The bird that demanded the maximum attention and appeal from me while I was on a trip to Monglajodi wetland was the Black-tailed Godwit (BTG)s. I saw thousands of them feeding on reed-bed, mud-flat fighting with each other, flying in large flocks from one spot and to settle in another spot. I was very much enjoying to witness all these hustle and bustle of these birds who were there as winter season guests thousands miles away from their breeding ground.
The BTG are of Scolopacidae family [Sandpipers etc ]. Their breeding region spans from western Europe to central Europe, from England in the west to Russia in the east and from Norway in the north to Italy in the south. Peculiarly, the female ones are larger than their male counterparts, and the male ones are brighter in colour than the female ones. The males display a distinctive ceremonial flight to lure the females and mate on the consent of the female. They build their nests at some heights above some reeds or meadows so that they can keep an eye over the surrounding areas. The lay three to four eggs at a time and take twenty to twenty two days to incubate. And surprisingly, the newborn BTGs come out of the nests in the open within twenty four hours of hatching and start foraging. They tend to return to their previous successful breeding grounds again and again.
They travel to western Africa and Asia on their journey of migration. In our country they are frequently seen in the wetlands around the coastal areas. They are territorial like all other waders are.
They are under an increasing threat of existence due to gradual depletion of the wetlands all over the world. Also, the threat from the poachers is a matter of big concern.
They travel over rivers, mountains, forests, oceans and over busy metropolis on migration and return to their breeding ground every year. This long journey of thousands of miles, the sound of the fluttering of their wings and overall, their until-death struggle for their survival and their fight for their territories have made them “a world traveler and staunch warrior”.