A flock of egrets have nestled in the bamboo grove and the large trees encircling the house. Hundreds of people come up to catch a glimpse of the birds. This has been going on for the last 38 years!
The egrets come to this house in March-April each year, make their nests, lay eggs, hatch and fly away in September-October. The house is in the village Dikpar of Nalitabari upazila, Sherpur district. The owner of the house is Brajendra Chandra Barman. People know this house as ‘Bokbari’ (Egret House).
Upazila livestock officer Ashrafuzzaman said, “I recently visited the village. Generally birds built nests at places they consider safe and stay for a long time. They come to this house each year as they consider it a safe haven.”
This reporter recently visited the house. Thousands of egrets and other types of birds were seen returning to their nests in the evening with food for their young.
Ninety-year-old Brajendra Chandra Barman said he and his family do not cut down the bamboo at all in case it scares away the egrets.
Brajendra’s son Satish Chandra Barman claimed that around 2000-3000 egrets come to their home each year. “We look after them so that no one disturbs them.”
Brajendra’s wife Samala Barman said, “Sometimes naughty boys come to steal the eggs, but we stop them.”
Brajendra said he cannot get a good night’s sleep without listening to the chirping of birds. “My family members also have started loving birds.”
Baghber union parishad chairman Abdus Sabur said this family has built a bond of love with birds and these egrets over the years.
*The report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Shameem Reza.