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Residential water birds have made Bhitarkanika their temporary home

Kendrapada:2/7/18; Residential water birds have made Bhitarkanika their temporary home even as the onset of monsoon has triggered chirpy cacophony along the marshy wetland spots here.

The winged species have thronged the heronry here in thousands for their annual nesting and breeding.

“The arrival of local migrant birds has reestablished Bhitarkanika as one of the prominent heronries of the state”, said forest officials.

“With the commencement of rainy season, local migrant species have arrived in large numbers in Bagagahana heronry for seasonal nesting. They have built nests and laid eggs atop the mangrove trees. Their sojourn would last for three months from now after which they would start their homeward journey”, said Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) forest division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya.

“The monsoon migrant birds are arriving in batches. Their headcount is yet to be made. However around 15,000 local resident water birds have made their way to dense mangrove cover in Bagagahana”, he said.

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

The number of birds arriving here are on the rise on day-to-day basis. Last year, 1,03,853 monsoon birds had thronged the heronry here for their annual sojourn. Forest officials are pinning the hopes that the figure would rise this time.

The birds’ habitat spread across around four-hectares-stretch. They wing their way in and around the water bodies adding to the scenic beauty of the place. There is ample of food security for the birds as the place crisscrossed by innumerable water inlets and nullahs is free of human interference, DFO Acharya said.

Lack of human interference, ideal climatic condition, cool breeze and the river system here all have emerged to the liking of these delicate chirpy winged species.

It’s pertinent to note here that noted ornithologist Dr Salim Ali made a chance-discovery of Bhitarkanika birds’ habitat while on a casual visit to Bhitarkanika in 1981.

Over a dozen types of local residential birds congregate at the Bagagahana heronry within the park for nesting and breeding every year. The species are open bill stork, Little cormorant, Intermediary Egret, Large Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Night Heron, Darter, White Ibis and Cattle Egret.

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