Migratory birds make a grand entry

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Published on December 17, 2020 by

Nellore: Each year about 50 different species of migratory birds make Pulicat lake their winter home. The early numbers this year show a rise by 10 percent in the gathering. Famous for receiving Greater Flamingoes, Asian Bill Stork, Grey Heron and varieties of ducks, the area is one of the largest feeding grounds in the country. An environmentalist, Sandeep Anirudhan says, “Plenty of these birds travel for warmer climate without any navigation, it’s amazing.”
With an area of 720sq km, the lake is the second largest brackish water lagoon in India. While Pulicat lake offers food like fishes, tadpoles, seasonal frogs and algae the Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary is the breeding ground. This year, due to abundant rainfall, there is increased availability of food, thus inviting more birds. “Starting from November, we counted some 40 to 50 thousand Flamingoes,.” Says Forest Range Officer, Venu Atmapuri.
The season lasts from October to March wherein the birds travel from far off places in Russia mainly for warmer weather and secondarily for breeding. They leave during March as the lake lacks sufficient food for the birds to sustain year long. But in the recent years, it was noticed that about 500 of these birds have become residents due to development by the Forest Department. An ardent bird watcher, Umesh Mani says, “we counted about 25 thousand flamingoes and 5 lakh ducks in the early months when they arrived. It is a progress as they get a proper living environment here.”
Even though the data is collected towards the end of March, the early trends show a growth in bird population.
KEYWORDS: Migratory birds, winter season, lake, Flamingoes.

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