Migratory birds fly over the Hokersar wetland reserve in the Kashmir valley (Photo: Raashid Bhat, IANS)
Migratory birds
Bhubaneswar: As many as 81,000 migratory and resident birds were sighted in Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park this season, an official said Monday.

This was up against last year’s 52,242 birds.

At least 111 bird species were seen in the park, Divisional Forest Officer Manoj Kumar Mohapatra told.

The annual bird census in the park in Kendrapada, about 170 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar, was conducted by 11 teams Dec 26.

The major highlight of the exercise was that as many as 36,000 black-tailed godwits were spotted. The enumerators also saw a rare group of birds they have not identified.

The other prominent species that have made the park their winter home include Brahmini duck and bar-headed geese, Mohapatra said.

The Bhitarkanika park, also a wildlife sanctuary, is home to over 200 species of birds, including 98 varieties of migratory birds.

The sanctuary is widely known as the world’s largest rookery of Olive Ridley sea turtles.

Every year, more than a million migratory birds from places as far as Siberia and Iraq flock to various sites in Odisha in October, spending the winter here before returning in March.

Source: IANS