Feathered guests arrive at Chilika in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Covering a long aerial distance of thousands of miles, lakhs of migratory birds have arrived at Odisha's Chilika Lake, Asia's largest brackish water lagoon.

Major bird congregations have been spotted in the wetlands of the Nalabana Bird Sanctuary inside Chilika Lake and Mangalajodi, a village on the banks of the lake.

'The flocking of migratory birds started early this month.  As of now about 2 lakh birds have arrived. Most of these bird species can adapt to watery areas', said Sushant Nanda, Chief Executive of Chilika Development Authority.

The arrival of migratory birds in the lake region was delayed this year due to climatic conditions, said Nanda, adding that they usually flock to the lake during the second half of October. Heavy rain triggered by low pressure continued till mid-November, making the weather unsuitable for the feathered guests, he said.

Nalabana with a 15.59-sqkm area is hosting the highest number of migratory birds this time round. Similarly, the wetlands of Mangalajodi have begun to fill up with lakhs of ruffs, godwits, Pintails, gadwalls, shovelers, ruddy shelducks, pratincoles, plovers and sandpipers. With 11.59-sqkm of mudflats, Mangalajodi receives about 3 lakh birds during winter.

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