Water bodies turn hotspots with bar-headed geese

Water bodies turn hot spots with bar-headed geese

Bar-headed geese in a water body. Photo / Special Arrangements

With bar-headed geese migrating from Mongolia, most of the water bodies in Mysuru, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts have turned into hot spots for nature lovers.   

A large number of birds are seen on the backwaters of Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) Dam in Sritangapatna taluk of Mandya district, Kabini Dam backwaters in H D Kote taluk, Hadinaru Lake on Mysuru–Nanjangud border, lakes and ponds in Gundlupet taluk of Chamarajanagar district, etc.

Bar-headed geese, which travel long distances from across the globe, have migrated to the region for breeding. Hundreds of birds migrate to the region from Mangolia, Tibet, Kazakhstan and Russia, before crossing over the Himalayas.

Rajkumar Devaraje Urs of Wildlife Conservation Foundation said, this time, the birds have migrated a little early, due to couple of reasons, like early winter and due frozen lakes in South China and North India. In addition, cold air started to become quicker in Northern hemisphere and it is a reason for early migration. As soon as there is climatic changes in the Northern hemisphere, the migration commences, he said.

Like Mysuru region, the birds also migrate to North Karnataka region, but, in small numbers due to lack of paddy fields. Usually, the birds migrate in November and December end. But, this time, the birds were seen during October in some parts of North Karnataka and North India. But, the birds move from one place to another, he said, adding that the birds get distributed in most parts of the
country.

Rajkumar said, the population of the birds has been distributed to different lakes and not congregated in a single place. The birds were found largely near paddy fields, where water is available. The birds largely depend on paddy and don’t feed on fresh water fish. The goose rest in the mornings and consume grains during the nights.

The bar-headed goose flies at the highest altitude - around 7,000 metres. The birds are larger than ducks and are purely vegetarian. They feed on grass, roots, grains, seeds, fruits, and algae growing in water.