Reduction in area under paddy cultivation is said to have had a telling effect on their food supply
Birds which had hitherto made areas under paddy cultivation as their home in the district seem to have abandoned the place following a drastic decrease in the area under that crop. Birds that are not to be seen are storks, painted storks, open bill storks, bishop storks and ibises, which had food aplenty in the paddy fields in the recent years.
About 45,000 hectares of land as against the normal paddy cultivation area of 56,000 hectares has been left fallow owing to long dry spell this monsoon. Almost all the minor tanks in the district have gone dry which evidently has a telling effect on the food supply for larger birds.
Different varieties of storks started arriving at Adilabad after paddy cultivation picked up in the mandals along the Godavari river and in the interior mandals of Koutala, Bejjur, Dahegaon, Vemanpalli and Nennel in the last few years. The larger birds shared the habitat with other local species like cormorants, egrets and ibises of all types.
These birds, except for the painted storks, can now be seen, albeit less in numbers, in Bejjur mandal which continued to be an excellent bird habitat even during the harsh summer and monsoon months. According to the Bejjur Forest Range Officer, M. Ram Mohan, the number of black ibises seems to have increased during the period in question. “The open bills are present in good numbers as also the large, medium, lesser and the ubiquitous cattle egrets,” he pointed out.