Jatinga, a village on an edge, is located in the hills of north the zone, state of Cachar of Assam in India. It is 330km south of Guwahati. It is most famous for the phenomenon of birds “committing suicide”.
At the end of the months of monsoon, the mysterious behavior of the birds takes place. During moonless and foggy dark nights between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., flying birds come crashing to the ground with no prior warning whatsoever. 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.
|The zoological survey of India sent famous naturalist Dr Sudhir Sengupta to unravel this mystery. Dr. Sengupta is of the opinion that the atmospheric|
conditions make modifications of magnetic qualities of subterranean water in this sector. These changes disturb the physiological rhythm of the local birds and they start behaving abnormally towards the sources of light.
According to The Statesman, the birds are attracted to the villagers torches and then killed upon landing. These birds are likely disoriented by the presence of nearby lights, and villagers in the area take advantage of these birds to kill them for food.
Conservation groups and wildlife officials in India have taken steps to prevent this wanton killing of the birds, creating awareness in the illiterate villagers. Since then, the amount of birds killed have decreased by about 40 percent.
However, there is still research going on to unravel the real cause behind this un-natural phenomenon.
How to Reach:
Situated 9 km from Haflong town, Jatinga Hill Station bedecked with blue vanda orchids is famous for its mass bird suicides. From August to November, ornithologists and birders visit Jatinga to observe the phenomenon of migratory birds hurtling themselves to their imminent death.
Jatinga also has a bird watching centre which can provide accommodation after prior notice from the district forestry office in Haflong. While buses to Silchar pass through, it may be easier to visit Jatinga on a day-trip from Haflong by auto-rickshaw.