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Saswat Singhdeo

Bargarh: It is that time of the year when trees in Bhatli block of Bargarh district wear a different look. The treetops are seen housing winged guests flying down here from several hundred miles.

Locals believe that these annual guests bring them cheer and prosperity.

"The birds start coming since the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya. They lay eggs here and by November when their young ones are ready to fly, they all return to their place of origin, "said Ganesh Mahakur, a resident of Antapalli.

According to villagers, this has been going on for years.“Even our grandparents do not know since when these birds are visiting us. We feel proud when people from other places come here to watch these birds,” Mahakur said.

“Presence of these birds completely changes the ambience of our village. We love their chirping and the trees look all the more beautiful with these lovely birds sitting on the branches,” another resident from Karlajori village, Pushpanjali Behera, said adding that arrival of these birds indicates adequate rainfall essential for a good harvest.

The forest department in association with locals in the area has formed an Eco Development Committee (EDC) for protection of the birds. “After a survey we found that nine varieties of birds visit this place ever year,” Chairman of EDC Sanjay Khamari informed.

On the other hand Assistant Conservator of Forest M L Sharma has said that they are trying their best to protect the birds.

"Adequate protection is being provided to these birds. We are also creating awareness in the nearby areas urging locals to plant trees so that Bhatli gets more such birds year after year,” Sharma said.


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