Nilsagar abuzz with migratory birds again | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 11, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, January 11, 2019

Nilsagar abuzz with migratory birds again

The winter birds back to the sanctuary after two decades as congenial atmosphere returns due to special steps

After nearly two decades, flocks of migratory birds from Siberia started coming again to vast water body Nilsagar, a sanctuary for birds, at Dhobadanga village of Sadar upazila this winter.

Thanks to the authorities concerned for launching a useful project aiming to create a congenial atmosphere, by providing shelter and food through planting thousands of local variety trees, for the guest birds.

Caretaker of the sanctuary Nirmal Chakraborty said around 10,000 guest birds arrived in Nilsagar this winter after the district administration took a project titled 'Program for Creating Natural Forest' to ensure food and shelter to the guest birds a couple of years ago.

Migratory birds start coming to Nilsagar in early November and stay till March-April in a bid to protect themselves from the terrible cold of the northern countries, he said.

As the fluttering and chirping of thousands of winter guest birds thrilled the visitors, authority concerned declared the 54 acres water body as birds' sanctuary in 1999, Nirmal informed.

Local resident Shamsul Islam, a journalist, said, “The area saw a decline on arrival of migratory birds when the government declared the water body as birds' sanctuary nearly 20 years ago. It happened just because several thousand century-old trees were felled for the up-gradation of the vast water body, which caused loss of shelter and food for the birds.”

There were numerous trees like banyan, blackberry, mango, jackfruit and many birds lived on their fruits and used to take shelter on the trees, but due to unwise felling of trees many birds disappeared, he added.

“Ignoring experts' advice, the authorities concerned planted tree saplings of foreign varieties like shishu, mahogany, eucalyptus and others, which neither grow with bushy branches nor produce any fruit for bird's feeding,” Shamsul said.

Ornithologists warned that many guest birds do not even sit or rest on foreign variety trees, but their warning fell on deaf ears and the area saw a sharp decline in the number of guest birds.

According to historian Mohammad Nasiruddin the previous name of Nilsagar was Binna Dighi. The then Hindu king Raja Virat dug the water body and named it after his beloved daughter Binnaboti.

Nilphamari Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Shahinur Alam said arrival of guest birds increased tremendously in recent time after the district administration took a project titled 'Program for Creating Natural Forest.'

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