Hundreds of native and migratory birds are flocking the reservoir in Bihar capital Patna nowadays, making nature lovers and birdwatchers make a beeline to see the winged visitors that fly in from places as far as Siberia, Europe, and even Africa.
The water body spread over 7 acres was opened to schoolchildren from January 4, enabling the ebullient youngsters to watch with interest rafts of Gadwall, Northern Shoveller, Lesser Whistling Duck, Comb Duck, Lalsar or Red-crested Pochard, Moorhen, Cormorant, and Pintail Duck.
Forest officials said that 73 species of trees, mostly with medicinal value, have been planted around the water body to give a forest-like feel to the ambiance, which is sure to warm the hearts of nature lovers and also provide roosting places for the avian fauna.
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Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited the pond and spent some time watching the birds through binoculars.
The water body, which was virtually moribund not long ago — was earlier used to rear fishes, but has now been developed from environmental protection point of view.
Forest Officer Arvind Kumar Sharma said that a 12-foot wide pathway has been built around the water body to facilitate the movement of visitors and plans are afoot to develop the area further.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: देशी-विदेशी परिंदों के लिए नया आश्रयस्थली बना राजधानी जलाशय
Though the birds start arriving at the spot from August-September onwards, the influx increases around December. However, this year, the arrival of the avian guests increased in November itself due to heavy snowfall in areas inhabited by migratory birds.
“Not only from Siberia, but birds also arrive here from as far as Europe and Africa,” said forest officials.
Arvind Kumar Mishra, founder of Mandar Nature Club at Bhagalpur and an avian expert, said that birds did not arrive at the water body till a year ago, but began to flock to the spot in their hundreds after the Forest Department developed it virtually as a bird paradise.
“The migratory birds go to hotter climes in December, but they have now started coming here in November due to heavy snowfall in their original habitats and the consequent shortage of food. During the breeding season, all these migratory birds return to their native lands,” he said. (IANS)