Chorten Tshering, a 14 year old class 7 student, studying at Tshaling Primary School in Trashiyangtse shares his journey of sighting Thrung Thrung Karmo for the first time in his life and wishes to see them every winter.
I often heard my family and villagers referring to Thrung Thrung Karmo (Black-necked Crane) as a beautiful majestic bird, describing the bird with broad black and white wings, who would fly over our village, feed on the fields, dance and sing along brimming joys to everyone’s life.
Unfortunately I never saw one in real life until one cold winter morning on my way to school, a large shadow caught my attention. As I looked up, all the tales and descriptions fitted perfectly, I instantly confirmed myself seeing the majestic Thrung Thrung. Even today, I still recall the great day and cherish it.
Now, eagerly every winter I wait for the Thrung Thrung in our fields.When they arrive, I visit them with my friends and watch them from afar, as they fly away when they see people near them. My friends and I are able to recognize them in an instant due to their black neck and we all know that is how they got their name.
These birds usually come during the winter months (December and January) and I see them staying at my village for at least a month. They feed on waste grains and insects in our farmland. I have heard they would sleep by the river banks but I have never witnessed it myself.
My parents and teachers advised me and my friends on why we must protect the Thrung Thrungs. These birds are special and rare to spot in the country and can be found only in four districts (Bumthang,Lhuntse,Tashi Yangtse and Wangdue Phodrang). Knowing all these facts, I think it is our responsibility to protect them from dangers like dogs,wild animals and even from humans as well. I along with my friends advise our younger siblings and friends not to disturb the birds. Instead, together we must watch over them, be their protector and a friend as they would bring us luck in return. We consider them as a sign of good luck and always run to shout out “Good luck first!” whenever we see them.
Today with support from RSPN, my village has installed electric fences around our paddy field which will protect not only our crops from wild pigs and deers in the summer but the farmlands would provide an ideal foraging site for the Thrung Thrungs in the winter. I take pictures and videos of these beautiful birds as I miss them once they fly back. I hope to see these Thrung Thrung next winter as well.
Compiled by: Yeshi Saldon & Sangay Dema