November 19: Migratory birds have arrived in Nepal to spend the winter and can be seen around the rivers and wetlands of Nepal. The migratory birds start coming to Nepal with the beginning of the month of November.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, located at the confluence of Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur districts, is one location that attracts migratory birds during the winter. Although new species of birds are coming to Koshi Tappu every year, the number of birds coming in flocks has decreased compared to the previous years, says Chief of National Trust for Nature Conservation, Koshi Conservation Center, Birendra Gautam.
Statistics show that last winter 7,573 birds of 53 species came to Nepal during the winter, Gautam said. Nepal has become an attractive destination for migratory birds especially for escaping the winter and for hatching.
"Not all species of birds found in Nepal stay in Nepal throughout the year," said Kurman Mansoori, proprietor of Bird Watching Camp, Koshi Tappu. Out of 888 species of birds found in the country, 531 species are found in Koshi Tappu.
Migratory birds come in flocks in Barju Lake and Betna Wetlands of Morang district. According to Ramchandra Adhikari, an environmental journalist and associate professor, birds from different parts of Nepal and as far as South India and Siberia can be seen in Betna wetlands.
Some 400 birds belonging to 30 families of 49 species are found in Betna wetlands, of which 70 percent are local, 18 percent are migratory birds that come in winter and 12 percent are migratory birds that come during the summer.
"Most of the migratory birds that come to Koshi Tappu also come here," says Adhikari, adding that migratory birds stay here usually from November to February.
With the onset of snowfall in the northern hemisphere, thousands of birds migrate to the lower Himalayas, mountains and plains of Nepal and around lakes, ponds and rivers to escape the growing cold. Every year about 150 species of birds come to Nepal from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, China, Mongolia as well as Europe, Korea and the Tibetan plateau. About 50 species of migratory birds pass through Nepal to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Winter migratory birds that come to spend the winter often stay in the wetlands of Nepal in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Chitwan National Park, Bisahajari Lake, Jagdishpur Lake, Ghodaghodi Lake, Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve and Koshi, Gandaki, Narayani rivers and their tributaries. Most of the birds that migrate to Nepal in winter are of duck species. -- RSS