Bird habitats are disappearing in cities as a result of urban development. However, Haji Malang in Kalyan has become a popular birdwatching destination.
Haji Malang, unlike other parts of the city, has a diverse ecosystem with grasslands, farmlands, hills, and forests on the outskirts. Rare winter migrants such as the Yellow Wattled Lapwing and Short-eared Owl have been observed in Haji Malang over the previous two weeks. Both birds are prevalent in Rajasthan and Gujarat’s deserts and dry areas.
The diversity of the environment in Haji Malang attracts a wide range of bird species, including the Yellow Wattled Lapwing, which is found in wetlands and desert-prone arid places. It’s also a favorite haunt of raptors. “The Imperial Eagle is a particular species that is found every year,” said Milind Ganatra, administration, Birds of Thane and Raigad District (BOTRD), a group of avid bird watchers from the city.
Raptors like harriers, which were once plentiful in this area, are now in decline. According to birders, this could be owing to the abundance of feeding habitats in the northern regions, which explains why so few harriers migrate.
Birds have been observed learning to adapt or relocate to new environments. We’ve noticed in recent years that these birds are leaving their typical habitat since it has become stagnant, and they’re looking for fresh territory. Haji Malang is a bird lover’s paradise. “Such a mixed ecosystem is not available in the immediate vicinity, particularly in Mumbai,” said Prathamesh Desai, BOTRD’s co-founder.
An avid birder, Ashish Salgaonkar, has also noticed that many birds are not visiting their usual areas. Bird habitat is being impacted by new construction work taking over open spaces in the city. This winter, several migrating birds that are common in this area of the city have gone missing. Isabelline wheatear, brown rock chat, and peregrine falcon are among them. When I went to Bhopal last week, I saw some waders, a large flock of black-tailed godwits, northern pintails, and glossy ibis. Salgaonkar added, “I also witnessed a rare white stork in flight and about to land.”
The pied avocet, which is prevalent in Dombivli’s Satpul district, appears to have relocated to the Thane creekside. Even the Asian brown flycatcher is endangered.
“In the meantime, many birds native to the Kutch region have been observed in the city.” Desai remarked, “The meadows of Bhopal in Dombivli could be an attraction for them.”
Himalayan warblers are Himalayan species that are becoming increasingly common in urban areas.