Darjeeling: First 'Mahananda Bird Festival' to be flagged off in February

Darjeeling: There is a good tiding for birders. The forest department is all set to organise the first Mahananda Bird Festival at Sukna in the Darjeeling district. "The Darjeeling Wildlife Division will be organizing the first Mahananda Bird Festival from 20th to 23rd February, 2021," stated Jiju Jaesper J, Divisional Forest Officer, Wildlife Division.

The Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary has earned the tag of "Important Bird Area" owing to the rich and diverse avi-fauna. It boasts of more than 300 species of birds including the Rufous-necked hornbill. It has played a critical role in conservation of birds and its habitat.

"The festival will provide an excellent opportunity to explore the forests of Mahananda and sight different birds. The participants will be taken to popular birding spots like Rongdong and Latpanchor in addition to the birding trails within the forests. The participants will witness the diverse landscapes of rivers, plains, forests and the hills throughout the festival" added the DFO.

The participants will have to register online through the website Online application will start from 18th January and end on 2nd February.

The participation fee is Rs. 5000 and will include entry fee, food and lodging expenditures. Birding experts will be guide the participants throughout the festival. Any physically fit individual more than 18 years and less than 60 years of age can participate. Maximum of 48 participants will be chosen by a screening committee. Details of the programme is available in

The sanctuary is spread over 159 square km in the foothills of the Himalayas between the Teesta and Mahananda rivers. It was accorded the status of wildlife sanctuary in 1959.

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