controlled Kashmir, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The wetlands across Indian-controlled Kashmir these days are abuzz with chirping of visiting birds. Come winter and thousands of migratory birds flock the region's picturesque wetlands that provide them suitable aura during winters.
These birds migrate from far off destinations like parts of North Europe, Siberia, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Philippines and China in wake of harsh winters prevalent there.
Ornithologist say the temperature in these places around this time usually remains very low triggering frosty and chilly winds, making difficult for birds to get their food.
Hokersar and Shalibug Wetland Reserves, spread over 13.75 sq km and 14.5 sq km respectively are the main wetlands of the region, which provide temporary habitat to majority of birds. These wetland reserves are located in the north of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Besides Hokersar and Shalibugh, a huge inflow of such birds is witnessed at Wullar, Dal Lake, Hygam, Mirgund etc.
These wetlands fall under the purview of region's Wildlife Department.
Wildlife officials say rough estimates with the department suggest more than a million migratory birds have reached the region this year.
"At Hokarsar this time we have over 600,000 migratory birds. Another 600,000 are reported at Shalibugh Bird Reserve. Besides this, other wetlands too are full of them," said Wildlife officials in Srinagar.
During day time flocks of such birds are seen gliding in the sky and sometimes cruising in the waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar.
Each year, thousands of greylag geese, mallards, common teals, pintails, pochards, coots, wigeons and shovellers travel thousands of miles to reach Kashmir.
"Kashmir's wetlands are like winter homes for them. They arrive here during winters and migrate back to their places during spring time," said Riyaz Ahmad, a bird watcher.
The Wildlife department has also stocked grains for the visiting birds to provide them with uninterrupted food supply.
"Over the past couple of weeks the sub-zero temperatures resulted in freezing water bodies. The frozen conditions hamper their natural feeding activity. So in order to keep the food available at the wetlands, we are feeding grains to them on a larger scale. The step has been taken to ensure migratory birds do not suffer because of the hindrance in their natural feeding," said Ghulam Ahmad Lone, a senior Wildlife official.
The villages around the wetlands witness a buzz during evenings as the herds of migratory birds take noisy flights in the sky while moving back to their nests. Enditem