Severe cyclonic storm Phailin turned the death of over 1,000 open-billed storks, the Siberian migratory birds that flock Uddanam in Srikakulam district every year, and were found dead in the aftermath of the monster storm. Forest officials fear that it would affect the migratory cycle of the birds and reduce their numbers from next year.
Telineelapuram and Telukunchi areas in Itchapuram mandal of the district are home to nearly 5,000 pelicans and open-billed storks that migrate from the Siberian region every year during June for nesting.
They fly-back in December, along with their offspring. But this year’s cyclone has killed more than 20 per cent of these birds, and rendered several thousands of them become homeless. Those few that survived the cyclone, are being safeguarded in a temporary shelter in a local school building at Telukunchi by the Forest officials. Kolleru is another habitat where these stork species flock during the season. “Many of them were chicks that fell off from the trees and died. We found even grown up birds dead,” said Srikakulam divisional forest officer, B Vijay Kumar.