Jajpur: The people of Dhanmandal town of Badachana block in Odisha’s Jajpur district are on cloud nine with the arrival of thousands of cranes from the far-off Siberia of Russia, Indonesia and Srilanka.
Almost all trees in Dhanmandal market area are teeming with these migratory birds who flock to this place every year for nesting after covering a distance of 4596 km from Siberia, 3772 km from Indonesia and 1481 km from Sri Lanka.
These migratory species usually start arriving at Dhanmandal in batches in the second and third week of June and leave for their native habitat in October.
“These birds are our special guests who have been flocking to this place since generations. Even my grandfather had told me about these birds visiting this place since his childhood days. When these birds arrive here, we are sure that the monsoon has arrived,” said Sheikh Sultan, a native of Dhanmandal.
These cranes are so acquainted with Dhanmandal that even the loud sound of the railway engine passing through this area and the frequent movement of people in the town do not bother them.
“These birds bring monsoon with them. Even the farmers never wait for the weather prediction and begin their agriculture activities on their arrival,” said Dipak Mishra, a member of Dhanmandal Bazaar Committee.
Members of the committee, the employees of the Dhanmandal Railway Station, Barunabanta Bana Surakhya and the local youths keep a strict vigil on these migratory birds.
“These migratory birds feel safe in Dhanmandal area. People from neighbouring districts also come here to look at these winged beauties,” said Sashikant Behera, Forester, Chandikhol Range.
“These birds feel so safe here that if any baby bird falls from the next, they come to the people without any fear. Such is the love of the people for these birds that they guard them even at night to protect them from poachers,” said Sudhakar Das, a local of Dhanmandal town.