The painted storks of Kokrebellur

painted storks-2 cropped compressedIt’s a sight seen nowhere else on Earth.  Storks and humans living together in harmony, each unmindful of the other.

Kokkarebellur is a little village near the town of Maddur, 120 km from Bangalore. Since a thousand years, this place has been the nesting site of the endangered Painted Stork  (Mycteria leucocephalus, family Ciconidae).  Each year, during the first week of Feb, painted storks descend upon the village for their annual nesting program.  And each year, birders like myself visit Kokrebellur to pay our respects to this spectacular member of the Stork family.

It must be seen to be believed.  Beautiful Painted Storks on every tree, clattering their beaks, creating life, celebrating Nature.painted stork-4T

Kokrebellur is also the nesting ground for another endangered species – the Spot-billed pelican. The pelicans too live in harmony with the storks and humans. There are other rare birds in and around Kokrebellur – the Indian grey hornbill, yellow-footed pigeon, chestnut-shouldered petronia, common rosefinch, common hoopoe and many more. Kokrebellur is truly a birder’s delight.

One sincerely hopes a mall doesn’t come up there one fine day.

How to get there: Drive down Bangalore-Mysore highway (SH-17).  After you cross Ramanagaram and Channapatna, about 80 km from Bangalore, you will reach Maddur town.  About 5 km before the main town, you will come across a prominent left turn off the highway, with a large signboard pointing the way to Kokrebellur. From that point, Kokrebellur is about 15 km away. On the way, halt at Tailur tank. This is a good place to sight winter migrants like Northern shovelers and other duck species, and several other migrants like grey wagtails and black-tailed godwits.

Blue-tailed bee-eaters at Tailur tank.
Blue-tailed bee-eaters at Tailur tank.

Tailur tank has a resident population of the rare Blue-tailed bee-eater. See if you can spot them on the trees and electric wires around the tank.

Best time to visit: Third week of February. Enjoy!

Cheers … Srini.   BTW: All photos were shot by me. 



Google map herewith:


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