Udaipur : Favorable weather conditions coupled with food availability is attracting large number of birds towards Southern most parts of Rajasthan. Gamreshwar talab in Saagwara of Dungerpur district is grooming into an important bird area with many varieties of the avifauna seen here. In particular a large colony of the painted storks, listed among the nearly threatened species, have been reported here this time. More than 200 nests of the storks may be seen here around the surrounding area of Gamreshwar pond.
“ The number of painted storks have been gradually increasing in the region and even the government had declared it as the lucky mascot of the district. They can be seen in good numbers in Bicchiwada, Dhambola, Karoli, Bhiluda, Bodigama etc” said Kamlesh Sharma, a bird lover and a government officer. Painted storks being large and colourful birds, their nesting colonies become centres of tourist interest. This large stork has a heavy yellow beak with a down-curved tip that gives it a resemblance to an ibis.
The head of the adult is bare and orange or reddish in colour. The long tertials are tipped in bright pink and at rest they extend over the back and rump. There is a distinctive black breast band with white scaly markings. They breed in trees along with other water birds. The platform nests are typically placed in a tree on an island or in an otherwise undisturbed area. The best nesting sites are at the tops of the trees and birds jostle for these locations. In some areas where they have been left undisturbed they nest very close to human habitations. Besides the storks, Pelicans, Darters, Coots, cranes, ducks, Egrets, Ibis, Wagtails, Shanks are other species to name a few which are found in good numbers here.