‘Kenyan’ bird that caused online sensation flies 26,000km to Northern Mongolia

Onon, a bird that caused an online sensation in Kenya. [Photo courtesy]

Bird enthusiasts continue to be awed by Onon, a “Kenyan” bird that made history by flying to China from Kenya in five days.

Onon covered 8,000km in the trip and on Monday, it embarked on yet another route back home in Northern Mongolia from China covering at least 26,000km.

It is expected to take a while at the Northern Mongolia, near the border with Russia where it will breed during the winter.

“(Today) 15h22 local time. After an epic 26,000km round trip including 27 border crossings involving 16 countries, Onon is back at Khurkh Bird Banding Station in North Mongolia, the place where he was fitted with his tag on June 8, 2019. Remarkable,” Chinese’s birding and wildlife portal Beijing Birding stated.

Onon who was fitted with a location sensor flew from Mongolia to various countries last year on June 8.

The bird was later detected in Kenya on April 29 and bird enthusiasts could not keep calm. Onon later flew to China where he has been for the last few weeks.

Beijing birding said that main aim of fitting geolocators onto Onon – a Mongolian Cuckoo Project – was to educate the public on various things about migratory birds.

Onon together with another Common Cuckoo named Bayan which died a few days ago were named by school children in Northern Mongolia.

“Over the last seven days these cuckoos, named by schoolchildren in northern Mongolia, have crossed the Arabian Sea from Africa (Kenya and Somalia, respectively),” the portal stated.

Throughout Onon’s journey, his travel data has been captured in real-time and shared with millions of enthusiasts tracking his itinerary. 

Kenya is touted to be among African countries with conducive environments for various bird species. It has about 1,100 species of birds.

In February this year, an osprey flew 7,000km from Finland to Kenya before it was rescued. It later died.