Bird Census Starts at Bhitarkanika

Kendrapara: The annual headcount of resident birds in Bhitarkanika National Park in the district began today.

Three teams comprising of ornithologists and wildlife personnel have been formed to count the birds at Bagagahana, Mathaadia and other areas of the park during the eight-day long census. Both Bagagahana and Mathaadia, prominent heronries cover 3.5 and 2.5 hectares of mangrove forest respectively.

The common bird species found in the Bhitarkanika mangroves during monsoon are Median Egret, Little Cormorant, Large Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Darter, White Ibis and Cattle Egret.

Each year during monsoon, bird census is conducted to find out the current status of the bird species. Resident birds arrive at the park to lay eggs during monsoon while migratory birds arrive in winter from far-off places. The birds usually stay for three to four months and then embark on their homeward journey.

The birds usually build nests in sundari, bani, guan, sinduka and jagula trees.

As per reports, last year, the forest officials had counted the presence of 1,04,490 winged creatures. Enumerators had  sighted 21,956 nests in Bagagahana and Mathaadia heronry last monsoon season. In 2016, as many as 1,03,853 birds were counted in the park.

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