While the government managed to save human lives from cyclone Phailin’s fury by evacuating thousands of people, several migratory Siberian birds died in Srikakulam district during the cyclone last week-end.

As many as 1,000 birds were killed and around 4,000 lost their nests, as several trees fell, unable to withstand the 200 kilometers per hour wind. Eggs were destroyed and chickens died as they from the the trees. Many birds also died of starvation.

The birds arrive in June every year to Telineelapuram of Srikakulam district from Siberia, almost 6,000 km away from India. Telineelapuram is the best nesting area for them and they return with their young ones in December. Though they come from Siberia, they are called Asian Open Bill Storks.

Srikakulam District Forest Officer B. Vijaykumar told The Hindu that they were trying their best to save chicks and the adult birds which survived the calamity. “We have been providing snails which are the staple food (for the storks)," he said. The Visakha Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals and Birds is also supporting efforts save these birds.

Clarification

SRIKAKULAM: The Indian Bird Conservation Network State Coordinator K. Mrutyumjaya Rao has clarified that the Asian Open Billed Storks did not migrate from Siberia as reported in a report in these columns on October 16 with the headline ‘Phailin killed over 1000 Siberian birds’. Also, the death of occurred in Telikunchi of Itchapuram mandal and not in Telineelapuram and that Grey Pelicans and Painted Storks were not affected in the cyclone, he said.