As winter nears, rare birds flock to Haryana

  • Ipsita Pati, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Oct 20, 2016 00:33 IST
Grey headed canary flycatcher.

As days are getting shorter and colder, rare migratory birds are flocking to the region. Birders have already spotted dozens of rare birds such as yellow-legged quail, white-naped tit, demoiselle crane, singing bushlark, tickell’s blue flycatcher, marshall’s Iora and blue-capped rock thrush in Haryana region for the first time.

“Some very rare birds such as the Eurasian cuckoo, tickell’s leaf warbler, western-crowned warbler and black headed cuckoo shrike are increasingly being spotted in the region. It is too early to set any pattern for these birds. Last year, pallid scops owl was spotted for the first time along with Asian brown flycatcher, which was sighted after 60 years,” Pankaj Gupta, an expert on birds, said.

Another birder Soma Ateesh said as winter is closing in, the arrival of birds from higher altitudes in the quest for food and a place to stay will increase. “This is the time when it gets very difficult for birds to survive in high altitudes because of the freezing conditions, and they fly downwards. Though it is an annual process, it has a greater implication when it is analysed keeping in mind the changes in climate over the years, the loss of natural habitat, and inadequate availability of food and space because of rapid urbanisation.”

Last season, more than 300 species of birds, both domestic and international migratory, were spotted in Delhi-NCR.

“This year, we are expecting more birds to visit the region because of the good rain that the area received. The conditions are ideal for birds as they will get plenty of food and space. The region will see migratory birds such as waders (water dependent birds), ducks (requiring slightly deeper water) and warblers (preferring reeds),” an expert from Bombay Natural History Society (BHNS) -- an NGO that is engaged in conservation and biodiversity research, said.

The wildlife department is hopeful that the area will attract more birds this year. Divisional forest officer (wildlife), Shyam Sunder Kaushik, said, “Currently, the region is experiencing the arrival of winter migratory birds and the breeding process of resident birds is continuing. We expect more birds to visit the area.”

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