A few pelican chicks died and eggs were damaged when they fell from iron stands arranged in Kolleru Lake at Atapaka Bird Sanctuary due to overcrowding of the winged visitors.

About 1,500 chicks, aged between 30 and 60 days, were found on the stands recently.

“The water level in the lake is good. This year the number of birds visiting the sanctuary is high when compared to previous years. A few chicks died and eggs were damaged when they fell from the overcrowded stands,” said the Forest Department officials.

Speaking to The Hindu, Kaikalur Forest Range Officer (FRO) V. Ratna Kumar said the Kolleru Wildlife Management officials arranged iron stands for facilitating the birds for nesting.

Atapaka Bird Sanctuary Deputy FRO V. Satyanandam said as there was no protection on the edges of the stands a few chicks and eggs slipped from the stands.

“We also observed a few chicks dying when they got stuck in the mesh arranged on the stands,” he said.

In addition to 60 iron stands, they erected 40 more stands at different places for the birds to rest.

Metal rods were arranged on the borders of the new stands to protect the chicks and the eggs, he said.