Himansu Shekhar Rout

The results of the 2024 annual bird census in Chilika Lake, the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia, were announced on Thursday. The number of birds that flocked to the lake was pegged at 11,37,759 belonging to 187 species. 

As per the census, in comparison to the previous year's count, 5,830 more birds visited the lake this year.
Significantly, one Pallas Fish Eagle was sighted in the lake. It was seen after a gap of about 10 years, the report added.

According to the reports, 3,47,280 birds were sighted at Nalabana. The number of Northern Pintails was 2,18,650, while 1,56,636 Gadwalls visited the lake. During the census 1,40,322 Eurasia Wigeons were sighted.

At least 21 teams comprising 5-6 ornithologists each were deployed in the counting of the migratory and domestic birds in the Chilika lagoon spreading over Rambha, Balugaon, Tangi, Satapada, and Chilika ranges.

DFO Amlan Nayak said that "11,37,759  birds of 187 species flocked Chilika Lake while 3,47,280 of the birds were counted at Nalabana. The number of birds visiting Chilika has increased by 5,830.”

PCCF Susanta Nanda said that this year three more new species of birds were sighted during the census. “As the water level is low and the winter chill was not that intense, we had expected a fall in the number of birds visiting the lake this year. But their number has slightly increased. What is significant is that one Pallas Fish Eagle was sighted in the lake. The bird of this species was seen after a gap of about 10 years,” the PCCF added.

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