Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Painted storks brought down by gale ready to fly again

 

 

 

 

The painted stork chicks that were injured after falling from tree tops when a gale struck Koonthankulam bird sanctuary near Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district on April 29 are fast recovering.

 

 

They have started flapping their wings and taking off from the foster care shelter provided by the forest department. Twenty birds have already left the sheds and shifted to the nests in the sanctuary The gale which struck in the evening had uprooted many acacia and neem trees around the bird sanctuary, causing the death of 68 painted storks, 65 of them chicks too young to fly. It also left more than 100 chicks injured when the nests fell.

 

 

These birds were treated under the care of S Palpandi, 64, the veteran caretaker of the sanctuary, as the big birds don’t accept chicks that have fallen down.

 

A month after the incident, a few birds have grown in size and strength and some have already started flying, while the rest will take off in two to three weeks. On the directions of Tirunelveli collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish, fresh sea fish were being fed to these big chicks since then. Every day, an estimated 60kg to 70 kg of small fish varieties such as Chalai (Sardine) and Nethili (Anchovies) are brought from Uvari and Thisayanvilai coastal villages exclusively for the recovering chicks.

 

 

“Each chick feeds on about half a kilogram of fish for every feed and needs feeding twice a day,” Palpandi said and added that the birds also enjoy a bath twice a day to keep them cool from the scorching sun.


 

 

Source: Times of India, 30 May 2019, Chennai.