Forest officials instructed to observe the movements of the rare birds
White pelican, also known as American White Pelican, was spotted in the natural bird habitat at Kolleru Lake in Atapaka village.
The Kolleru Wildlife Division officials said that a couple of white pelicans migrated to Atapaka bird sanctuary along with 5,000 other brown pelicans this year. Tourists and bird lovers are thronging to see the rare bird, the forest officials said.
White pelican is one among the eight species in pelican family and is the largest aquatic bird found in North America. The bird rarely visits the sanctuary, said the locals.
Speaking to The Hindu on Monday, Divisional Forest Officer (Kolleru Wildlife Management) P. Ramakrishna said that two white pelicans came to Atapaka along with other winged visitors. The forest officials were instructed to observe the movements of the rare birds.
“White pelicans catch fish while swimming. They mostly eat common carps and jack fish and lay 2-3 eggs in isolated lands and bushes,” said the DFO.
American white pelicans have large wings with huge bill. These pelicans weigh about 12 to 14 kg., which is double the grey pelicans, said Kaikaluru Forest Range Officer (FRO) V. Ratna Kumar.
“Several species of birds migrate to Kolleru from far off places every year during winter but, white pelicans have not visited Atapaka Bird Sanctuary in the last few years. Tourists are coming to see these pelicans,” Atapaka Deputy FRO M. Satyanandam said.
“This is for the first time I have seen a white pelican, which was very big in size. As the atmosphere was conducive and safe some thousands of birds are visiting the lake,” said a tourist V. Chitti Babu and thanked the Forest Department officials for protecting the avians.