The wetland in the Tinsukia district of Assam has built a reputation for being a hotspot for wintering migratory birds in the country
Maguri Beel or Maguri Motapung Beel, near the Motapung village of Assam’s Tinsukia district, is a major stopover for wintering migratory birds. The word Beel in Assamese means lake, and Maguri is the local name for a type of catfish. Ironically, a steep rise in fishing has led to the extinction of Maguri in the lake. The wetland, spread over an area of 9.6sq.km., was declared an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) in 1996. The lake supports approximately 110 species of birds and a large human population, most of whom depend on fishing for a livelihood.
The only mode of transport here is the wafer-thin fishing boats that call for a prayer every time you step inside them. But confidence grows once the boat lazily yet steadily meanders past the little harbour-like section of the lake, and you would have come across your first few ducks or storks by then. With freshly established faith in the dinghy, you move deeper into the marshy water body. Along the way, you will find yourself travelling in a zig-zag pattern, distracted by the wide variety of water birds on display.
"The wetland, spread over an area of 9.6sq.km., was declared an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) in 1996. "
Fulvous Whistling Duck or the Fulvous Tree Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor). Photograph by Hari K Patibanda via Flickr under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license
Baikal Teal (Sibirionetta formosa). Photograph by Mike Prince via Flickr under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license
Ruddy Shelduck or the Brahminy Duck (Tadorna ferruginea). Photograph by Hari K Patibanda via Flickr under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license
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