Migratory birds land at Bhitarkanika

75,000 birds have arrived for nesting, breeding

PTI | August 2, 2011

With the onset of monsoon, over 75,000 winged visitors have made the marshy wetland at Bhitarkanika in Orissa their temporary home.

The residential water birds arrived at the internationally acclaimed Ramsar wetland site for nesting and breeding. The arrival of local migrant birds has reestablished Bhitarkanika as one of the prominent heronries of the state.

With start of rains, local migrant species have headed towards Bhitarkanika for seasonal nesting. Their sojourn would last for about a month now after which they would start their homeward journey, National Park officials said.

Around 75,000 local migrant avian species have so far arrived at Bagagahana heronry. As the spell of rains was not uniform, their arrival was delayed this time. Manoj Kumar Mahapatra, divisional forest officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) forest division, said.

Prominent among the species arriving here for nesting are Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Darter, Cormorant, Large Egret, Intermediary Egret and Little Egret.

The number of birds arriving here are on the rise on day-to-day basis. Last year, around 70,000 birds had thronged the heronry here for their annual sojourn. Forest officials are pinning the hopes that the figure would rise this time.

The birds habitat spread across around four-hectare-stretch.

"They wing their way in and around the water bodies adding to the scenic beauty of the place. There is ample food security for the birds as the place is crisscrossed by innumerable water inlets and nullahs that are free of human interference", Mahapatra said.

Lack of human interference, ideal climatic condition, cool breeze and the river system here all have emerged to the liking of these delicate chirpy winged species.

It's pertinent to note here that noted ornithologist Dr Salim Ali made a chance-discovery of Bhitarkanika birds habitat while on a casual visit to Bhitarkanika in 1981.

Forest personnel said about a dozen types of local residential birds congregate at Bagagahana heronry within the park for nesting and breeding every year.



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