The Nalabana bird sanctuary, or Nalbana Island, is an area of marshy land in Chilika Lake, named Ramsar. It was pronounced a bird safe-haven under the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972. Thousands of birds descend in the migratory season at the center of the park. After the monsoon, the island disappears because it comes in contact with water again after the monsoon.
Nalaban means a weed – laden island in the Odia language. It is a prominent island at the center of lake with an area of 15.53 km 2 (6.00sq miles). During the monsoon season, the island gets completely submerged. When the winter monsoon is less, the level of the lake decreases and the island is slowly open, the wide number of birds flocks to its surface on a wide variety of issues. Nalbana was notified in 1987 and declared a bird sanctuary under the wildlife protection act 1973.
Many types of birds are found here, including rare birds. The rare birds found in the lake are Asiatic dowitchers(NT), dalmatian pelicans (VU), pallas’s fish – eagles (VU), very rare migrant spoon – bill sandpipers (CR) and spot – billed pelicans(NT). The white – bellied ocean hawk, outsider kite, brahminy kites, kestrel, swamp harriers, and the world’s most far and wide flying predator, peregrine bird of prey, are seen here. Along with the changing beaches of the lake and islands, too many small – footed noisy birds are seen in a narrow band. These include plovers, collar pratincole, ruff, dunlins, snips and sandpiper. Larks, wagtails, and lappings are also found on moderates. The long-footed avocets, the stilt and the godwits feeding in to the deep waters.
The high vegetation areas of the lake support moorhens, coots and jacanas. With kingfisher and rollers, the herons of the pond can be seen along the coasts and nocturnal herons. Small eras are seen on the walls around the lake, small herds of the brahminy duck are also seen in compact herds of the brahminy duck, as well as shovellers, pintails, gadwall, blue-greens, pochards, geese and fogies.
The nesting colonies of the Ganges, billed turn and river tern are found on the island of Nalbana. In 2002, the Bombay Natural History Society recorded 540 horses of the Indian River turn on the island of the largest Southeast Asia nest.