Karnataka

These birds are a feast for the eyes

These beautiful birds cover nearly 5,000 km to reach the backwaters during the migration season between November and February.

These beautiful birds cover nearly 5,000 km to reach the backwaters during the migration season between November and February.   | Photo Credit: Sangamesh Badiger

Migratory birds from Siberia make their winter home in Bagalkot to lay and hatch eggs

The backwaters of the Almatti dam on the Ghataprabha are teeming with migratory birds coming from Siberia.

These beautiful birds cover nearly 5,000 km to reach the backwaters during the migration season between November and February.

“During this season, they come for better habitation, hatching, and raising chicks. When the chicks learn to fly, they return home and come back the next year,” said Devaraj, District Forest Officer of Bagalkot.

Speaking to The Hindu, he said that around 50 varieties of birds, numbering over 15,000, visit the backwaters.

“In the last decade, the number of migratory birds has significantly increased. The primary reason for the migration is that the birds live in countries, such as Siberia, where the temperature falls below zero during the winter. Therefore, they travel to warmer areas, which are conducive to laying and hatching eggs,” Mr. Devaraj said.

He said that since the Almatii backwaters cover around a 100-km area, it creates vast shallow ponds which are good for the birds to move and pick up food.

The birds include flamingoes, spoonbills, pintail ducks, river terns, seagulls, bar-headed geese, among others.

These birds are seen largely in Mallapur, Chikka Sangam, and Herkal villages in the district.

Mr. Devaraj said that the farmers are made aware on protecting these birds and the legal action they would face if they kill the birds or steal their eggs.

“We have also deployed staff to prevent the poaching of these birds. We hope that if these birds do not face any harm, then more of them will keep coming here. It will also become a place for ornithologists and bird lovers in general,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 5:54:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/fowl-weather-at-almatti-backwaters/article30461906.ece

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