Siberian Open Billed Storks flock Punyakshetram; villagers elated

Rajamahendravaram: Punyakshetram, a tiny village, on the outskirts of the city is echoing with the sounds of migratory birds "Siberian Open-Billed Storks," popularly known as "Gooda Kongalu." Every year more than 1,000 birds travel 8,000 Km from Siberia in Russia and reside in the village between July and December.

As the climate is conducive for them for breeding, they visit village for the last 100 years from Siberia. During their stay in the village, they build nests, lay eggs, hatch and return to their place with their young storks.

All the birds build nests on the top of the trees around a tank and also on the trees located on the premises of houses in the village. The villagers treat them as their guests during their stay and they protect them.

The storks feed their baby birds with fish and frogs and the villagers carefully leave the little birds in their nests if they fall from their nests. Moreover, the birds are also seen in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Speaking to The Hans India here on Sunday, a villager M Arjunudu said the entire village protects them and punishes if anyone touches the birds. Some youth in the village always watch the birds until they return to Siberia with their baby birds.

A farmer M Subramanyam said it is a wonder as to how can the birds travel to the village which is 8,000 km away from Siberia and return in the same way.

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