Migratory birds start flying back home from Odisha

Kendrapara: After a four-month winter sojourn at the wetland spots in Bhitarakanika National Park in Odisha, the migratory birds have commenced their journey back home following the rise in temperature.

There was a drop in the number of winter guests this year from trans-Himalayan region who flew to Bhitarkanika wetland sites to avoid the harsh winter there.

The number of birds visiting Bhitarkanika slumped to 76,268 this year when compared to 1,06,156 last year, said Divisional Forest Officer, Bimal Prasanna Acharya.

Migratory birds fly thousands of miles to Bhitarakanika to escape the harsh winter in northern Asia and some central European countries, he said adding that the birds stayed there for four months before flying back to where they had come from.

The first flock of migratory birds usually arrive at Bhitarakanika by the second week of November. However, their arrival was delayed by a couple of weeks this year due to late arrival of winter.

A large number of birds had already flown out while others were preparing to leave, he said.

Altogether 87 species of birds had come from Siberia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Himalayan region and central Europe have been leaving Bhitarakanika almost every day.

The bird census was conducted on January 2 by forest officials with the help of environmentalists and NGOs, he said.

Meanwhile, in Satabhaya wetlands, a large numbers of birds had gathered this winter and the forest officials guarded the birds from poachers, the forest officer said.

“We hope that more birds will arrive before the advent of winter later this year,” said the forest officer.

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