As winters close in, migratory birds flock Haryana | india-news | Hindustan Times
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As winters close in, migratory birds flock Haryana

india Updated: Nov 24, 2016 14:19 IST
Hardik Anand

Migratory birds at a waterlogged field in Dhiggal village of Jhajjar. Among the 160 species, bird-watchers claimed to have spotted peregrine falcon — the fastest flying bird in the world.(Manoj Dhaka/HT Photo)

Like always, this winter too, hundreds of species of rare birds that fly in from higher altitudes in search of food and shelter have made Haryana one of its favourite destinations.

The state has a plethora of water bodies where these birds can easily be spotted. However, to have the best look, one will have to search for them in farmers’ waterlogged fields, which are preferred by these birds over deep waters present at sanctuaries.

“Waterlogged fields get more birds than any bird sanctuary in Haryana. It’s because these birds can easily search for food in shallow waters,” said Sunder Sambharya, Jhajjar district forest officer. A team of 11 members, led by Sambharya, toured the bird diversity in Dhighal and surrounding 20 waterlogged villages of Jhajjar on Saturday and recorded about 160 species of both resident and migratory birds.

“Winter has just arrived and so has the bird migration. One can easily predict the excellent habitat as per the presence of so many bird species in this area. During peak time of migration, that is during December, January and February, the species number will increase,” said Sambharya.

Among the 160 species, the bird-watchers spotted peregrine falcon — the fastest flying bird in the world — whose speed reaches up to 320 km/hr when hunting. Some other rare birds spotted in Haryana, some for the first time, include demoiselle crane, greater flamingos, greylag goose, bar-headed goose, tickell’s blue flycatcher and purple heron.

Due to bird samples testing positive for avian flu in Hisar, the bird sanctuaries in the state are finding a dearth of visitors amid avian flu threat. However, authorities have clarified that there’s no such problem.

“What happened in Hisar seems to be an internal problem of the lake due to uncleanliness. There is no scare and people and people are encouraged to visit sanctuaries that are open,” Sambharya added.