Bhubaneswar, July 20 (LocalWire): The population of chirpy pint-sized Baya weaver bird, a protected species listed in schedule IV of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, have registered an increase in Odisha.
According to a synchronized headcount undertaken by Odisha chapter of the Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN), over 17,228 Baya weaver birds were spotted across the state this year as compared to 14,193 birds in 2018.
“Despite cyclone Fani battering the coastal state triggering loss of life and property, the endangered baya weaver birds withstood the calamitous hour and displayed survival instinct.
The census findings have brought to the fore this trend much to joy of bird lovers,” IBCN-Odisha coordinator Monalisha Bhujabal said.
“Three weaver bird species – Baya weaver (common Baya or Indian weaver), Streaked weaver and Black-breasted weaver (black-throated weaver) were sighted by enumerators.
Over the years, these winged species were disappearing fast and its sighting had become rare. It’s indeed a positive development,” she said.
The enumeration exercise covered 18 of the 30 districts spread across Odisha.
The organisation had to skip enumeration exercise in 12 districts due to lack of manpower.
The weaver birds prefer to nest in large and tall trees like coconut and palm.
As there has been a decimation of these trees due to cyclonic windstorm, the habitation corridors of Baya birds have gone down.
The birds used to throng the countryside marked by standing tall trees.
The increasing use of pesticides in agriculture fields mainly had spelt doom.
These birds steadily perished as grain-feeding birds failed to withstand toxicity.
“Urbanisation and fast disappearing of trees has contributed to the shrinkage of their habitat.
Despite nature-induced and man-made hurdles, there has been a rise in their numbers.
The government needs to undertake measures for their conservation,” Bhujabal stated.
Baya birds permeated into socio-cultural life in Odisha inspiring many folk songs and heir seasonal movements is largely determined by paddy and cereal cultivation, which provides nesting materials and food, though they also eat insects.
The nesting season of this bird is from May to September, coinciding with the monsoon and paddy cultivation.
“We are glad to know that IBCN Odisha chapter has conducted a survey and has found that the sighting of Baya birds has increased in Odisha.
The forest department, however, does not have any immediate plan for conservation of these birds,” Chief Wildlife Warden Ajay Mohapatra said.