Kendrapara, Nov 28 (LocalWire): Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district has come alive with a myriad of colours with the arrival of winged visitors from as far as Central Asia and Europe.
The winged visitors start arriving in Bhitarkanika as the park presents them a hospitable alternate habitat compared to the extreme freezing conditions of their natural habitats in Siberia, China, Japan and other countries in northern hemisphere.
Last winter, forest officials recorded 1,09,059 birds of 74 species during the annual avian census, said Bikash Ranjan Dash, the Divisional Forest Officer of the park.
The migratory birds while traversing thousands of kilometers, also swooped down into the water bodies of Hukitola, Satabhaya, Agaranashi and about six tiny islands near Bhitarkanika.
The huge gathering of birds in Bhitarkanika and their activities is a visual treat. The birds frequent open wetlands adjoining the mangrove forest which has enough fish, prawns, frogs, snakes and molluses.
The area provides an extensive feeding ground as there are abundant fish in the river and creeks and is away from human habitats, said the forest officer.
Its water bodies , regulated by tides, provides, a congenial atmosphere for the birds to settle in the park.
The tides rise and recede in every quarter of the day and tidal amplitude here varies frequently. High tides followed by ebbs ensure ample fish supply for the birds, added the forest officer.
Birds like Whistle duck, Gadwall, Pin-tail, Lesser whistling duck, Teal, Geese, Stork, Swans, Grebes, Rails, Coots, Sandpipers, Plovers, Skimmers, Black-winged stilt, Avocet, Yellow-Lapwing, Spoonbill, Large whistling ducks , Bare-headed goose, Black-headed gull, Godwit, Marsh Sandpiper, Open billed stork, Little Cormorant, Median Egret, Large Egret, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Grey Heron, Darter, White Ibis, Cattle Egret, grey-backed Shrike, Ruddy Kingfisher, Red necked Phalarrope, wWestern Reef Egret, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Blue-winged leaf-bird, Great thick-knee, Great knot, Tawny Pipit, Goliath Heron and other avian species have already arrived in the park, said the forest officer.