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Jatinga
Coordinates
Country  India
State Assam
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Jatinga , a village on a ridge, is located in the North Cachar Hills district, Assam State in India. It is 330km south of Guwahati. It is most famous for the phenomenon of birds “committing suicide”. This small place of beauty is mainly inhabited by about 2,500 Jaintia tribal people.

Contents

Bird Mystery of Jatinga

At the end of monsoon months, mysterious behavior of birds takes place. During moonless and foggy dark nights between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., flying birds come crashing to the ground with no prior warning whatsoever. [1] The local tribals first took this natural phenomenon to be spirits flying from the sky to terrorize them. This phenomenon is not confined to a single species, with Tiger Bittern, Black Bittern, Little Egret, Pond Heron, Indian Pitta and Kingfishers all being affected.[2]

The cause of it is likely to be disorientation at high altitudes and high speed winds due to the widespread fog characteristic at the time. The zoological survey of India sent famous naturalist Dr Sudhir Sengupta to unravel this mystery. Dr Sengupta is of the opinion that weather conditions make changes in the magnetic qualities of the underground water in this area. These changes disturb the physiological rhythm of the local birds and they start behaving abnormally towards the sources of light.

Speculation

According to The Statesman, the birds are attracted to the villagers' torches and then killed upon landing[3]. The Statesman does not explain why birds all over the planet are not also disoriented by torches and street lamps thus causing a much larger annual bird death toll.

Conservation groups and wildlife officials in India have taken steps to prevent wanton killing of birds across India, creating awareness in the illiterate villagers. Since then, the amount of birds killed have decreased by about 40 percent.

However, there is still ongoing research into this phenomenon.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Jatinga Bird Mystery". District Government of Region of North Cachar Hills. http://nchills.gov.in/NCHILLS-JATINGA.htm. Retrieved July 9, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Assam Tourism: Jatinga". Assam Tourism Travel Guide. http://www.assam-tourism.com/jatinga.htm. Retrieved January 14, 2009. 
  3. ^ The Statesman, Short Takes, Mar 15,2003
  4. ^ "Jatinga Phenomenon:Do birds really commit suicide". ArticlesGratuits.com. http://www.en.articlesgratuits.com/jatinga-phenomenondo-birds-really-commit-suicide-id984.php. Retrieved July 9, 2007. 








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