Officials of the Raiganj Social Forestry Division, along with some non-government organisations, today started a census of migratory birds in the Kulick Bird Sanctuary, the largest bird sanctuary in Asia, in Raiganj in North Dinajpur district.

Apart from officials of the Forestry Division, members of some NGOs and those from the North Dinajpur People For Animals, Raiganj People For Animals and Hemtabad Janakalyan Samity, are involved in the census work, it is learnt.

According to forest officials, the environment this year was very favourable for the birds, and that the number of birds that have arrived in the sanctuary might be more than the previous years. Different species of migratory birds like the Cormorants, Open-Billstork, Egret, Heron and Night-heron turn up in the sanctuary every year. The winged guests started arriving in June, and after nesting, mating and producing young ones, they start leaving in mid-October. Tourists in large numbers visit the sanctuary to witness the huge number of birds and their activities.

“We are counting four birds against a nest. After counting all the nests on the trees, it is multiplied with four, while the total will be actual count of the brids. In 2018, a total of 98,562 migratory birds had turned up in the Kulick Bird Sanctuary. In 2019, the number reduced to 93,088,” the Secretary of the North Dinajpur People For Animals, Gautam Tantia, said.

Divisional Forest Officer of the Raiganj Social Forestry Division, Somnath Sarkar, said the census will continue for the next two days.

“This year, the natural environment looks favourable and the birds have not died too. In addition, they got enough food here. As such, we are expecting a rise in the number of the feathered guests in our sanctuary this year,” he said.