When Painted Storks and Pelicans come home to roost in AP's Kolleru Lake

Nearly 8,000 migratory birds, including 1,000 Painted Storks arrive, more flocks on their way

Updated - November 27, 2019 08:12 am IST

Published - November 26, 2019 02:10 pm IST - ATAPAKA (KRISHNA)

Afile photo of open billed storks at Atapaka Birds Sanctuary in Kolleru Lake in Andhra Pradesh.

Afile photo of open billed storks at Atapaka Birds Sanctuary in Kolleru Lake in Andhra Pradesh.

The Atapaka Bird Sanctuary on the West Godavari-Krishna district border at Kaikaluru in Kolleru Lake has become the lone safe breeding ground for the two migratory bird species.

Nests in place

“No less than 6,000 Grey Pelicans and nearly 1,200 Painted Storks have made the Atapaka Sanctuary their winter home for breeding. The Sanctuary, surrounded by an artificial pond, has a good vegetation cover supporting for arranging nests by the avian guests,” Kaikaluru Ranger (Wildlife) B. Vijaya told The Hindu .

“A few more thousands of Grey Pelicans and Painted Storks are believed to be on their way to Kolleru Lake within the next few days. We are preparing to ensure a safe breeding season in every possible way,” she added:

A really close view

Atapaka village is the only location in the lake where bird lovers can have a glimpse of the Painted Storks from close, less than 100 metres, and it’s the prime spot for photographers.

The present water level in Kolleru Lake, including Atapaka Sanctuary, is posing a slight challenge for the birds to hunt their prey in the deep waters. However, the water level is expected to start recceding in the coming weeks. Heavy inflow of water had been witnessed in the Kolleru Lake owing to recent rains.

More nesting spots

The migratory birds have chosen a few locations within Kolleru Lake for breeding and have arranged the nests. “Until the last breeding season, Atapaka and surrounding locations were preferred for nesting by the migratory birds. This season, we have sighted nests far away from the sanctuary at Adivilanka, Agadala Lanka and Ingilipaka Lanka in the Kolleru Lake,” pointed out Ms. Vijaya.

Moreover, the birds’ census in Kolleru Lake is likely to be carried out in early January, documenting the number of bird species that arrive at the lake, and the status of breeding.

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