Save the Migratory Birds!


Today is World Migratory Bird Day

As a novice bird watcher I think it is my responsibility to talk about it in the communities and spaces I inhabit. Migratory birds travel from one part of the world to another or even from one altitude to another dictated by the changes in weather. How and why they do this is not entirely known. But what is certainly known is that in the process of migration the birds travel far and wide. In fact, human travels (aided by modern aircraft and technology) is puny compared to the unaided migratory flights of some birds such as the Arctic Tern. While some of the birds who undertake migration are indeed exotic, it is not rare to find a migratory bird in our own backyards. The various seagulls, ducks, flamingos and several other commonly seen birds are migratory and travel varying distances. It is indeed incredible how a bird which you see commonly on a Mumbai or Cochin seafront in winters may be spending its summers in Central Asia! 
But gradually this wonder is vanishing. And the main culprit is of course, us humans. The last of the Siberian Crane in Bharatpur was sighted a few years ago. Ornithologists fear that the newer flocks born in Siberia since might have forgotten the route to Bharatpur. A lot of damage is done by humans to their water bodies by polluting, destroying or evacuating and then constructing on the landfills. This I have seen with my own eyes in Cochin and the starkest effect of this act is seen on the migratory birds. 
How can we help? First, awareness! The bright colored Northern Pintail or Brahminy Ducks are migratory! So please do not hunt or eat them! The practice of duck hunting is still remarkably prevalent!!
Second, do everything to conserve the natural water bodies around you. For a start, do not throw plastic or any other waste in them. Discourage others as well.
While it may seem a daunting task, the migratory birds are survivors and evolutionarily outlast apes (i.e. humans). So even  a small progress made tends to bring back the migratory birds. 
A small step taken by you can indeed be the saviour for many a bird species!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Worth reading
ED said…
Well said!
Informative and helpful.

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