Sunday, June 13, 2010


Jatinga , a village on a ridge, is located in the North Cachar Hills district, Assam State in India. It is most famous for the phenomenon of birds “committing suicide”.

At the end of monsoon months, mysterious behavior of birds takes place. During moonless and foggy dark nights between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., flying birds come crashing to the ground with no prior warning whatsoever. The local tribals first took this natural phenomenon to be spirits flying from the sky to terrorize them. This phenomenon is not confined to a single species, with Tiger Bittern, Black Bittern, Little Egret, Pond Heron, Indian Pitta and Kingfishers all being affected.

The cause of it is likely to be disorientation at high altitudes and high speed winds due to the widespread fog characteristic at the time. The zoological survey of India sent famous naturalist Dr Sudhir Sengupta to unravel this mystery. Dr Sengupta is of the opinion that weather conditions make changes in the magnetic qualities of the underground water in this area. These changes disturb the physiological rhythm of the local birds and they start behaving abnormally towards the sources of light.

According to The Statesman, the birds are attracted to the villagers' torches and then killed upon landing. The Statesman does not explain why birds all over the planet are not also disoriented by torches and street lamps thus causing a much larger annual bird death toll.

There is still ongoing research into this phenomenon.