BHUBANESWAR: The number of feathered guests at Chilika lake has increased this year. The biggest waterfowl habitat in the country has recorded 50,541 birds, according to the summer status survey that concluded last week.
The census conducted in all five ranges of Chilika Wildlife Division enumerated 43,043 birds of 52 waterfowl species and 7,498 birds of 45 resident species which were sighted during the sultry summer afternoon.
Last year, the number of birds was 39,731 of 107 species. The annual bird census during winter had put the count at 8,93,390 birds of 147 different species against the last winter’s count of 9,47,119 birds of 167 different species.
While the number dwindled in the winter due to increase in water level following unseasonal rains, some of the migratory birds might have preferred to stay back for improvement in the habitat leading to rise in number during summer count.
“The winged guests, who had flown to Chilika during the winter, have stayed by as the day temperature was below 40 degree unlike previous years,” said a forest official.