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Migratory painted storks sighted at salt pans

Winged guests:A flock of painted storks in the salt pans near Humma in Ganjam, Odisha, on Sunday.- Photo: Lingaraj Panda

Winged guests:A flock of painted storks in the salt pans near Humma in Ganjam, Odisha, on Sunday.- Photo: Lingaraj Panda  

Migratory painted storks are being sighted at salt pans at Humma in Ganjam district of Odisha this winter.

Humma is major salt production centre of Odisha. Usually no fish and very few aquatic animals survive in the extreme saline water bodies of salt pans.

Although Humma is just few kms away from Chilika lake, a major destination of migratory birds during winter, very few migratory birds come here to nest because of low availability of food.

But this year hundreds of migratory painted storks are being sighted at salt pans. They are feeding on molluscs and insects found in the embankments of salt pans that are natural food of painted storks. But till now no nesting place of painted storks have been located near Humma.

Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Ashis Behera said it is quite heartening to know that migratory birds are arriving and feeding at salt pans.

Although till now there have been any reports of humans trying to harm these migratory birds, the forest department has decided to keep a watch for their safety.

According to the DFO, painted storks are inland migratory birds that come usually in winter to Chilika lake for nesting.

They come from northern parts of the country. In other parts of Ganjam district like Chatrapur away from Chilika lake open billed storks are also seen to be building nests on trees.

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