Bhubaneswar: More than a million migratory birds that thronged various lakes and marshlands of Odisha, flying in from as far places as Siberia and Iraq, have started their return journey back home, an official said Friday.
"The birds have begun their return journey. Normally, they start migrating back home in the first week of Feb. This year, it was a little delayed as cold conditions had persisted," Ajit Pattnaik, chief executive of Chilika Development Authority, said.
The Chilika Lake, about a 100 km from here, is spread over the Puri, Khordha and Ganjam districts and is the largest brackish water lake in Asia, covering an area of over 1,100 sq km. Chilika is one of India`s biodiversity hotspots and a great attraction for tourists looking to fish, take boat ride and watch birds.
About 8.83 lakh migratory waterfowl had arrived this year at the lake, Pattnaik said.
Similarly, migratory birds have also started their return journey from Bhitarkanika National Park, about 170 km from here, in the coastal district of Kendrapada.
The park is a home to over 200 species of birds, including 98 species of migratory birds.
Around 50,000 migratory birds had flocked to the park this year. The highest concentrations of birds so far were found at Satabhaya and Bagapatia areas of the park, Manoj Mohapatra, divisional forest officer at the park, said.
"The birds have started their return journey," he said.