Threatened Bird ‘Bristled Grassbird’ Sighted

A threatened bird species ‘Bristled Grassbird’ was sighted recently in Bandha Dharampura area of Kota city in Rajasthan.

Bristled grassbird falls under the ‘vulnerable’ category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Such birds move towards peninsular and eastern parts of India in winter, and many breed in northern marshy grasslands in the south of the Himalayas.

Grassbirds, equal to a common babbler in size (6- 7 inches), are seen at the top of grass clumps; they have bristles — short, stiff hair — between their eyes and beaks which help them protect their eyes while diving in grasslands to pick insects for feed.

The male bird has a peculiar aerial display; it goes up over a grass top about a metre in a zig-zag manner and then comes down as a parachute, making a distinct sound of chwee-chew.

Shrinking of wetlands with tall grass has hit the population of grassbirds.

Sight of bristled grassbird in Rajasthan is surprising since it is a bird of grasslands usually found in Odisha, West Bengal, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.