NAGAPATTINAM: The migratory birds’ visits to Kodiyakarai in the district are slowly increasing as the monsoon rains ease.
The bird visits which had been dull around Point Calimere Wildlife and Birds Sanctuary has been increasing steadily over the past week. The migratory bird visits was less due to incessant rains throughout November. “The rains have slowed down, easing the bird migration process. There is enough water in the wetlands for water birds from across the globe to arrive, wade through and feed,” said Forest Ranger B Ayub Khan.
There are two types of migratory birds -- land and water. The water birds comprise 70 per cent of the migratory birds. The birds that had migrated to their native regions in April are returning, said experts.
The varieties that have arrived include Brown-Headed Gulls, Red Billed Gulls, Heuglin’s Gulls, Bar-Tailed Godwits, Eurasian Curlews, Northern Pintails, Pelicans, Eurasian Spoonbills, Common Redshanks, Marsh Sandpipers and Flamingos.
Ornithologists say the increase in bird visits is due to the presence of organisms such as zooplankton, prawns, and types of Benthic fauna between habitats.
“The discharge in the channels due to the rains is breaking the sand bars at the estuaries, allowing the migration of organisms from marine seawater towards brackish water habitats in the mudflats. These organisms become prey for migratory waterbirds. With an increase in prey, the number of birds will also increase,” said S Balachandran, an ornithologist and Deputy Director of Bombay Natural History Society in Kodiyakarai.
Balachandran added the government must take responsibility for breaking down the sand blocks and desilting estuaries. Experts also stress reducing human intervention in bird habitats and emphasize for an annual bird census around December when the bird visits peak, instead of February