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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bird lovers and ornithologists will be delighted to know that the Hirakud reservoir in Sambalpur has received a record numbers, 2,08,000 foreign migratory birds this season.

As revealed by the latest bird census on January 7 this year, the visit by the overseas winged guests to the reservoir has smashed a ten-year record.

This year’s rise has been seen in the backdrop of the bird census conducted in the areas which included Sukhasoda (38 square kilometres) on the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border, for the first time.

Sources said, the biosphere received 104 types of bird species this season, a rise of six from 98 types of species which flung to Hirakud last season.

Out of these, five birds species migrated in large numbers. They include, Lesser Whistling Duck, Tufted Duck, Common Coot, Little Cormorant, and Red Crested Pochard.

The Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Hirakud Wildlife Division, Anshu Prajnya Dash said that as many as 52, 337 Lesser Whistling Ducks have migrated to Hirakud, in largest numbers.

A total of 1.24 lakh (98 types) foreign migratory birds had visited the Hirakud reservoir last season.

As many as 38 teams of forest staff from Sambalpur, Bargarh and Jharsuguda divisions were engaged in the enumeration of both the domestic and migratory birds at the Hirakud reservoir area and the power channel on Friday.

The reservoir was divided into 18 sectors and the power channel into 3 sectors. 30 boats were deployed for the movement of the census teams in aquatic areas to carry out the survey work.

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