It is not just human beings who usually undertake a survey before launching a new venture. Even birds are known to carry out survey before finding a nesting place for themselves.
A flock migratory Asian bird has already begun a survey in and around Kankaria lake. The survey is a part of their nesting activity at Kamala Nehru Zoo, popularly known as Kankaria Zoo.
Over 2000 Migratory birds, including Spoonbill, White Ibis, Little Cormorant, Night Heron and Cattle Egrets, have been coming to the zoo for nesting. “Over 2000 birds come to the zoo for nesting. This year, these birds have already begun their initial activities”, said R.K. Sahu, zoo superintendent.
“Before the birds finally come to the zoo for nesting, a group of 10-15 birds comes to the area and carries out the survey about the availability of food and water in the lake. Once this group is satisfies with the facilities, it goes back only to return with a larger group of suck birds”.
According to Sahu, the area is best suited for nesting because of the greenery and a lake with good fish. The water is also suitable for these birds.
The nesting season begins by June 15 and continues till October and November. Birds like Cattle Egret, Little Cormorant and Night Heron come to the zoo by June 15; others like Spoonbill and Ibis come in July. Officials said that two species of Cattle Egret come to the zoo for nesting.
Each bird gives birth to three to four baby birds and at the end of the season, the number of birds at Kankaria becomes around 10,000. These birds come to the zoo from nearby states as the water level in the lakes there goes down drastically. When they come, the birds also use the old nests which were left behind the previous season.
Brief Profile of some Winged guests
The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) a species from heron found in the tropics, subtropics and warm temperate zones. These birds are originally native to parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. This species maintains a special relationship with cattle, which extends to other large grazing mammals. The cattle Egret removes ticks and fillies from cattle and consumes them. The breeding season various within South Asia. Nesting in Northern India begins with the onset of Monsoon. The breeding season in Australia is November to early January.
Spoonbills are a group of large, long-legged wading birds in the family. Spoonbills generally prefer fresh water to salty but are found in both environments. They feed for many hours each day. The male gathers nesting material, mostly sticks and reeds, sometimes taken from an old nest, the female weaves it into a large, shallow bowl or platform which varies in its shape and structural integrity according to species. They female lays a clutch of about three smooth, oval, white eggs and both parents incubate.
Adult Night Heron are shot-necked, short-legged and stout herons with a primarily brown or grey plumage and in most, a black crown. Young birds are brown, flecked with white. Night Herons nest alone or in colonies on platforms of sticks in a group of trees; or on the ground in protected locations such as islands or reed-beds. About three to eight eggs are laid. They primarily eat small fish, crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects, and small mammals. During the day they rest in trees or bushes.
The Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax Niger) is small as compared to other cormorants. The bird is 55 cm in length with an average mass of 442.5 grams. It is a resident species in most of tropical South Asia, commonly found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam; additionally, it is a vagrant species in Afghanistan. These birds nest in colonies, typically located in trees near a water body.