For the first time in South Rajasthan, people have seen the Red-capped Shaheen Falcon near Rundera Talab, close to Udaipur city. Shaheen Falcon (Falco peregrinus peregrinator) is a type of Peregrine Falcon, which holds the title for the world's fastest flying bird. Wildlife photographers in Udaipur took approximately 4 hours to capture pictures of this bird. The reason is that once it is spotted in one place, it quickly flies several feet away by the time someone gets close to it. Shaheen is a small falcon, appearing strong, with dark upperparts, streaked rufous underparts, and a white throat.
Deepal Singh Kalaria, Rohit Dwivedi and Sharad Agrawal, residents of Udaipur, made a noteworthy discovery as they spotted a hunting bird in the Mewar region. They not only observed the bird but also captured images and documented its presence. The remarkable aspect of this finding is that such hunting birds are rarely seen in the Udaipur region, which is more accustomed to desert and frontier landscapes. The sighting is considered both surprising and uncommon.
Prior to this discovery, the Shaheen Falcon bird had been the primary avian focus in Rajasthan. Typically found near the Pakistan border, including regions like Jaisalmer and Barmer, as well as in proximity to Jaipur, this new observation adds diversity to the bird species present in the state.
Ornithologist Sharad Agrawal describes this bird as the Barbary Falcon, Red-Necked Falcon, and Arabian Falcon. It has a slight reddish tint on its head and measures 13-15 inches in length, with wingspread ranging from 30-38 inches. Recognized as the fastest bird globally, it can dive from the sky to the ground at speeds of 300 km per hour for hunting.
With swift speed, powerful talons and keen eyesight, it excels as a hunter. While the Black Falcon, a close relative, is found in many Indian states, the Red-Capped Falcon typically migrates to Indian desert regions from colder, arid places like Mongolia, East Africa, the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The bird species, once critically endangered, is now gradually growing in numbers. In 1988, only seven pairs were reproducing, but by 2006, their population had increased almost ten times.