Andhra Pradesh

Lone great white pelican a visual treat

Mingled with the thousands of winged guests is the lone great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) at Asia’s largest freshwater lake, Kolleru Lake, offering a rare visual treat to bird watchers.

In the past week, the feathered guest has been found spending the days with the grey pelicans and painted storks at the Atapaka Bird Sanctuary in the Kolleru Lake in Krishna district, earning its prey in the water body.

Noticing its presence from at least 200 metres, forest department’s boatman G. Suresh has been involved in studying its movements.

“Those who see the white pelican at the sanctuary are being considered lucky.

“I have been fortunate to see it many times this winter. It has a distinctive beauty to watch compared with the other migratory birds,” the forest department’s boatman told The Hindu.

Big size

Physically, the white pelican which is also known as rosy pelican is almost double the size of the grey pelican. According to sanctuary officials, the single bird has been avoiding staying on the iron bunds erected in the sanctuary and hides behind the local bushes when visitors approach it on the boat.

“The sighting of the white pelican is very rare in the Kolleru Lake. We have documented the white pelican in 2008 and 2013. In 2013, a pair of white pelicans was sighted at the sanctuary which is very rare in the wetlands in South India,” said P. Gracious, an authority on the Kolleru Lake. Mr. Gracious said the bird could be treated as ‘Passing Migrant’ and must have missed its flock. “The lone white pelican has never been seen breeding or nesting in the Kolleru Lake till date,” confirmed Mr. Gracious.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 10:38:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/lone-great-white-pelican-a-visual-treat-in-kolleru/article21828644.ece

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