Bhitarkanika records increase in migrant water birds visit

Kendrapara:  Bhitarkanika National Park played host to nearly 80,000 migrant water birds this monsoon, registering a substantial rise in the number of winged guests in comparison to the preceding year.

As against 70,105 visiting birds recorded last year, this season 79,548 avian species had made Bhitarkanika wetland spots their nesting sites.

With this, Bhitarkanika national park has once again re-established its place in the state as one of the congenial heronries for migrant water birds.

There has been a steady rise in the number of local water-birds who thronged the heronry and wetland spots here for their seasonal sojourn.

The breakup of local migrant birds arriving here in past years is 2007- 52,096, 2008- 71,383, 2009-70,484, 2010- 41,168, 2011-59,973 and 2012- 70,105.

"As the monsoon was erratic this time, we expected lesser number of local migrant birds would visit the site. But we were proved wrong. Local migrants birds visited in large number," Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Kedrar Kumar Jena, said.

The onset of monsoon had triggered chirpy cacophony along the marshy wetland spots in Bhitarkanika national park. As the spell of rains was not uniform, their arrival was delayed this time.

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