Winter migratory birds begin homeward journey from Bhitarkanika

Kendrapara, Mar 6 : The winter migratory birds, which had made their annual sojourn to Bhitarkanika in mid-October, have started their homeward journey since last week. Every year with the onset of winter, Bhitarkanika water bodies, the abode of avian species, wear a colourful look as lakhs of the migratory birds fly thousands of miles to the national park to escape the harsh winter in Siberia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Asia and some central European countries. They generally stay in Bhitarkanika for about three-four months before starting their homeward journey from the park when the water bodies dry up. DFO of Rajnagar Mangroves (forest) and Wildlife Division Jangyadatta Pati said as many as 144 types of bird species with a population of an estimated 1,38,107, thronged Bhitarkanika National Park in the ongoing winter season as per the report of mid-winter waterfall bird status survey-2022. This year,23 more bird species and 2,015 more winter-feathered guests than the last year were spotted by the swampy water bodies of the national park during the annual migratory bird status survey. However, not a single type of pelicans, Cranes or Flamingos, Indian Skimmer species were spotted at Bhitarkanika national park this year, the DFO said. Only two Spot-billed ducks, enlisted in the International on for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data book, however, were once again sighted this time, he said. Some of the winter migratory bird species such as black-winged stilt, black-tailed Godwit, Mongolian plover, white-tailed plover, Ruddy shelduck, northern pintail, avocet, whimbrel were spotted this year. XC DP SSP

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