The restoration of Jal Mahal has worked wonders for the surrounding areas. The birds are showing renewed interest in the now fresh waters of Man Sagar Lake. A number of new birds species can be found in the lake every summer and winter season of the city. We have listed some of those exquisite birds that we could spot for you.
This species is classified as Near Threatened because its population is suspected to be in moderately rapid decline owing to pollution, drainage, hunting and the collection of eggs and nestlings. It often swims with only the neck above water. It is a fish eater. It inhabits shallow inland wetlands including lakes, rivers, swamps and reservoirs.
Although most abundant of the Asian storks this species is classified as Near Threatened because it is thought to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing primarily to hunting, wetland drainage and pollution. It frequents fresh water marshes, lakes and reservoirs, flooded fields, rice paddles and river banks. They feed mainly on small fishes. Painted stork is a large waded bird in the stork family. It is found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia south of the Himalayas in South Asia and extending into South-east Asia. They forage in flocks in shallow waters along the rivers or lakes.
This species has apparently undergone moderately rapid decline across its global range and is consequently considered near threatened.
The Roller appears to be a good bio-indicator of land-use in the wider countryside as the species is a secondary cavity breeder, feeding on large and often carnivorous insects (indicating a lower use of insecticides in the fields). The roller is also known to show positive trends in response to crop mosaics. The Roller is therefore considered to be very sensitive to changing farming practices as well as the management of waterways. For example, pesticide use reduces the availability of its large insect prey species, and riparian forest and hedgerow destruction reduces.
Black Tailed Godwit
Its numbers have declined rapidly in parts of its range owing to changes in agricultural practices. Overall, the global population is estimated to be declining at such a rate that the species qualifies as Near Threatened.
They mainly eat invertebrates, but also aquatic plants in winter and on migration. In the breeding season, the prey includes beetles, flies, grasshoppers, dragonflies, mayflies, caterpillars, annelid worms and mollusks. Occasionally, fish eggs, frogspawn and tadpoles are eaten.
Occasionally seen bird species at Man Sagar Lake
Small Pranticole is a resident breeder in India, Western Pakistan and South-east Asia. It breeds from December to March on gravel or sand banks in rivers. Breeding areas include small areas in northern Karnataka and northern Kerala near Kannur.
Insects are the main diet. They are not opportunistic and have been recorded attending herds of antelope to snatch the insects flushed up by their movement, or even insects attracted to street lights. Swarming insects such as locusts or termites are particularly targeted.
The purple Heron species inhabits wetlands showing the preference for dense, flooded, freshwater reedbeds (Phragmites spp.) in temperature areas (occupying Typha and Scripus). It also utilizes lake shores, river margins, ditches, canals, brakish water lagoons, rice-fields, mangroves and coastal mudfiats.
It feeds in shallow water, fish, frogs, insects (e.g. beetles, dragonflies, hemiptera and locusts), crustaceans and molluscs as well as small birds and mammals, snakes and lizards. The Purple Heron is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
Little Heron shows a preference for forested water margins such as mangrove-lined shores and estuaries, or dense woody vegetation, fringing ponds, rice fields and other flooded cultivation. Little Herons eat mainly small fish and crustacean (especially crabs). They also take amphibians (e.g. frogs), insects (e.g. water beetles, grasshoppers and dragonflies), spiders, leeches, crustaceans (e.g. crabs and prawns), mollusks, earthworms, small reptiles and mice. The species is threatened by human disturbance, pesticides and habitat destruction. This species is taken for food in some areas.
Greater Painted Snipe
The greater Painted Snipe frequents tropical and sub-tropical wetlands, up to 1800 meters elevation in Himalayas, and much lower elsewhere. This bird is found in swamps, rice fields, and muddy margins of pools, freshwater lakes and mudflats with marsh grass. The Greater Painted Snipe is omnivorous, feeding on insects, snails, earthworms, crustaceans. It also takes plant matter such as seeds, rice and millets. The nest is usually shallow scrape in soft ground, lined with plant material and situated amongst grass or reeds or water’s edge: sometimes a pad of vegetation or a nest of grass and weeds.
Photos Courtesy – treknature