Rare Desert Bird Spotted on Gageo Island | Be Korea-savvy

Rare Desert Bird Spotted on Gageo Island


SINAN, Feb.12 (Korea Bizwire)An Oenanthe deserti, a bird usually seen in the desert, has been spotted on a small island in Korea.

In September 2015, a small male Oenanthe deserti catching bugs near Gageo Island was spotted by a bird watcher. Bird expert Ko Gyeong-nam succeeded in taking a picture of the rare bird visiting an unlikely location.


The small birds are usually 15 centimeters long and live in open areas of the desert, feeding mostly on insects.

The Sahara Desert, Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, Central Asian deserts and Mongolian plains are the main habitat of the Oenanthe deserti. The bird breeds in Tibet, Mongolia, and northwestern parts of China, and spends the winter in East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and northern parts of India. The bird is seldom found in East Asia.

However, the bird was spotted in Pohang in January 2008, Gunsan Ochungdo in May 2008 and finally Sinan’s Gageo Island last year.

Bird Expert Ko commented that the bird was hunting for insects such as spiders at the time, and its fast, darting movements were very lively.


Many birds visit the Korean peninsula throughout the year. Gageo Island, where the rare Oenanthe deserti was spotted, is also a rest stop for migrating birds.

Although it is not clear how and why the desert bird ended up on the island, it seems like more rare birds will be stopping by again in the future.

Image Credit: Yonhap / photonews@koreabizwire.com

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