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Siberian birds attract visitors at Uppalapadu

Ramesh Susarla

Average inflows of 3,500 pelicans is usual phenomenon


  • Uniqueness of this sanctuary is one can spot birds throughout the year
  • About 6,500 locals surrounding the lake take care of the birds



    WINGED WONDERS: A Spotbilled pelican is set to take off from its nest at Uppalapadu bird sanctuary. — Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar

    GUNTUR: Come October, Siberian migrant birds - Pelicans and Australian Painted Storks - land on the bushy growth on the islands of the freshwater tank at Uppalapadu near here. This season also, Spotbilled Pelicans chose this destination in hundreds. Their numbers rose abnormally high to the delight of bird watchers and Uppalapadu villagers, who coexist with them throughout the year.

    On an average, over 3,500 Pelicans visit this Bird Protection Centre of the Department of Forests, and a similar number of Painted Storks share the 4.5-acre densely populated sanctuary.

    Migratory birds

    The number of Siberian migratory birds is high and they have arrived one month ahead of the regular schedule, points out Nageswara Rao, caretaker at the sanctuary.

    "Our wait for Painted Storks from Australia continues and we expect some more will land at least before January 20," he told The Hindu .

    The uniqueness of this sanctuary is that one can spot a number of birds throughout the year. The number of birds inhabiting this small stretch of land/water body also makes it one of the densest place inhabited by migratory birds at any given time, anywhere in India, though the number could range between 3,000 and 12,000. These two major species put together should have been some 7,000 during this period, but to the astonishment of bird watchers it is above 5,000; but solace is 200 out of a thousand White Ibis that arrive around June 20 and leave within three months choose to breed here. Some Pelicans hatch eggs and some fall in the water. But no one dares to go near to rescue them as theyget frightened and abandon the place at one go . About 6,500 locals surrounding the lake take care of the birds that accidentally fall in the village.

    The caretakers rush injured ones to local veterinarian and release back birds into the flock .

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