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Painted Stork

Posted by Gautam Chakrabarti on September 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm
Viewed 201 times

A Flying Painted Stork – @ Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary – Andhra Pradesh, India.
This photo was snapped on 16-12-2012

Camera Canon EOS 7D

Lens Model EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Exposure 0.002 sec (1/640)

Aperture f/8.0

Focal Length 400 mm

ISO Speed 100

The Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a large wading bird in the stork family. It is found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia south of the Himalayas in the Indian Subcontinent and extending into Southeast Asia. Their distinctive pink tertial feathers give them their name. They forage in flocks in shallow waters along rivers or lakes. They immerse their half open beaks in water and sweep them from side to side and snap up their prey of small fish that are sensed by touch. As they wade along they also stir the water with their feet to flush hiding fish. They nest colonially in trees, often along with other waterbirds. They only sounds they produce are weak moans or bill clattering at the nest. They are not migratory and only make short distance movements in some parts of their range in response to food and for breeding. Like other storks, they are often seen soaring on thermals.
Source : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painted_Stork

Pulicat lake bird sanctuary is a saline backwater lake lying along the T.N.-A.P coast; part extending to Chengalpattu district of T.N. It has an area of 481 sq.KM and it is the 2nd largest brackish water lagoon in India after Chilka lake in Orissa. The area on the TN side is 153.67 sq.km.
The Pulicat sanctuary is drained by Arni river while the Buckingham canal brings in the city’s drainage water. At the southern end is an opening on to Bay of Bengal through a shallow mouth of 200 m in width. The rest of the lake is closed by a sand bar running parallel to the Bay of Bengal in the form of the Sriharikota island.
The sanctuary has an area of 321 Sq. KM with 108 sq.KM of National Park area.
It lies within 11o 30’ N to 11o 42’ N and 76o 30’ E to 76o 45’ E.
Rainfall ranges from 800 – 2000mm. Temperature varies from 14o C to 33o C.
Altitude ranges from 100’ MSL to 1200’ MSL.
The wetlands eco system are considered as among the richest areas of bio diversity. Pulicat, by virtue of the mixing of fresh water with sea water is found to be an ideal habitat for diverse life-forms. 160 species of fish, 25 species of polychaete worms, 12 species of prawn, 19 species of mollusk and 100 speceis of birds are well documented apart from a number of other aquatic flora and fauna.

Among the most spectacular is the flamingo-a tall gaunt, white-coloured bird with a touch of pink on the wings, pink beak and legs, seen feeding in shallow water. The squat, large-billed grey pelican with gular pouch and a number of ducks are commonly seen. Flocks of sea gulls and terns circling in the sky or bobbing up and down on the water are an added attraction at pulicat. Besides, there are a number of waterside birds and waders such as curlews, stilts, plovers, sand pipers, lapwings, redshank. Egrets, herons, kites etc. are some other birds found here. The lake is also home to crabs, clams, mussels, oysters, snails, fish worms, insects, spiders, sponges, anemone, prawns, plankton and so on including rare endemic species like gilled leech, an unidentified bloodred fish, etc., Rapid siltation has caused loss of bio diversity. It is seen that mangrove opllen is found on Sriharikota Island indicating their existence some years back. Loss of mangroves may be one of the resons hastening siltation, reducing biodiversity and hence depriving fisherfolk of their livelihood.
Source : www.forests.tn.nic.in/wildbiodiversity/bs_plbs.html