POST TIME: 7 December, 2019 12:36:33 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 December, 2019 01:03:58 PM
More winged guests arrive at JU this year
Our Correspondent, JU

More winged guests arrive at JU this year

Crowds of guest birds flock to winter in the wetlands on the campus of Jahahgirnagar University at Savar on the outskirts of the capital. The photo was snapped recently. Independent Photo

With the onset of winter, dawn breaks on the Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus with the sweet calls and songs of myriad birds these days. Like every year, a large number of migratory birds have arrived at the lakes in the university for their winter sojourn in search of safe habitat and food.

These winged guests have flown across thousands of miles, away from unbearable cold in places like Siberia, China, Nepal, Himalayan foothills, and Mongolia.

As if to welcome the birds, colourful water lilies, especially the red ones, have started blossoming on the lakes, adding to the grandeur of the environment.

There are around 12 small- to medium-sized lakes in the area surrounded by green forested lands, offering a perfect sanctuary for migratory birds.

These winter migrants mostly nest adjacent to the transport yard, in front of the registrar’s office building, botanical garden and the varsity’s wildlife rescue centre.

According to the JU zoology department, around nine species of migratory birds come to JU every year. Boro Sorali, which is known as the greater whistling duck, and Chhoto Sorali, the lesser whistling duck, are found more than other species in the JU lakes. Moreover, a total of 135 species of indigenous and 69 species of foreign birds out of 204 species are seen on the campus.

Compared to the past year, a larger number of birds have arrived this year. Experts said it was because the university was shut and there were less public gatherings. As a result, the place presented a calm and quiet environment for the birds.

Prof. Kamrul Hasan of the zoology department said: “A lot of people are coming to our campus, which undoubtedly is a big pride for us. The migratory birds have been coming in lesser numbers in recent years due to lack of proper living places and excessive crowd. Thousands of people gather here every year to enjoy the beauties of birds, but some of them erroneously tease and scream at the birds. This type of behaviour disturbs the birds,” rued the noted ornithologist.

“This year, a large number of birds have arrived. Now they are seen at the two main lakes near the transport yard and in front of the JU administrative buildings. We are very happy that the numbers of birds have increased. It is due to the calm and quiet environment because of lack of public disturbance as the university is closed now,” he added.

Last year, the number of birds was less at the major waterbodies because of rampant poaching, fish farming in the lake, and contamination of the waters. This year, the JU authorities have made special arrangements for the migratory birds.

As part of this, the area from Kabir Sarani to Chourangi Point has been declared as a sanctuary for migratory birds. Billboards, banners, and festoons have been put up at different points to raise awareness about the seasonal habitat of these birds.

Besides, in association with the zoology department, the university will organise a ‘Birds Fair’ in mid-January featuring various events to raise awareness.

Meanwhile, a large number of bird lovers have started coming to the campus to watch the winged guests.

One of them, Aminur Rahman, has come with his family from Dhaka. “I have come to enjoy the birds. I’ve never seen so many birds flocking together at one place before. When yellow-black mixed birds flew over my head, I was stunned! Really, the beauty of this scene cannot be expressed in words,” he exclaimed.

At the same time, the pro-environment organisation ‘Safe the Nature’ has urged the university authorities to control public gatherings on the lakeside road. Organisation secretary Taufikur Rahman said: “We are very happy that a large number of birds have come this year. They left the two main lakes because of public disturbance. So, this year we urged the university authorities to control public gatherings on the lakeside road.”