Migratory birds to Madiwala Lake on decline

Migratory birds to Madiwala Lake on decline

Flocks of pelicans, however, offer some comfort to City birders

Migratory birds to Madiwala Lake on decline

Madiwala Lake, once the winter home for many migratory birds, is no more a preferred destination for many species of birds from Central Asia Siberia and Arctic, says a study conducted by City-based birders.

This year, very few migratory birds have arrived at Madiwala Lake. The birders attribute this disturbing trend to erosion in natural soil and increased human activity. The bird lovers, however, can take some comfort in flocks of pelicans, which have taken refuge in the water body.

According to the mid-winter bird study, conducted by U Harish Kumar and Arun Chikkamarappa, just 31 species of migratory birds have visited Madiwala Lake. The birders listed out the species of birds that were spotted in the lake- Grey Pelican, Spot-bill Duck, Great Cormorant, Little Cormorant, Painted Stork, Pond Heron, Little Egret, Pariah Kite, Indian Darter, Brahminy Kite, Purple Heron, Ashy Wren-warbler, Cattle Egret, White-breasted Kingfisher, Night Heron, White Ibis, Purple Moorhen, Jungle Crow, Large Pied Wagtail, Black Drongo, Bronze Winged Jacana, Marsh Harrier, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Little Ringed Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Common Sandpiper, Pied Bushchat, White-breasted Waterhen and Median Egret.

Ornithologist M B Krishna said, “The number of Purple Moorhen visiting the lake has increased in the recent years. This shows that the water hyacinth in the lake is good. But the number of migratory birds are on a decline. The decline is attributed to several reasons like the conditions in North India are more favourable as most birds arriving from Central Asia, Siberia, Arctic regions, seek refuge there. The lake once used to be teeming with birds like Pin Tailed Duck and Shoveller. But they are not seen, this time.”

 Another reason for the decline in the migratory birds visiting the City lakes is most of the water bodies in the City are disturbed due to increased human activity. “It is not just one lake which attracts birds, but a cluster with different water conditions. Ducks need deep waters while Marshers need shallow lands. The shorelines are being lost. Lakes are becoming like soup bowls and some also have stone pitches, which are not suitable for birds,” he said.

Madiwala Lake now has many Pelicans and Egrets. But they are found in most City lakes too, where fish population is high. They are also spotted at other lakes in the City like Agara, Varthur, Jakkur, Bellandur and Puttenahalli, the birder said.

In 1990s, Bangaloreans could count at least one lakh birds within 40 km
radius of General Post Office . But since the last decade the City is losing the winged guests, Krishna added.