Rare 'Green Cocoa' bird found in Lakhipathar Reserve Forest in Tinsukia

Doomdooma: New year brought good news for Assam bird watchers after a rare Green Cocoa bird (Cochoa Viridis) was rescued from the Lakhipathar reserve forest under the Doomdooma forest division in Assam’s Tinsukia district.

Devojit Moran, a local environmentalist, found an injured Green Cocoa in the Lakhipathar reserve forest earlier this week when he went there to release a rescued python.

This is the first such sighting of the rare Green Cocoa bird in the forest. Talking to EastMojo, Devojit Moran said, “I rescued a Green Cocoa bird from Lakhipathar Reserve Forest while I was going there to release a python, which was rescued from Tingrai Railway Station on Monday morning. I found a rare bird, which cannot fly, in the reserve forest. Maybe the bird was injured with a catapult shot.”

“The bird is with me and I kept the bird on a tree and gave food to eat. The bird is better and moving. Firoz Hussain, a famous ornithologist of the region, also guided me on how to keep the bird and what food should be given to the bird,” Moran said.

Talking to the correspondent, Firoz Hussain, founder of IDs of Indian Birds and famous ornithologist, said, “For the first time the rare bird species was spotted in Lakhipathar Reserve Forest. Earlier, it was spotted in Dehing-Patkai National Park. It was a good news for the bird watcher as it is one of the rarest bird species.”

“The Green Cocoa (Cochoa viridis) is a bird species that has been classified as either a Turdidae thrushes or an Old World flycatcher. It is considered closer to the former. This Himalayan thrush is moss green. The male has a blue crown, blue wings, and a broad black band on the tail. The female has a more greenish body with some rusty spots on the wing coverts,” said Hussain, who is also a professional birds tour leader in Oriental Birding Tours.

He said, “The green Cocoa is found in Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, and possibly Bhutan. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. They make seasonal movements that are not well understood. Their distribution in winter in India is unclear as the species is found only in summer. An old record from Uttaranchal (Nainital) is the westernmost record, and no recent records exist from Nepal. Most records are east of northwest Bengal.”

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The Green Cocoa is usually seen in pairs or small groups sitting in tall trees. They usually feed close to the ground, on molluscs, insects, and berries. They sometimes launch aerial sallies to capture insects. This species breeds in summer, and the nest is much like that of the purple cocoa but is usually placed close to water. Both parents take turns incubating.

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