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Ranganathittu comes alive with winged beauties

M.T. Shiva Kumar
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More than 8,000 birds of various species have arrived at Ranganathittu sanctuary in recent days.— Photo: B. MAHADEVA
More than 8,000 birds of various species have arrived at Ranganathittu sanctuary in recent days.— Photo: B. MAHADEVA

The mini-islets of Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary in Srirangapatna have come alive with birds of different species flocking here to herald the nesting and breeding season.

According to Forest Department officials, at least 8,000 migratory birds of various plumes have arrived from different parts of the world in recent days.

Birds from Siberia, Latin America and a few parts of north India have descended on the islands to hatch eggs.

“Around 8,000 birds have arrived in the last two weeks and the number may reach 40,000 in a couple of months,” P. Lakshmeesha, Deputy Range Forest Officer, said on Friday.

A good number of Pelicans, Painted Storks, Open Billed Storks, River Terns, Spoon Bills, Night Herons, Cormorants and other birds have begun to flock to Ranganathittu, he said. However, species such as Egrets, Asian Openbill Storks, Woolly-necked Storks, Black Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Oriental Darter and other species are yet to arrive in big numbers.

“The mini-islets attract birds from across the world during mid-winter commencing from December last week. The winged beauties arrive here to nestle during winter. They stay throughout the summer and fly away after breeding ahead of the onset of monsoon,” he said. The bird sanctuary is attracting tourists from different parts of the country too.

A good number of tourists from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra have visited the sanctuary in the last two weeks, Forest Department officials said.

As per the statistics available with the Department of Forests, 10.87 lakh tourists visited Ranaganathittu between 2008-09 and 2011-12. Among them 46,049 were from foreign countries.

Around 1,500 tourists visit the sanctuary during weekends. The number might go down to 300 during week days, Mr. Lakshmeesha said.

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