Ahead of winter, the much-awaited feathered friends have once again made their way to Telineelapuram of the Srikakulam district. The migratory birds visit Telineelapuram during the winter season for nesting, breeding, and feeding their offsprings.
Demarcated as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) in 2004, Telineelapuram has been home to a variety of migratory birds for several decades. Speaking to Yo! about the significance of the place, Vivek N Rathod, Wildlife Conservation Through Research and Education (WCTRE) Trustee, shared that as many as 120 different species of birds can be spotted in the area. He said, “Out of these, most of the birds temporarily halt at the IBA. But grey pelicans and painted storks are the ones that set up nests atop the tall trees. These birds have started coming to the site reserve from October itself.”
While it’s difficult to confirm whether these birds are migrating from Siberia, he added that there’s an equal possibility of painted storks coming from the foothills of the Himalayas. Supporting the statement, fellow bird watcher, Bhagyasree Venugopal, who had previously worked with the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), said there’s no official confirmation that these birds migrate from Siberia every year. Saying that there’s currently a method of studying the pattern of the migration of birds, she added that through ringing, banding, or flagging the birds, once can know the summer home to these birds.
Speaking about the biodiversity of Telineelapuram, Bhagyasree said that the place has several wetlands, including the Dalcheruvu and Naupada swamps, which attract these migratory birds. Adding that the cyclones witnessed in the Srikakulam district have devastated the green cover, she said that there’s an urgent need to replenish the greenery of Telineelapuram. “These migratory birds usually choose marshy areas where food is easily accessible. Though temporary poles have been put up by the Forest Department, the plantation and trees should be conserved. If the trees diminish in number, the birds may stop coming due to lack of habitat,” Ms Bhagyasree added.