Mysterious where thousands of birds commit suicide

Mysterious where thousands of birds commit suicide
On moonless nights, hundreds of birds became disoriented, rushing towards the light sources on the small strip of land in Jatinga village.

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In September - October every year, when the monsoon season ends, the birds in Jatinga - a small village on the mountainside of Dima Hasao district (state of Assam), start behaving abnormally. Specifically, on moonless nights, especially at 18:00 to 21:30, hundreds of birds of 44 species become completely disoriented. They repeatedly butted against lampposts, buildings and trees as suicide series.
Mysterious where thousands of birds commit suicide
Hundreds of colorful birds of 44 species fly to Jatinga in September and October each year. Photo: Dream Plan Go.
After falling to the ground in a state of serious injury, they may starve to death after a few days or be killed by the villagers. They often stoned or stabbed animals with bamboo stakes because they thought they were evil spirits, sent by demons to harm the village. Despite the danger, every year, the birds continue to fly to the land of death Jatinga. Thousands of birds are estimated to have died over the last 100 years.

The phenomenon of suicidal birds or "avian harakiri" is thought to have occurred since 1905, when the villagers first discovered birds behaving strangely around light sources. In the following years, artificial lights and natural conditions indirectly created their suicide loop.

In the 1960s, Indian naturalist Edward Pritchard Gee and falcon researcher Salim Ali began to discover the mystery of birds in Jatinga. This event attracts the attention of global scientists. One theory is that the combination of altitude, high winds and fog caused the birds to lose their direction. In addition, the light of the village drew them.

Interestingly, no long-distance migratory birds were attracted to the light trap. The "victims" in the phenomenon of suicide birds come from the adjacent valley in the north. They migrate to other lands due to the influence of the monsoon. However, they were trapped and landed only in a strip of land 1.5 km long and 200 m wide fixed in the village. The lampposts in the south do not attract any birds.

After all the research, the reason why these birds formed the habit of flying here and trapped for hundreds of years remains unanswered. The Wildlife Protection Society in India went to Jatinga to spread the word about bird conservation, instead of attracting and killing them. Since then, the number of dead birds has been reduced by 40%.

The phenomenon of suicide birds gradually attracts wildlife researchers and tourists to the village. To promote tourism, since 2010, local authorities have organized a festival called the Jatinga bird which lasts for 3 full moon days, along with local cultural activities.

Brief information:

Jatinga is a mountainous village in Dima Hasao district, Assam state, India. This is the residence of the Zeme Nagas tribe. The nearest Guwahati airport is about 350 km from the village. To get here, visitors can travel by train to Haflong town, 15 minutes from Jatinga.

When visiting Haflong, visitors can visit Haflong natural lake, Panimoor waterfall and visit churches and chapels in Muolhoi village.
Mysterious where thousands of birds commit suicide Mysterious where thousands of birds commit suicide Reviewed by Duy Khiêm on October 03, 2019 Rating: 5

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