1 year ago
Witnessing bird migration in Nepal
The birds you see in your garden are not always the same. They may have traveled thousands of kilometers before they came in your garden.
Bird species can be roughly classified as residential and migratory. Residential are those that stay in one place throughout the year. Migratory species are ones seen either in winter or summer. In Taudaha Lake of the Kathmandu Valley, many species of water birds like mallard, gadwalls, and common teal come to spend the winter every year. When they are gone, summer visitors like koels and cuckoos have already arrived. Arend van Riessen, author of ‘The Birds of the Bagmati and Taudaha Area, 2003-2016,’ says that birds are very punctual with their migration. In his book he has analyzed the migration patterns and schedules of Bagmati and Taudaha area over a span of 13 years. According to him, Koshi Tappu is a paradise for migratory birds.
One could spot the small and beautiful Siberian ruby throat in Tribhuvan University premises, which comes from Siberia to spend the winter in the lowlands of Nepal and adjoining countries. The bar-headed goose is another exceptional migratory bird which comes to this terrain from Tibet, crossing the Himalayan range. Birds of internal migration like common hoopoe travel from the Himalayas to the lowlands during winters.
Isn’t it amusing to see birds traveling across countries and continents covering wide distances without the help of map or GPS navigation? They rely on the sun, stars, rivers and mountains. But due to rapid urbanization the entire landscape is changing that confuses the birds. It acts as a major obstacle in the process of migration and often results in habitat loss. Other manmade problems like the use of pesticides in cultivation and agriculture also come in the way of a healthy life for birds, both migratory and residential.
Birds are of great value to the ecosystem as they help in insect control, pollination and dispersing seed through the landscape. Along with that, they contribute to the aesthetic character of a place, thereby aiding in tourism. Therefore, we must create a symbiotic environment that invites these beautiful creatures year after year.