With monsoon steadily picking up pace,
residential water birds made their way into Bhitarkanika their
temporary home triggered chirpy cacophony along the marshy wetland spots.
The winged species visit the heronry here
in thousands every year for their annual nesting and breeding.
The water birds have begun
arriving at the wetland sites in small groups. They visit this place for
nesting with the onset of monsoon. However they have paid visit early this year
though monsoon is yet to hit the coast. The arrival of local
migrant birds has re-established Bhitarkanika as one of the prominent
heronries of the state, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife)
forest Division, Prasanna Kumar Acharya.
of birds was now on a lesser scale initially. As it has started
raining in torrents, larger gathering of migrant species are being sighted in
Bagagahana heronry for seasonal nesting. They will build nests and would lay
eggs atop the mangrove trees. Their sojourn would last for three to four months
from now after which they would start their homeward journey”, added Divisional
Forest Officer, Acharya.
“The monsoon migrant birds are
arriving in batches. Around 10,000 local resident
water birds have so far 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 is expected to rise in coming days. Last year 1,03,853 avian species were
counted making Bhitarkanika wetland spots their nesting sites. Forest officials
are pinning the hopes that the figure would rise this time.
The birds’ habitat is 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, said forest officials.
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.
Forest personnel informed about 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.