Sonepur: The perennial Mahanadi river has become a sort of summer retreat for the migratory birds who come here in lakhs to escape the piercing cold of Europe and North America.
Ornithologists spotted a rare migratory bird ‘common merganser’, scientific name-Mergus merganser, floating in the Mahanadi river. The bird is mostly found in North America and East European countries.
This is the first time a common merganser has been spotted in the state, said two bird researchers Dinesh Ranjan Mishra and Om Prakash Rout. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed the conservation status of the bird as endangered for which rampant sand mining and transportation from the riverbed should be stopped, Mishra and Rout added.
This apart, the entry of people to these areas should be stopped as birds lay their eggs in the winter season in sand and stone crevices, they demanded. Moreover, awareness drive should be undertaken to make the Mahanadi water pollution-free, they added.