PHOTOS: Wildlife officials feed birds in freezing Kashmir

Wildlife official Ghulam Mohiuddin Dar and his colleagues break the ice on a frozen wetland, row their boats and spread grain to feed migratory birds in Indian-controlled Kashmir. The officials feed the birds to prevent their starvation as weather conditions in the Himalayan region deteriorate, with two heavy snowfalls since December. Temperatures have plummeted to minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit). Vast paddy fields and apple orchards are blanketed in snow. Scores of wetlands and lakes, including parts of famed Dal Lake, have frozen. The cackles and cries of hundreds of thousands of birds that visit Kashmir during their winter migration have long been a welcome noise for the region’s inhabitants. They arrive from as far away as eastern Europe, Japan and Turkey to feed and breed in the wetlands nestled between the region’s mountain peaks and plateaus.

UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2021 01:59 PM IST 7 Photos
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Sher Ali Parray, a Wildlife worker, throws paddy on the frozen surface of a wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Wildlife officials have been feeding birds to prevent their starvation as weather conditions in the Himalayan region have deteriorated and hardships increased following two heavy spells of snowfall since December. Temperatures have plummeted up to minus 10-degree Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit).(AP)

Sher Ali Parray, a Wildlife worker, throws paddy on the frozen surface of a wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Wildlife officials have been feeding birds to prevent their starvation as weather conditions in the Himalayan region have deteriorated and hardships increased following two heavy spells of snowfall since December. Temperatures have plummeted up to minus 10-degree Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit).(AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2021 01:59 PM IST
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A watchtower to monitor birds is surrounded by a thick layer of frozen ice in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

A watchtower to monitor birds is surrounded by a thick layer of frozen ice in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2021 01:59 PM IST
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Wildlife worker Sher Ali Parray throws paddy on the frozen surface of a wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

Wildlife worker Sher Ali Parray throws paddy on the frozen surface of a wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2021 01:59 PM IST
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Wildlife officer Ghulam Mohiuddin Dar, right, along with a colleague Mushtaq Ahmad struggles to row their boat on the frozen surface of a wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

Wildlife officer Ghulam Mohiuddin Dar, right, along with a colleague Mushtaq Ahmad struggles to row their boat on the frozen surface of a wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2021 01:59 PM IST
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Migratory birds fly over a snow covered wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

Migratory birds fly over a snow covered wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2021 01:59 PM IST
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Ghulam Mohiuddin Dar, foreground, breaks ice with other wildlife officials in the frozen surface of a wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

Ghulam Mohiuddin Dar, foreground, breaks ice with other wildlife officials in the frozen surface of a wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2021 01:59 PM IST
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Migratory birds fly above the frozen waters of a wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

Migratory birds fly above the frozen waters of a wetland in Hokersar, north of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2021 01:59 PM IST
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