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Endangered bird fairy pitt catching snake spotted

Posted July. 10, 2017 07:22,   

Updated July. 10, 2017 07:53

An inspection team of the Korea National Park Service was surprised while watching birds at Hallyeohaesang (Maritime) National Park on June 24.  


While watching a fairy pitt after spotting the rare bird, the team saw the bird catch a snake. The fairy pitt is an endangered wild bird species (Grade 2). Only 2,500 to 10,000 of the bird are surviving worldwide due to a rapid decline in its population caused by deforestation. A fairy pitt mostly finds habitat in dark and humid mountain valleys or primeval‎ rainforest. In Korea, the bird has been mostly found in Jeju Island, Geoje Island, and Geumsan area in Namhae County, South Gyeongsang Province.


Then, a fairy pitt was captured in the camera, especially when it was catching a snake, which surprised the inspection team. An academic report published in 1964 by the Korea Culture Institute suggests that snakes fear a grownup fairy pitt. However, a scene in which a fairy pitt is feeding chicks with a snake has never been spotted even by a professional bird researcher. It has been known that the fairy pitt only feeds its chicks with worms.


“A fairy pitt eating the shell of the egg after hatching to protect its chicks has also been spotted this time,” said Moon Myeong-geun, an official at Hallryeohaesang National Park. “We will closely study the distribution of fairy pitt population, and remove any factors that may pose risks to their inhabitation.”

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com