Waiting for Sultanpur’s winged visitors!

September 11th, 2012 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Sultanpur (Haryana), Sep 11 (IANS) Wildlife officials at the Sultanpur National Bird Sanctuary on the edge of the national capital are a worried lot as the natural cycle seem to have gone awry. Migratory birds, which usually fly here by early September - some from as far away as Siberia - are still to arrive.

And the Indian sarus cranes, which usually complete their breeding cycle ahead of the arrival of the guests, are also running behind schedule.

Wildlife officials at the sanctuary, near Farukhnagar, some 35 km from Indira Gandhi International Airport, surmise that the migratory guests will probably arrive in the third week of September.

Last year, after unusual snowfall in their homelands, birds from Europe and Siberia started arriving in the beginning of September.

The coot, whistling teal and common teal are among the birds that first arrive. The birds continue to fly in till the end of November.

Meanwhile, the Indian sarus cranes, in the normal course, would have finished their breeding season. This year, their eggs are yet to hatch, a caretaker at the park said.

“Three pairs of sarus cranes laid their eggs on the footpaths in the park. They need sufficient time to hatch. We have recommended that the chief wildlife warden keep the park closed for outsiders and tourists till Sep 30. Earlier, it was scheduled to open Sep 16,” District Forest Officer (wildlife) Kulwinder Singh told IANS.

“The sarus live in pairs and cannot survive for long if separated. It is usually about 34 days before the eggs hatch. We have sought that the park be opened to tourists later this year, as the breeding season has been delayed by about 20 days,” Kulwinder Singh said.

Ornithologist Suresh Kumar said, “There are nearly 125 species of birds here, including the comb duck, spotbill duck, little cormorant and darter birds.”

Canal water was poured into lakes and ponds in the sanctuary Aug 23, almost a fortnight later than usual. One official said that the irrigation department may have been waiting for rain.

Official figures show that in the Farukhnagar and Pataudi area, where the sanctuary is located, the rainfall received this year was the lowest in the Gurgaon district.

Farukhnagar and Pataudi received 246 mm rainfall on an average in July and Aug 2012, while during the same period, 712 mm rain was recorded in the Gurgaon city area.

(Pradeep Singh can be contacted at pardeepsinghrao@gmail.com)

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