam Lake

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The strawberry finch, a beautiful bird rarely seen in the State, especially south Kerala, has been spotted in the vicinity of Akkulam Lake.

Locally known as Kumkumakuruvi, this sparrow-sized bird of the family Estrildidae was spotted by two bird watchers Anoop Palode and Suraj Choodal of the Swasthi Foundation.

The Swasthi team of conservationists and nature photographers was able to locate even the nest of these rare birds.

30 birds spotted

More than 30 of these birds were spotted, raising the possibility of Akkulam being a natural habitat for these birds.

The spotting of the Strawberry Finch, also called Red Avadavat or Red Munia, highlights the urgent need for conservation and protection of Akkulam Lake.

Uncontrolled urbanisation in the area and pollution have been posing a huge threat to the lake.

A report on the birds of Akkulam compiled by Aswin B. Raj, official bird watcher of Mission Akkulam, mentions more than 100 birds commonly found in the lake vicinity that were observed during field visits December last and January this year.

These birds include winter visitors, transitory migrants, and residents.

Report

A report on the aquatic biology of the lake says conversion of the shoreline into residential areas and restaurants has resulted in observance of very high abundance of invasive bird species such as house crows and common mynas.

This could affect other species such as the little egret by predation and competition and lead to homogenisation of species diversity in the lake ecosystem.

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