A sea of pink dazzled residents of Navi Mumbai as thousands of flamingos settled along the creek on Thursday morning. The migratory birds, which visit Mumbai every year, have arrived in huge numbers, in the middle of a lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.
According to the Bombay Natural History Society, there has been a 25 per cent increase in flamingo migration since last year, when 1.2 lakh birds had come visiting. This year, over 1.5 lakh birds were spotted just in the first week of April.
Several celebrities like Raveena Tandon, Dia Mirza and Twinkle Khanna took to Twitter to comment on the stunning visuals.
The flamingos arrive from the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat and Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan. Some fly in from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Israel.
Because of the extended coronavirus lockdown, an unusually large number of birds and animals have been seen at public places, now bereft of the usual crowds and traffic.
According to Deepak Apte, Director, Bombay Natural History Society, the number of flamingos is significantly higher this year. "Bombay Natural History Society has estimated the flamingo population to be around 1,50,000 this year. The population was about 1,00,000 when we did count in February. More birds have arrived since then. Exact number would be known once lockdown is over and we will be able to do a rapid assessment," Dr. Apte told NDTV.
"It is about a 25% increase in the population. It is primarily owing to successful breeding in Rann of Kutch. Also due to rapid loss/destruction of high tide roosting wetlands in the Navi Mumbai and Uran region, large numbers are getting congregated in last remaining roosting sites such as NRI and TSC and adjoining wetlands. Lockdown also provided quiet and disturbance free surrounding. The arrival is delayed however this year as we predicted owing to good rains, successful nesting in Gujarat and much extended rains this year," Dr. Apte added.