Northern migratory birds return home as summer sets in

Kathmandu, April 2

With the beginning of summer, northern migratory birds that had arrived in Nepal six months ago, have returned home.

Every year northern migratory birds arrive in Kathmandu Valley and the wetlands in the southern plains to spend the winter season in Nepal.

According to bird specialists, most of the winter migratory birds have already returned.

Ornithologist and Country Director of Zoological Society of London Dr Hem Sagar Baral informed that winter birds had started returning home last month.

According to him, every year nearly 150 species of migratory birds arrive in Nepal from China, Mongolia, Korea, Siberian region of Russia and Central Asia.

Out the 150 species, green sandpiper and common greenshank, among other species, come to Nepal immediately after the onset of winter.

“However, as summer begins, migratory birds start leaving for their homes. Almost all species of northern migratory birds will return home by the end of May.” Baral told The Himalayan Times.

“They arrive in Nepal every year to escape freezing cold in the northern hemisphere,” the ornithologist explained the reason.

He said mid-September to mid-October is the peak migration time of birds.

During this autumn migration, some special birds pass through Nepal.

One of these is the highest flying migratory bird — the bar-headed goose — which is known to cross the mighty Himalayas on its journey to and from its summer and winter quarters.

Meanwhile, with the beginning of the pre monsoon season Eurasian koel and other types of koel have arrived in Kathmandu Valley from southern India and as far as South Africa.

According to ornithologists, Eurasian koels can stay even in urban areas with few a trees for them to live in due to its adaptive nature.

Ornithologist Dr Hem Sagar Baral said the first Eurasian koels had arrived in Kathmandu on March 26. “These Eurasian koels have spread throughout Kathmandu Valley and I can hear their voices most of the time,” Ornithologist Dr Baral said.

With the beginning of summer, migratory birds have started flying to Nepal for breeding due to easy availability of food. Ornithologists said among them koels had stayed in Kathmandu Valley whereas other birds had flown to the Tarai and other parts of the country.

Besides Eurasian koel, Asian koel, Indian cuckoo, emerald cuckoo, oriental cuckoo, pied cuckoo and lesser cuckoo also arrived in the Valley in the fourth week of March.