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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 16:

Panchami  Manoo Ukil who initiated the concept of community bird watching in Odisha-The Bhubaneswar Bird Walks (TBBW), is a well known name. Today, she is a perturbed bird lover having a string of concerns. Panchami is vocal and concerned about the environmental degradation that is happening in Odisha.

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She claims that the menace of climatic change has already reared its ugly head in Odisha. This time, it is a warm December and a hard hitting fact of global warming. For a live example, she refers to Mangalajodi, the eco-tourism hub and a bird’s paradise which hosts around 3, 00, 000 avian guests from all over the world.

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According to her, bird migration to wintering grounds in the state is pretty much less than what is usual at magical Mangalajodi this time around in previous years. Without the birds there will be no magic left and with very low water level in the wetlands, the habitat is expected to dry up faster than previous years which means that the birds could embark on their return journey earlier than usual.

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The mindless felling of trees in the name of infrastructure projects is another reason why birds visit to residential areas has dropped significantly. Her house in Forest Park area, Bhubaneswar, had around 28 types of feathered guests visiting, but now it has drastically plummeted to only eight.

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These birds come to perch and foray for foods like nectar, worms and fruits. Another huge concern is the increasing use of pesticides, by which the insects are perishing depriving them of their food. She is against people opting for growing ornamental grass in their lawns over normal grass or dooba grass.

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Panchami draws attention to the disappearance of the sparrows and relates it to the mushrooming high-rise buildings. The recent trend of architectural designs of residential buildings gives little scope for the birds to build their nests.

It is like we are sitting on a ticking time bomb, she adds.