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Posted On: 20 April 2009 10:48 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Greater flamingos head home as summer sets in

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As temperature soars, hundreds of migratory birds that have been enjoying the pleasant weather for the last several months are bidding adieu to Qatar. The different nestling areas within Qatar have been receiving birds in huge flocks since the last week of November. Greater flamingos formed the biggest group among the special visitors. Flying all the way back from African countries, these migratory birds stay for a brief period over here. However, the greater flamingos have been staying in various parts of Qatar for over five months. Now, with the maximum temperature reaching up to 30 degree Celsius, the flamingos are also taking their wings to their natural habitats in North America and Scandinavian countries. The flamingos’ most characteristic habitats are large alkaline or saline lakes or estuarine lagoons that usually lack vegetation. Mangrove swamps, tidal flats and sandy islands are also their favourite habitats. Spread across an area of 150sqkm, Qatar hosts more than half a dozen similar habitats. The nestling areas include Al Dhakhira, Al Khor, Al Udai and the islands of Aliya, Sharooh and Shatt . Doha-based Ornithologists and bird watchers say an estimated seventy-eight species of migratory birds visit Qatar during the winter season, while 104 species fly over its skies in search of a new habitat. “Qatar receives the migratory birds during the November-December months every year. The birds are mainly coming from African countries and they leave Qatar for North American and Scandinavian countries by March-April months because of the rise in temperature,” Gordon Saunders, an avid bird watcher, told The Peninsula. “The Flamingos are making their return trip. In addition to these migratory birds, there are large number of other birds that visit Qatar. Houbara Bustard, a critically endangered species, is one of the rare varieties of birds that visits Qatar every year during November-January,” said Dr Elsadig Bashir, Director of Qatar Bird Project.