Saturday, 27 November, 2021

Welcome to our winged guests

In rural areas, people wrapped in cotton 'chadar' have been moving along the village paths as the evening breeze has turned into chilly winds. They have already bidden farewell to the short-lived Bangla season of 'Hemonto' making room for the winter. If the winter arrives, can our winged guests remain away from Bangladesh? Certainly not! They have already made their way to this tropical South Asian country spreading their colourful wings. At least, a feature story published at a major vernacular daily on Saturday vouched this.

As per the story, hundreds of migratory birds have arrived at the lakes of Jahangirnagar University after a long flight of thousands of miles from Siberia and other cold countries. Major bird congregations have been spotted in the wetlands of the bird sanctuary on the campus of the country's lone residential university located near the capital. We heartily welcome our winged guests.

Because of lack of food and intolerable cold of the northern countries, they have sought refuge in the warmer climate of our country. Every winter, they have been visiting the water bodies where they find abundant foods along with the atmospheric warmth required for laying eggs and hatching. It is our duty and responsibility to voluntarily protect them by any means. But, regrettably, some dishonest people eke out a living by hunting the guest birds. On the streets of Dhaka and other cities, hawking of birds is a common sight. As poaching birds is a punishable offence, the law-enforcers should oversee the bad practice. 

Stringent enforcement of relevant laws is a must to protect our winged birds.  A social movement should be mobilised in this regard. As soon as a bird poacher is spotted, he should be rounded up with the help of passers-by. Round-the-year awareness campaigns should be conducted among people for conservation of birds (and other wild animals). Bird lovers are also active enough in society. In the past, some of them were seen to leave their houses for sheltering the winter birds which is a commendable job indeed! Emulating the shinning example, all other citizens should come forward to create a suitable environment for our guest birds so that they regularly visit our country. We should remember that birds play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance needed for our very survival.