India scrambled fighter jets
India scrambled fighter jets for weeks to tackle migratory birds mistaking them for drones - (Reuters file photo) Reuters file photo

India had scrambled scores of fighter jets to tackle migratory birds for weeks mistaking them for enemy drones in a sensitive border region.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed fighter aircraft after radars flagged unsolicited intrusion into Indian territories along the border region in the western state of Gujarat.

As soon as the jets started flying, the "enemies" disappeared from the radar, but resurfaced once the jets had gone. These perplexed Indian officials for weeks before they could discover that the "intruders" were actually flocks of migratory birds.

According to an IAF report, cited by The Indian Express, between December 2012 and February 2013, radars had detected the potential targets as "slow-moving tracks of variable heights of 4 to 6 km and variable speed from 100 to 250kmph".

The birds were swift enough to vanish from the radar using strong tail winds in the region.

As their flying speeds coincide with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), the Indian forces began a tactical response by scrambling the fighter jets and deploying other aircraft.

Shortly after the "intrusion", officials asked local bird sanctuaries about the migration in Gujarat and experts confirmed that the intruders were only birds.

IAF officials have also begun following other birds' migratory patterns in the region to take appropriate steps.

Gujarat shelters one of India's most important air bases as it is located near the sensitive border with Pakistan.