National Chilika Bird Festival

Second National Chilika Bird Festival will be organized on 27-28 January at Mangalajodi.The two days long program includes exhibitions, seminars and visit to Mangalajodi and Nalabana.

Internationally acclaimed Birders, Photographers and Ornithologists will be a part of the festival along with 200 participants from India and abroad.
Night Stay arrangements are made by the Departments Forest & Environment and Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha, which are jointly hosting the Meet.
“The Birds Paradise of Asia” is in the North Eastern Part of Chilika, the largest brackish water lake of Asia. Millions of migratory Birds congregate during different parts of the year here.

Winter witnesses the highest gathering of more than 10 Lakh species of birds. It is the only place in India where large flocks of different species of colourful birds can be seen from close proximity of boat. This is not only the place for birders but also a Photographers paradise in Asia.

More than 200 species of birds are recorded in Mangalajodi during winters. Lakhs of Ruffs, Godwits, Terns, Plovers, Sandpipers, rare Grey-headed Lapwings, Gulls ,Pintails, Ruddy Shelducks, Skulkers like Ruddy-breasted Crakes, Baillon’s Crakes, Slaty-breasted Rails and the Greater Painted Snipes ,Black-tailed Godwits, Oriental Pratincoles and the Pacific Golden Plovers etc .

Variety of Raptors are also seen hunting in different parts of Mangalajodi. Listen to different voices of different birds all around you, sometimes in chorus and sometimes simple exchange of language in form of Calls, Quacks,Chirps,Whistles, mimics & trills that echoes different stories of communication among them. Chilika lies in the Central Asian Flyway for birds and is a major stopover site for migratory birds from the arctic and sub-arctic during their onward and return migration along the east coast.

The variety of habitats in the Island such as mudflats, floating and submerged vegetation, reedbeds, open waters with varying depth and salinity attract a variety of migratory and resident bird species. Considering its importance as a major congregation site for migratory waders and ducks and the huge population of birds it supports it has been recognized as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar convention and has been included in the Ramsar list. Mangalajodi freshwater wetland and Nalabana Island which form part of the Chilika lake have been identified as Important Bird Areas (IBA).

Locally migrating species such as Spot-billed Pelican, Oriental darter, Painted Stork and Black-headed Ibis are in the near threatened category.Long distance migrant birds which are in the list are Lesser Flamingo, Ferruginous Pochard, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, Asian Dowitcher, Curlew Sandpiper, Great Thick Knee, River Tern (Near Threatened); Common Pochard, Indian Skimmer (Vulnerable); Great Knot (Endangered). 2 Eurasian Wigeon (More than 1 Lakh), Gadwall ,Black-tailed Godwit, Northern Shoveller (nearing 1 Lakh) and species like Garganey, Lesser Sandplover, and Brown-headed Gull, Common Teal are found in large flocks in thousands . Mangalajodi is also an Interesting and heart warming episode of wildlife conservation in world.

Now the Birds Paradise of Asia- Mangalajodi was once a village of bird poachers. Over years gradually population of the migratory birds declined sensing danger for their survival and on the other hand poverty, lack of awareness and poaching earned bad fame for the villagers and village as well.Due to sincere effort, now since a decade the villagers are “protectors” of the landscape and of the winged species.

Knowledge of every details of the migratory birds- migrating pattern, feeding & breeding habits made them excellent Ecoguides for tourists and now all families of Mangalajodi village are earning their livelihood through Nature Tourism.

They are serving Ecotourists as Boatmen,Birder watchers, Ecoguides etc. They also patrol the marshlands since protecting the birds is not only their source of livelihood but also the protecting the winged guests is their moral responsibility they carry with themselves. Listen to their stories from them in National Chilika Bird Festival 2019 on 27-28 January. Also get a chance to visit Nalabana Bird Sanctuary, a beautiful island in the heart of Chilika, on 2nd day of the Bird Festival.
4 to 5 lakhs of birds are seen flocking in a the 15 Sq.Km Sanctuary. Nesting colonies of many variety of colourful birds and also Raptors are seen here during winters. Beautiful Flamingos’, glorious & magnificent, in hundreds flock in Nalabana and Chilika takes the pride of being the largest breeding ground of Flamingos’ in the world. National Chilika Bird Fest is the only time when Nalabana is opened for nature lovers of all around the globe. 

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