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Updated: December 21, 2013 11:52 IST

Winged guests arrive at Atapaka Bird Sanctuary

T. Appala Naidu
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The first flock of Painted Storks arrvied the Atapaka Birds Sanctuary of Kolleru Lake for nesting. Photo: T. Appla Naidu
The Hindu
The first flock of Painted Storks arrvied the Atapaka Birds Sanctuary of Kolleru Lake for nesting. Photo: T. Appla Naidu

Scarcity of trees forces them to arrange nests outside sanctuary

The first flock of Painted Storks arrived for the season at the Atapaka Bird Sanctuary in Kolleru Lake in Krishna District a week ago, adhering to the time for their annual sojourn.

More than 80 of these avian, that occupied the lake in November, had formed into couples and started arranging nests on the trees on a tiny island in the sanctuary.

Temporary arrangements

“The storks, which are very few in number in comparison with several varieties of pelicans here, chose particular kinds of trees for their safe and peaceful breeding season. The trees are locally known as Singapore Cherry, Palmyra and Black Tumma,” bird observer and boat assistant Samiullah Khan told The Hindu.

Finding no space for arranging nests on the sanctuary premises, a significant number of Painted Storks are also making temporary arrangements outside the sanctuary and within the lake, according to forest authorities. Observing the Painted Storks’ behaviour and the way they were responding to the movement of the boat and tourists, many of the storks were probably born here in the last season or earlier, say the wildlife management staff deployed at the Atapaka Sanctuary. Amid thousands of winged guests and resident breeders at the sanctuary, a pair of male and female White Pelicans is a special attraction for both the forest staff and visitors. These migratory birds are also known as Rosy Pelican and American White Pelican. These two birds, which had been coming back here for the past five years, are being treated as the ‘sacred couple’ of the lake.

“We could not spot the female White Pelican for the past few days. More often, the couple or one of them visits another water body – Nelapattu in Nellore District – and returns,” said Mr. Samiullah Khan. Based on the observations of the Wildlife Management Wing, the White Pelican couple did not give birth to a chick all these years on the sanctuary premises till date. However, their presence has been felt every winter without fail, leaving bird watchers delighted.

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