Mysore: Birds from Siberia add colour to lakes

MYSORE: It is wintertime and the water bodies surrounding Mysore city have for once turned all lively and vibrant. Courtesy arrival of hundreds of winged visitors, all the way from Siberia. Escaping the cold climatic conditions of the place, bar-headed geese have arrived in the look out for food and warmer climatic conditions, much to the delight of bird lovers in the city.

At places like Kadalipura in Somanathpur, KRS back waters, Devi Kere and Kabini backwaters surrounding Mysore city, bunches of migratory winged visitors have been holidaying, basking in the warmth of Mysore weather, for over a month now. Resting and feeding upon simple foods like the algae, paddy buds and insects, the birds will stay put at the place until March. “The migratory bar headed geese can be found at Kadalipura in Somanathpura, Devi kere, KRS and Kabini back waters here,” says city-based bird watcher Ravikumar G, “They arrived here over a month back and have been visiting water bodies in and around Mysore city for over years now. But we are delighted to know they have arrived in the city all the way from Siberia for all these years we believed they arrived from the Himalayas. We could recognize them as visitors from Siberia looking at the details available on their neck collars.”

Bar headed goose is a nocturnal bird that breeds in Central Asia and is one of the world’s high flying birds. It is pale gray-bodied with black bars on the head. Says Ravi, “these birds mostly migrate to the place to roost/sleep during mornings and do not like to be disturbed during the time. While over 400 of them can be found in Kadalipura, about 600 have arrived at the Devi kere.” “We having been witnessing that the geese are visiting these lakes for over 10 years. They would also migrate to a lake at Hadinaaru near the city in large numbers but have stopped visiting the same for four years as the fishing activities started increasing at the lake, disturbing the winged visitors.” “The number of birds visiting the lakes near Mysore has decreased as well. While over a 1,000 of them were found migrating a couple of years ago, their numbers have reduced to around 400 now,” he adds.

However, people residing in places around the lakes visited by the birds are not too pleased for they fear that the birds feed on the fish, though they actually do not do so, says Ravi. “The birds mostly feed on algae, insects and on paddy buds and do not feed on the fish in the lakes,” he said.

From TOI

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