Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Spot-billed Pelican - Pelecanus Philippensis

The Spot-billed Pelicans can be seen breeding and nesting at Kokkare Bellur village. The birds coexist with the villagers, and nest on trees in and around the village. The bird droppings are rich in phosphorus and potassium; good manure for the agricultural lands.

The season is during September-October to May-June. The village has sign boards indicating the direction to the parking lot. Pay a nominal amount to the caretaker. You will be flocked by young boys on their bi-cycles, promising to show you birds. They can pester you till you yield! Please kindly ignore them. You don't need a guide because, as you enter the village, you can see colonies of birds nesting on trees (fig, tamarind, and so on). The call of birds will direct you to the trees, if you are unable to sight them. You can freely roam around the village but ensure to respect privacy and culture. Do not harm the natural habitat. Do not, please, try to touch the birds or nest or eggs or even fallen chicks. Do NOT pay money to anyone!

The Karnataka Forest Department works with the villagers to protect birds visiting the village. The department provides a compensation (a fixed amount of money) for each tree that the birds use for nestling. This scheme is in place to compensate the loss of benefits from not harvesting tamarind (from trees) and the land below the trees.

For list of birds we sighted, see My eBird Checklist.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Painted Stork - Mycteria Leucocephala

We've grown up seeing these birds at Ranganathittu bird sanctuary (at Mandya district, on way to Mysore). The season happens to be from November to June. We can also see this bird nesting at Kokkarebelluru. This is a small sleepy village; villagers protect the birds during nesting period. In fact, they have a protection area for the young ones that fall off the trees or those that are abandoned by parents. Will talk more about these two places later.

The Painted Stork is an amazingly beautiful bird; widespread resident in plains. The down-curved yellow bill, orange head, pink legs, long wings,white-black wings, and pink tertial feathers are distinctive of the bird. The juvenile is greyish-white and has greyish-brown feathers. The adult birds look stunning when in flight.

Painted Stock collecting nesting material
Adult Storks with chicks