TNN | Feb 19, 2017, 08.46 AM IST
KANYAKUMARI: The clearing of the prosopis juliflora (karuvelam trees) by setting the bushes on fire following an order of the Madurai bench of the Madras high court has come as a blessing in disguise as it has attracted some rare winged visitors to Kanyakumari district. Bird watchers spotted more than 10 woolly-necked storks at Manakudi Bird Reserve, a rare phenomenon in a coastal stretch, according to them.
The woolly-necked stork is a medium large bird, typically 85cm tall. It is glistening black with black 'skull cap', white neck, white lower belly and upper parts are glossed dark green, and the breast and belly have a purple hue. It is a widespread tropical species which breeds in Asia, from India to Indonesia, and also in Africa. In India, the bird is a resident and spotted in water bodies adjacent to forest areas.
The bird is listed as 'vulnerable' under International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is rare to find woolly-necked stork in coastal areas and one bird was spotted five years ago. In recent incidents, forest rescue team found an injured bird at Muttom fishing harbour on December 28, 2016. It apparently strayed into a coastal area and suffered from exhaustion. Forest department nurtured it back to health and released it later.