Island in focus: Banyumas roosting site for migrant birds

THE JAKARTA POST – BANYUMAS: Banyumas regency, Central Java, has been a roosting site for a number of migrant birds, coordinator of local Biodiversity Society Timur Sumardiyanto said.

“The birds come from around Siberia, China and Japan, migrating for thousands of kilometers through the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java and finally to Nusa Tenggara Islands,” Timur said as quoted by Antara news agency on Sunday while bird watching at the Bendung Gerak Serayu dam.

He said the birds migrated because the northern parts of the world were entering winter, thus forcing the birds to seek warmer places. “The migration started in October and the birds will stay in the warmer regions until about March next year,” Timur said. Timur added that an estimated 800 fire martlets (Hirundo rustica) and stripped martlets (Hirundo striolata) flew over the Bendung Gerak Serayu dam daily and made use of the surrounding pine forest to rest at night.

The dam, according to Timur, was a favorite place because of its being water and food supply. Other birds spotted, he said, include raptors such as Chinese eagles (Accipiter soloensis) and shikra eagles (Accipiter badius). “The number of birds monitored is not yet that many because it is now still the beginning of the migration months. We need to have more continuous monitoring to study their migration patterns,” he said.

Wahyudi, a local biodiversity researcher, said that monitoring bird migration was important to study change in the environmental conditions, especially with regards to geothermal-related problems. “Forest logging will influence geothermal change. The migration of birds can indicate change,” Wahyudi said.

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