Some migratory birds continue winter sojourn in Chilika lake

Berhampur: Some migratory birds flocking the famous Chilika lake during winter have continued to stay back at the lagoon, a trend dubbed as unusual by birdwatchers.
"This is an unusual trend. Greater flamingo, pelican and Brahmani duck can still be seen in the lake despite the abnormal rise in temperature. These species embark on a return journey with the onset of summer", divisional forest officer (Chilika) B P Acharya said.
The DFO said the birds take shelter in nearby villages during the day and return to Nalabana sanctuary area, once the temperature dips in the evening.
Though the reason behind their continuing sojourn is yet to be known, Acharya felt the birds might have stayed back due to availability of food and good habitat conditions.
Around 8.77 lakh birds of 180 species thronged Chilika during last winter, he said.
There are around 2,000 flamingos, 300 pelicans and 200 Brahmani ducks in the lake. Their exact number would be known after the summer census, in the third week of May, he said.
Deputy Director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) S Balchandran said there was a need for a comprehensive study to find out the reason behind their prolonged stay.
"This is not a lone case. There have been similar reports from other habitats too", he said.
Another ornithologist said flamingos have made Chilika home for the last few years. "These species had been sighted in the blue lagoon and there is a need to monitor their behaviour so that they make it a permanent abode," retired forest officer Sudhakar Mohapatra said.
Flamingos migrate to Kutch in Gujrat during rains for breeding and again fly to Chilika in winter along with other bird species.