Winter migration of birds to the Indian subcontinent begins

There is pleasure amongst the birding group as feathered guests from the northern hemisphere preserve their annual date with the Indian subcontinent

The greenish warblers have arrived in hundreds of thousands, after flying hundreds of kilometres from the mountains of Central Asia. The forested areas of the Indian peninsula at the moment are aflutter with high-pitched sounds of this wispy little, olive inexperienced chook that goes sti-ti-ti-ti-ti-si… “These birds arrive singing,” says Ganeshwar SV, founder of Salem Ornithological Foundation. “These are territorial songs staking claim to their trees or little segments of forest as they settle down. The songs echo across the foothills, plains, plateaus, and hill ranges now,” he provides.

Every yr, between September and October, one can witness motion of birds in massive numbers signifying the begin of migration. It is the annual dispersal of birds from the northern hemisphere to the Indian subcontinent together with Sri Lanka. “Like our highways, we have nine flyways in the world that the waterbirds use for migration,” says S Sivakumar, scientist at Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). “For Asia, it is the Central Asian Flyway that covers 30 countries including India at the tail end with huge landmass and habitat variations, especially the wetlands.”

When daylight shrinks and there’s scarcity of meals provide at the breeding websites, the birds take the cue and begin migrating in the direction of wintering websites in the South. The return journey begins in March or April. While the shorebirds like waders and geese, and raptors come from Siberia and Russia, birds like the European flycatcher, brown-breasted flycatcher, and barn swallow come from Europe. “India receives birds from 29 countries during migration. In Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere Sanctuary on the East Coast sees migratory birds in lakhs. The ‘little stint’ that breeds in Siberia — a small bird that weighs just about 20 grams — crosses 8,000 kilometres to get here,” says Sivakumar.

Another widespread migratory chook that has saved its date is the gray wagtail. “It comes from Central Asia and Russia and has already landed at forested areas of South India,” says Ashvin Viswanathan, a chook watcher for 20 years, and a analysis affiliate at Nature Conservation Foundation based mostly in Bengaluru.

Get began

  • Get your self a pair of binoculars, and a subject information and you’ll watch migratory birds from dwelling.
  • The greenish warbler will be seen wherever throughout Peninsular India. Their breeding floor is scattered throughout Western and Eastern Europe, and in addition elements of Russia and China. During winter, an enormous quantity of birds come down from all of these locations to spend six or eight months right here earlier than making the return journey to Europe throughout April.
  • The Indian pita that breeds in the Himalayan ranges migrates from Central India to the South to escape the harsh winters. The pin-coloured widespread rosefinch from Himachal will be sighted at the Nilgiris typically, feeding on grains by the roadside.
  • Pallikaranai in Chennai attracts a big quantity of flamingoes, varieties of geese, and waders. Pulicat Lake on the Tamil Nadu-Andhra border hosts flamingoes whose numbers someday cross 50,000. Huge numbers of geese and waders will be seen at Chilika Lake in Orissa. Other notable websites to see migratory birds are the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur, Rajasthan and Khijadia Bird Sanctuary in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

At Valparai in Anamalai forest vary of the Western Ghats close to Coimbatore, a group of Young Birders Network welcomed this customer with posters that carried a thank-you word for making the journey. “For the past five years, every September we wait for the call of the grey wagtail,” says Okay Selvaganesh, who teaches at Cinchona Government School and mentors his college students in chook watching. “It can be seen easily in wooded areas, elevations, and at streams near hills. It feeds on insects and maintains the balance of the food chain.”

Birders aflutter

The arrival of migratory birds has cheered up the birding group in the Nilgiris. “The black-and-white Japanese flycatcher, Asian brown flycatcher and verditer flycatcher can be easily spotted at common places like Sim’s Park in Coonoor, Botanical Garden in Udhagamandalam, and Doddabetta, the highest peak in the Nilgiris,” says Aggal Shivalingam, who has been into chook waiting for over 15 years and guides vacationers on the identical.

European bee-eater

Some birds are passage migrants, like the noticed flycatcher, rufous-tailed scrub robin, and European curler. They migrate by a big half of Western India and go to Africa to spend the winter there. The amur falcons go by India in December. “A small population of European bee-eaters believed to be a passage migrant stayed put in Tamil Nadu for six months,” says Ganeshwar. S Senthil Kumar, a college headmaster and a member of the Salem Ornithological Foundation has tracked the arrival and departure of the European bee-eater for 3 years at Stanley Reservoir close to Mettur Dam in Salem, one of South India’s largest dams. “It’s a vibrant and colourful bird that can be spotted anywhere in India. Mettur Dam wetlands attract thousands of marsh sandpipers, Caspian and white terns, green shanks, red shanks, and gulls. We noticed that the brown shrikes have a high rate of fidelity towards location and keep returning to the same spot every year,” says Ganeshwar.

Curlew sandpiper

This yr, as a result of of the COVID-19, chook watchers are documenting migratory birds from their yard. “There is an increase in the number of bird watchers. They are documenting their observations on e-bird online platforms, as a result of which we are able to see migration in action, for example ,in the form of maps on the migratory route of birds,” says Ashvin as he waits to catch a glimpse of a small brown chook known as Blyth’s reed warbler. “The first bird will arrive in Bengaluru soon. It is exciting to welcome these birds that will be a part of our world for the next six or eight months.”

Northern Shoveller

Says Sivakumar, “We have to conserve our wetlands to ensure that the birds get enough food, gain weight, and are healthy enough to make a safe return flight.”

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