Sea bird swept hundreds of kilometres away from native grounds by Cyclone Fani

A sea bird native to the Pacific and Indian Ocean islands was found in Odisha, eastern India, after being swept away by Cyclone Fani.

A farmer spotted the bird in his rice field in Kakatpur near Puri, which was ravaged by the cyclone, and called Snake Helpline on May 5.

Snake Helpline founder Subhendu Mallik and his team rushed to the spot and rescued the bird. But as they could not identify the bird clearly they sent photos of the bird to Ashutosh Mallik, a forest official at Dehradun.

Ashutosh identified the bird as a Great Frigate, a native bird of a few Pacific and Indian Ocean islands.

Experts believe the bird, which is known to fly over the vast expanse of seas hunting fish, was blown for hundreds of kilometres by the strong winds of Fani.

Ashutosh said: "The bird might have failed to negotiate the heavy wind and landed in Odisha, where it had never been spotted earlier."

"We have handed over the bird to local forest staff and advised them to feed with sea fish. As the bird is not a native, they should transfer it to the local zoo in Bhubaneswar," said Subhendu Mallik.