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Winged guests return home  

Migratory birds, which had arrived at Bhitarkanika National Park for their annual winter sojourn, have started their homeward journey recently.

Published: 22nd February 2017 01:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2017 05:40 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA: Migratory birds, which had arrived at Bhitarkanika National Park for their annual winter sojourn, have started their homeward journey recently.

Like every year, with the onset of winter, a large number of birds came to the water bodies and forest cover of Bhitarkanika in November to avoid the extreme cold conditions in far-off places beyond the Himalayas.


The birds flew thousands of miles to Bhitarkanika to escape the harsh winter in northern Asia and some central European countries,  Forest Range Officer Akshya Nayak said.


The birds, which flew from Siberia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Himalayan region and central Europe to the park, have already started their return journey. 

Migratory birds, which had arrived at Bhitarkanika National Park for their annual winter sojourn, have started their homeward journey recently. Like every year, with the onset of winter, a large number of birds came to the water bodies and forest cover of Bhitarkanika in November to avoid the extreme cold conditions in far-off places beyond the Himalayas.


The birds flew thousands of miles to Bhitarkanika to escape the harsh winter in northern Asia and some central European countries,  Forest Range Officer Akshya Nayak said.


The birds, which flew from Siberia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Himalayan region and central Europe to the park, have already started their return journey.


Though the birds such as Shoveler, Pintail, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Garganey, Tufted Duck, Common Teal and Coot have started leaving, some wader species like Curlew, Pipit and White Eye have not shown any urgency to leave yet, Nayak added.  Abundant fish in the river and creeks and distance from human habitation made Bhitarkanika a suitable location for the temporary abode of the winter birds.


The forest officials recorded the presence of 76,268 birds last month during the annual avian census.  Around 109 avian species like Median Egret, Large Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Grey Heron, Darter, White Ibis and Cattle Egret, Grey-backed Shrike, Ruddy Kingfisher, Red-necked Phalarope, Western Reef Egret, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Blue-Winged Leaf bird, Great Thick-knee, Great Knot, Tawny Pipit and Goliath Heron visited the park and its nearby areas in this winter, Nayak said.  “We also sighted two rare Baikal teal birds and six rare Common Shelduck in  Bhitarkanika national park last month. This is the first record of the presence of the rare birds in the State,” said Bijaya Das, a noted ornithologist and avian researcher of the park.

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