Thousands of Flamingos Flock to India's Largest City During Coronavirus Lockdown
The beautiful pink birds have taken over the city of Mumbai as humans stay indoors amid the pandemic
Flamingos are painting India pink!
While people around the world stay indoors amid lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, wildlife and nature are taking advantage of this break from human interference.
In India, a record-breaking number of flamingos have flocked to the city of Mumbai during their annual migrations, according to several reports.
Per Science Times, flamingos have been migrating to the city for their feeding and breeding season between October and March since the 1980s. However, residents tell the outlet that this year they've observed an increase in the number of birds that show up in the city, sharing videos and photos on social media of thousands of birds bobbing in Thane Creek.
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The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) also came out with a new report that estimates the flamingo migration population is 25 percent higher this year than last year. According to the report, around 150,000 flamingos have come to Mumbai this year.
"A major reason for the large numbers is also the large flocks of juveniles moving to these sites, following the successful breeding documented two years ago. Additionally, the lockdown is giving these birds peace for roosting, no disturbance in their attempt to obtain food, and overall encouraging habitat,” Deepak Apte, director of BNHS, told the Hindustan Times.
“Wetland destruction and developmental activities across several areas of the eastern seafront is another reason why larger bird numbers are getting squeezed into smaller pockets like in Navi Mumbai," Apte added.
Rahul Khot, assistant director at BNHS explained further, telling the Hindustan Times that "the influx of domestic sewage" is also "helping the undisturbed formation of planktons, algae and microbenthos formation, which forms the food for flamingos and other wetland birds."
"Residents are cooped up at home spending their mornings and evenings at their balconies taking photographs and videos of these relaxed birds," Khot said. "The lockdown will at least prompt people to focus on what is around them, which they had been taking for granted, and hopefully this site will be declared a flamingo sanctuary soon."
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