Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Chilika, May 28:
The blistering heat wave this summer in Odisha has forced a number of migratory birds to flee Chilika, the largest brackish water lake in Asia.
This has been confirmed in the summer bird census which concluded on May 21 this year.
Sources in the Chilika Wildlife Division said presently there are 43,156 birds of 121 species in the lake as compared to 43,593 last year.
“These migratory birds cannot tolerate excess heat. Since there has been a steady rise in temperature in and around the lake areas this April, a flock of birds has already left the lake,” said a senior Forest official of the Chilika Wildlife Division.
Of the 43,156 birds, 9928 are sighted in Nalabana area while the remaining 33,228 birds are found in the other areas of the lake at Balugan, Tangi, Satapada and Rambha of which 33,086 are migratory birds and 10,070 are country birds.
Of the total number of migratory birds, 4644 are Cattle Egrets, 4341 are Open Billed Storks and 4090 are Little Cormorants.
Divisional forest officer (DFO),, Chilka BB Das, however, said the fact that so many of the birds have stayed back despite the extreme heat could be attributed to the plentiful availability of food in the lak and its surrounding areas.