Nature Quest: Pankouri's place | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 20, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:48 PM, January 20, 2018

Nature Quest: Pankouri's place

Seeing the little cormorants flying in the sky in their thousands and feeding their chicks in their little nests on treetops can be a thrilling experience, especially when you stumble upon their colony in the least expected place.

Much of the colony is in the unlikely areas of Baghabari Oil Depot and a factory of Milk Vita, places not far from the port on Gumani river, some five kilometres south of Shahjadpur town in Sirajganj.

The properties are off-limits to commoners. Poachers and hunters, by default, cannot go near the waterbirds, locally known as Pankouri, that forage in the river.

"We don't let outsiders on our property. It has somehow created a sanctuary for them," Abdul Mazid, in-charge of the depot, said.

The birds, not too shy of humans, can be seen or photographed up close, if you get on the roof of one of the three-storey residential buildings for officials of the oil company.

Enam Ul Haque, a bird specialist, said little cormorants are visible more or less in every region of the country. Flocks of thousands can be found in Rajshahi and Sylhet regions, where freshwater bodies are abundant.

In the oil depot, staffers believe that the number of birds is increasing, because they are not poached and they have plenty of food in Gumani river beside their habitat.

An official of Milk Vita, seeking anonymity said, local hunters used to get into their property until recent years. The area has been made restricted and turning it into the home of thousands of little cormorants and some egrets.

“But sometimes, especially when their droppings ruin our clothes, we wish there were fewer of them.”

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