It’s Bird Watching Time in Kadalundi

Come winter and migratory birds from faraway lands are back, flocking to the bird sanctuary at Kadalundi in Kozhikode. This time around, there are a few new species too among the feathered visitors from across continents.

The sanctuary has witnessed an increase in the number of migrant birds in the current wintering season giving visitors a wonderful visual treat. Apart from the usual annual visitors, bird watchers have reported spotting more number of Lesser sand plover, Brown-headed gulls and Caspian tern this year. The Bar-headed goose, a long range Mongolian duck was seen at Kadalundi for the first time.

The Kadalundi-Vallikkunnu Community Reserve is a major stopover in the west coast of India for the migrant birds escaping the harsh winters up north beyond the Himalayas.

Bar-headed goose in flight
Bar-headed goose in flight

Dr K M Aarif, a scientist studying the shorebirds of Kadalundi since 2005 told The Hindu that the increase in bird sightings might be because of the climatic changes in the eastern coast of India. “But the diversion can be temporary. We cannot expect the same species of birds to arrive at Kadalundi the next year too,” he added.

M Nasser, associate professor at the Department of Zoology, Calicut University also shares the opinion that climatic change is a factor. He attributes the presence of the Bar-headed goose and the increase in Brown-headed gull to climate change.

“The Bar-headed goose have immense strength that they cross the Himalayas in a single day,” Dr. Aarif told The Hindu. They are known to fly at altitudes of nearly 30,000 feet when crossing the mountain range.