Jodhpur Turns BirdWatchers’ Paradise in Winter, Welcomes Migratory Birds
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Jodhpur Turns Bird Watchers’ Paradise in Winter, Welcomes Migratory Birds

Jodhpur has already become a bird lovers’ paradise after the renovation of prime lakes and ponds of the district. With a decline in the temperature, the predators and other species have started reaching Jodhpur to have and make the environmental balance. As the climate of the Marwar region is favorable in the winter season for the migratory birds, the number has increased many folds but this year, its got down.

Given the spurt in the number of migratory birds at various locations this year, not just ornithologists, even ordinary birdwatchers and environmentalists are upbeat and are looking forward to the Jodhpur district being harnessed as a destination for bird lovers.

The Shekhawat Lake situated surrounding on the foothills of the Umaid Bhawan, Guda Vishnoiya, Jajival Kalan, Sardar Samand,  Mandore,  Balasamand,  Kayalana, Machia Safari Park, Umaid Sagar, Badli Lake and surrounding area are resonating with the color of colorful birds.

According to bird experts and scientists, 59 species of birds have camped on different reservoirs in the last week of December itself. Every winter Jodhpur attracts thousands of migratory birds from foreign lands, Demoiselle Cranes being vast in number. Khichan, a village in Phalodi tehsil of Jodhpur is known for a large number of demoiselle cranes that visit it every winter.

Some sited species of birds are the Cinereous vulture, Eurasian Griffon, Steppe Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Punjab Raven, Rosy Starling, White Pelican, Purple Moorhen, Grey Heron, Shoveler, Pochard and the list is endless.

Bird experts believe that favorable climate and delay in cold weather have delayed the arrival of birds this time by one month and also they are worried about the less number compare to last year.

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Various Species of Migratory Birds

Besides Waterbirds, Wobble Taylor, Bird Lark, Indian Roller, Nilkanth B-Eater, Pelican Showler, Moot Pintel, Spot Bill Purple Murrain, Steppe Eagle, Peregrine, Bajard,  Snake Head Eagle etc. from West Asia Tibet Mongolia Nepal, including Middle East Asia, can be observed on the reservoirs.

This time, the arrival of the hunting birds – Steppe Eagles from West Asia, Siberia, Tibet, Mongolia and Nepal; Parivarian, Paragon and Falcon birds from African and European Countries; many different species of eagles from Iraq and Kazakhstan; Bazard from Jharkhand, Himalayan and Middle East Asia and many more such species have already reached to Jodhpur, which are already delayed by a month.

According to the bird experts, this time Snake Head Eagle, Toddy eagles and Osprey birds of predatory species found in North Eastern Pakistan and Nepal have also been spotted near the reservoirs and Keru dumping station.

Steppe Eagle and Paragrin Falcon Murrah, who hunt in the air have also knocked around in the vicinity of the Blue City. This time, the number of Vultures, which make the environment clean by eating dead cattle has also increased compared to last year.

There are long-necked white back Egyptian Vulture, Princely Vulture, State Himalayan Griffons, European Griffon and Sereniorous species birds also have seen near to reservoirs. After a long time, this year hunting birds such as long build Buzzard and Shikra have also knocked at Jodhpur.

Khichan, “The Land of Kurjan”

Khichan is a village located in the Phalodi tehsil of Jodhpur district. The village is known for a large number of Demoiselle cranes that visit it every winter.

Jodhpur Turns BirdWatchers’ Paradise in Winter, Welcomes Migratory BirdsThis annual bird migration began with around a hundred cranes in the 1970s, when a local couple started feeding pigeons. Other villagers joined their efforts, and as of 2016, Khichan hosted over 30,000 Demoiselle Cranes (Kurjas) from as early as October each year to as late as March of the following year.

In the 1970s, Ratanlal Maloo (Jain), a native of Khichan and his wife started feeding the pigeons. A number of pigeons, sparrows, peacocks, and squirrels started coming to the place. In September, a dozen Demoiselle cranes (called kurja/Kurjan in Marwadi) also joined the other birds. With the time, the cranes grew in numbers. The record number of Demoiselle cranes makes the Khichan village of Jodhpur, a prime destination for birdwatchers!

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World Crane Foundation has Declared the village as a World Heritage Site. Khichan attracts hundreds of Indians and foreigners who come to witness the spectacle of thousands of Demoiselle cranes feeding right in the middle of a human settlement.

What Pulls these Migratory Birds to Marwar?

A member of the Stork species Demoiselle Crane travels thousands of miles to reach Jodhpur by placing the main stop in the drag with water reservoirs of Jodhpur from the last week of last September to the end of February. After migration to the first week of March, they fly towards destination again.

The Apnaayat of Jodhpur pulls these migratory birds to Marwar region. The availability of food grains, Favorable temperature, and climate, area surrounded by historical places means safety to them, and an extensive reservoir, after harvesting the fields, the whole chain of food pulls them up here.

Why the No. of Migratory Birds Got Down?

The bird experts and scientist take the main reason for the decrease in bird count is the presence of farmers who harvest the fields and the people of the Rehabari community to feed their cattle, sheep, and goats in ponds, ores and lands. The birds consider any kind of human interference as treat to their habitat.

The vultures and hunter-gatherer species which reach the Keru region are also less this time. Experts believe that various development works of the Arna Water Residential Project near the Keru Dumping Station on behalf of Jodhpur Development Authority is another reason. Due to various development works, there can also be a reason for the birds’ mouth breaking.

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If you love to travel in the fresh, chilly wintery mornings, the season calls for much more than sight-seeing. The event was not only limited to bird spotting but also aimed at better understanding of our biodiversity and environment. The Jodhpur district is a sight to many migratory birds and bird watching becomes a major activity in the peak months of December, January and February.

Aapno Jodhpur welcome all bird watcher, travel lovers, Nature lovers पधारो म्हारे देश  with feelings of “अतिथि देवो भवः” |

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