Many migratory birds flocking Chilika lake, the biggest waterfowl habitat in the country, are staying back in the lake instead of returning to their original nests in summer, according to a study.
According to the study conducted by the Chilika wildlife division, of the 9.24 lakh birds which had visited the lake during last winter, over 20,000 birds of different species are still staying there. Several of the birds are also staying in the 15.59 sq km Nalabana bird sanctuary in the 1,100 sq km water body.
"The exact number of birds staying in the lake in the peak summer period would be available when the wildlife division conducts the summer bird count on June 9 in Chilika," said divisional forest officer of the Chilika wildlife division B P Acharya.
The study was conducted in Sorana, Kalupada,Chilika Sahi, Mngalajodi, Abhimanapur and Bhusandapur areas. Besides Nalabana, these areas are considered as major bird congregation areas in the lake during winter.
The most common migratory birds, which had built nest and laid eggs in the area are Bramhani Duck, Kingfisher, Little Pormorant and Coot, officials said.
Several flamingos and pelicans have also chosen to stay in Chilika since last couple of years.
Though the exact reason for their stay in the lake is yet to be known, officials said it is due to availability of food and good habitat.