CHENNAI: As Northeast monsoon progresses, the breeding season for Spot-billed pelicans has begun in Tamil Nadu. The large-beaked birds have found cosy corners not only in the mangroves in the periphery of water bodies, but also on electric tower frames. With the breeding grounds cleaned by the rain, more pelicans were seen distributed in the tanks and rivers.
The birds usually gather in small groups on the surface, collecting fish in their large mouth, but sometimes are found even in large groups to drive fish to shallow ends of water bodies. One can spot them nesting along with painted storks in some places too.
The water birds were even found fishing near the coastal end of Cooum. This has taken birders and the travellers by a little surprise, as the birds that are commonly spotted in Adyar River and other water bodies in the city, usually avoid the highly polluted Cooum owing to lack of catch.
Pelicans are usually hunters who find their way to any place with heavy catch. “When the rain cleaned Cooum, it attracts fish that is looking for less saline water. The hyacinth is cleared out bringing in more biodiversity in the area,” said KVRK Thirunaranan from Nature Trust.