Spread over an area of 150 acres in North Bangalore, Hebbal lake is the success story of a conserved water body that faced lot of controversies and issues pertaining to its rejuvenation and maintenance. But, today it is a haven for a large number of migratory birds. Serving as a nesting ground for many a species, however, this time, the winged visitors have made a late entry to the city.
When City Express visited the lake, the sound of chirping birds and quacking ducks was indeed welcome. Depending on the local environment, the arrival and departure of migrant birds too keeps changing.
Ornithologist Harish Bhat informed City Express, “Unfortunately, the migratory birds that arrives from European countries including Siberia are late this time around. Normally, they start moving towards this part of the world from September last week itself. Migratory ducks and birds like grey wagtail make their way towards Hebbal Lake every year.”
He added, “However, the spotted billed pelicans have started nesting in Hebbal Lake for some time now. The Spot-billed pelican is not migratory but are known to make local movements and are more widely distributed in the on-breeding season. They travel across a few districts and then start building their nest here. They might at the most come from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh or closer districts like Mandya, Mysore.
These are called Spot-billed Pelican or Grey Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis) and is a member of the pelican family. It breeds in Southern Asia from Southern Pakistan across India east to Indonesia. It is a bird of large inland and coastal waters, especially large lakes. In some areas these birds nest in large colonies close to human habitations.
The species is found to breed only in peninsular India, Sri Lanka and in Cambodia.The main habitat is in shallow lowland freshwater.”
Environmentalist Suresh Heblikar says, “In the month of September, neighbouring countries like Russia and places like Himalaya and Central Asia start getting colder and that’s when the birds heads towards less colder places like Bangalore. September is perfect for birds to migrate.”
The residents in the vicinity are delighted by the sight of these birds.
“The ideal time for bird watching is early in the morning or evening. Both my children insist on visiting the lake almost every day,”says Kalyani Bharadwaj. Voicing a similar opinion, Raj G says, “The scene from the flyover is awesome and strikingly beautiful. I work in Manyata Tech Park and every single day, when I take this route, I look at the birds.”