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Khammam village comes to life with winged visitors

Khammam village comes to life with winged visitors
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Every winter, Chintapalli village, a small village in Khammam district comes to life with the chirping of the winged visitors from Siberia in Russia.

Khammam: Every winter, Chintapalli village, a small village in Khammam district comes to life with the chirping of the winged visitors from Siberia in Russia.

The migratory Siberian birds usually arrive in January and stay till the month of July after building nests and breeding their young ones. The birds mainly Pelicans make Chintapalli village their winter home, nest and roost and fly back home as summer begins to set in.

For the locals, the birds are welcoming guests and they do everything possible not to disturb the habitat. For them, it is bad omen if the birds skip their

annual trip.

This time birds reached little late. Usually birds arrive in January but this year they came a bit late. The villagers had been waiting for their guests for last one month now they are happy.

The birds perch themselves on the lush vegetation that hems the village lake and feast on the abundantly available fish.

"The village turns into a tourist spot every winter as a large number of people from erstwhile Khammam district come to greet the migratory birds" said M Srinivasa Rao, a villager. The villagers are worried that the government is doing very little to protect the birds and develop the spot.

The village Sarpanch, M Krishna Rao appealed to the government to recognise the village as the tourist place. He said for many years the Siberian birds come here but the government and Forest officers do not take any protecting measures here.

The birds are troubled by monkeys, he said and added that the Panchyat and Forest officer should control the monkeys and save the visitor wings. In summer season the no water is available in the ponds and birds suffered a lot. This time, the number of monkeys are moving in the villages and playing on the trees and disturbing the nests of birds on trees.

In another village, about 70 years old Venkateswarlu, who saw the birds from many years, explained how the birds behave during the six months. He said, the people in the villages play host to the visiting birds and do their best for them every year.

He added that the birds come here from thousands of kilometres away. Before coming all birds from the place, a group of birds come here in the month of December and observing the places and food facilities and estimating the weather. The people in the villagers call the group of the birds as pilots, after confirming the birds get back their home country.

After that in January month the number of birds came back with the support of the pilot birds. The birds like to be very close to the human being. The male birds go out in search of food and bring food items for female birds and their children in the nest just like humans do in their lives.

The birds build nests within five and six days on the trees after arriving here. "They come here, lay eggs and hatch the eggs, go back to the native place after the hatchlings are grown up", he explained.

Mainly the birds built nests on the Chinta Chettulu (tamarind trees). The tamarind trees in the village provide a perfect abode for these birds while fishes from the 'Chintapalli Lake' near Paleru reservoir are their source of food, he informed.

Chintapalli village which is known for its tamarind trees had over 100 of them over a decade ago, he said.

As part of protection of birds the villages pledged themselves to protect these birds, a fine of Rs 500 will be slapped if anyone hunts them, he said. The villages used to call them red legged cranes also.

"Only twice in the last 57 years did the birds give the annual voyage a miss and the village suffer famine both times'' he said. A 63-year-old R Lingaiah said, "we all believe that these birds are lucky for us as whenever they come we get good rains.

We don't remember exactly since when these birds started coming to our village, because I have been seeing them since my childhood.

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