Five-day monsoon bird census kicks off in Odisha's Bhitarkanika National Park
In 2022, forest officials counted 1,16,070 nesting birds of 10 species in Bhitarkanika. Similarly, 1,98639 birds were sighted in the park in 2021.
KENDRAPARA: The annual monsoon bird census kicked off in Bhitarkanika National Park here on Sunday. The Forest department launched the five-day-long census to create a scientific database of the bird population in the park. Forest range officer of the park Manas Das said, “We want to ascertain the bird species and their preferred season when they come to nest here in the monsoon season. In addition, the type of vegetation preferred by the birds will also be scientifically documented.”
Das further said around 20 personnel in four groups will monitor all the water bodies and mangrove forest areas of Bhitarkanika during the census. “We are allowing tourists to visit the park during the avian census.”
In 2022, forest officials counted 1,16,070 nesting birds of 10 species in Bhitarkanika. Similarly, 1,98639 birds were sighted in the park in 2021. The figure was 97,866 birds in 2020, 88,614 birds in 2019, 91,224 birds in 2018, 1,04,490 in 2017 and 1,03,853 in 2016.
Eleven species of resident birds like open-billed storks, herons and egrets were found nesting in Bhitarkanika last year. The monsoon season is the breeding period for many local birds. The most important nesting birds are open-billed stork, little cormorant, median egret, large egret, little egret, purple heron, grey heron, darter, white ibis and cattle egret, the forest officer added.