A woolly-necked stork, a vulnerable wading species, has been spotted and recorded at the Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary in Ariyalur district.
A. Kumaraguru, a conservation scientist of the Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, India, recorded and photographed the bird at Venganur, which is a part of the sanctuary, on the first day of the two-day annual synchronised bird census on Thursday.
The large wading bird was found to be about four feet long, with a black head and a body with an iridescent sheen, and a white neck and underbelly. The bird has deep red eyes and the large bill is grey with a reddish tip. The legs and feet are also predominantly red in colour.
Mr. Kumaraguru told The Hindu that the bird, which has been listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), had been sighted and photographed probably for the fist time in the region. The bird is known to inhabit wetlands, marshes, rivers and ponds.
The diet of the woolly-necked stork consists of fish, frogs, toads, snakes and lizards. The presence of the bird has enabled ornithologists to study details about the little-studied bird, Mr. Kumaraguru added. He said that a bar headed goose, another vulnerable and rare species, was also spotted in the Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary.