Migratory birds have embarked on their annual journey from the Himalayan region to the wetland spots in Bhitarkanika national park, said officials on Wednesday.
Earlier this year, during mid-winter census status survey of wetland birds, enumerators had spotted 1,38,107 avian winter species. The birds fly thousands of miles to reach Bhitarakanika to escape the harsh winter in the Himalayan region. They would stay there for about four months before flying back to where they come from.
Harsh cold and snowfall in the trans-Himalayan region may result in the exodus of a large number of migrant species to Bhitarkanika. This apart, lack of human interference, congenial environs and rich food reserve here prove ideal for the avian visitors.
The first batch of migratory birds touched down at the Bhitarkanika last week. The birds have begun leaving in batches, said forest officials.
Hordes of rare and endangered avian species are being spotted along the wetland spots, reaffirming the national park as an ideal habitat for winter migratory birds. Watching the winged visitors with their chirpy cacophony adding colour to the vibrant eco-system of this region is a treat to the eyes, said wildlife staff.
The winter migrants from northern hemisphere and cold places like Ladakh would prefer the Bhitarkanika wetland for its unique eco-system and cool and serene environment and find it conducive for their winter habitation.
Unbearable cold atmospheric conditions during winter months force these migrant species to temporarily leave their original habitat. The Chilka and Bhitarkanika wetland spots in the state are the favoured destination of winter migratory birds.