Winged guests fly into city again

Much to the delight of bird watchers in the city, Delhi is witnessing a return of rare species of birds. Thanks to the monsoon, trees along the longest sewage line here — the Najafgarh drain — now have artistic retort-shaped nests swinging from their branches. Giving the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary and the Yamuna floodplains a miss, birds that had once disappeared from the Capital are now making a comeback. According to ecologists, the rain and the flat marshlands available along the huge sewer line have attracted many terrestrial, migratory, coastal and even threatened bird species this year. A flock of the Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus), a small terrestrial bird from the weaver bird family, that was once quite common throughout India has returned to the Capital for breeding after years. “The Baya Weavers have just arrived and can be seen weaving their nests in clusters. If we talk of numbers, their fate has been similar to that of sparrows in Delhi. The bird is known for its retort-shaped nest that hangs from branches. The nest is compactly woven by strips of paddy leaf or rough-edged grass,” said T.K. Roy, an environmentalist and member of the Asia WaterBird Census.

Also, flocks of threatened species like the Black-necked stork and Painted stork have also been spotted at the Najafgarh drain. Coastal migratory birds like Greater Flamingos and Pied Avocet have also been seen in large numbers.

“More than 600 Greater Flamingos have flocked together as the rains have turned the nallah marshy, thereby, reviving their habitat. The water level of Chambal river in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh has increased due to the monsoon, which could also be a reason for the birds finding their way to Delhi,” said Mr. Roy.

From a distance , the drain looks as if it is covered in a thick white blanket as hundreds of flamingos hunt for fishes and worms. The tall rosy white coastal birds would migrate regularly to the Yamuna river, the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary and the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. However, this time they have made the Najafgarh drain their abode.

Mr. Roy added that these birds have not been spotted anywhere else this season. “The Okhla Bird Sanctuary has still seem some birds this season, but they are mostly resident birds like the Little Cormorant, Purple Heron, Grey Heron and Black-Crowned Night Heron,” he added.

Flocks of threatened species like the Painted stork and Black-necked stork have

been spotted at the city’s longest sewer line, the Najafgarh drain

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 2:09:40 PM |

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