Tue, Jan 24, 2017 | updated 10:52 PM IST

Siliguri becomes new haven of migratory birds

Updated: Jan 07, 2017 07:43 IST

Siliguri (West Bengal) [India], Jan. 7 (ANI): Bird watchers on Friday flocked here where a large number of migratory birds have arrived to escape the extreme cold of their Arctic home grounds.

With the onset of winter, the Siberian birds take out a long journey covering thousands of kilometers to arrive in warmer India.

About 4,500 birds from over 60 species like northern lapwing, dugs, gees, raptor, fishing eagles arrive every year.

These birds from Siberia and Central Asia use wetlands as their transitory camps, which play a vital role in sustaining a large population of the breeding birds.

In the last few years, Siliguri has been attracting these birds.

"The birds have been coming from a lot of places. They have been coming here since so many days. It feels very good. We feel very nice when the birds come here," said a local resident, M.D. Noor.

Birds are good bio indicators of environmental changes. However, the rapid urbanization and development across the world has contributed to the loss of their potential habitats, causing an overall decline in the number of migratory birds over the years.

Nature lovers underlined the importance of conserving natural habitats.

"These birds play a very important role in our ecosystem so we should protect them. We see different types of birds so it is very essential for us to protect their natural habitats," said a nature lover, Animesh Bose.

Illegal encroachments of river beds and excessive fishing have also affected the usual migration pattern of the birds.

These birds start arriving from early November onwards and it continues till December. They return during the spring season. (ANI)