Onlookers amazed with sighting of rare bird in Bengal
A rare bird sighted at Sanbandha village on the outskirts of Bankura town in West Bengal amazed curious onlookers and bird lovers.
The bird was huge, typically 110-120 centimetres tall with a 210 centimetre wingspan and a body weight of around 5 kilograms.
Bankura's Sanmilani college Professor Biswaranjan Dhua said that the species of this bird is on the verge of extinction.
"This bird is actually Lesser Adjutant Stork. It is now vulnerable species. In West Bengal it is found only in wetland. It takes ten years to breed. Its population is about 40 in the state," said Dhua.
Approximately 3000 birds of this species are still in world. Only 40 birds of this particular species is on official record in West Bengal.
The region in and around Bankura is regarded as a haven for the Lesser Adjutant Stork, which is a rare species of the stork family. It normally builds its nests on very tall trees.
The main problem faced by these birds is the loss of their feed. There has been a shortage of fish and rodents due to shortage of water bodies in the area.
The Lesser Adjutant Stork, Leptoptilos javanicus, is a large wading bird of the stork ciconiidae family. It is a prevalent species in southern Asia from eastern parts of India to southern China and Java.
It is, however, the smallest member of the Leptoptilos genus.
The Lesser Adjutant Stork breeds in the wetlands of tropical lowlands. It builds a stick nest on the trees. It often forms small colonies.
The bird,like most of its family, feeds on frogs, fish and large insects, but also small birds, reptiles and rodents during the breeding season.
The hunting or the caging of endangered wildlife is banned in India, but lax laws and enforcement and mild punishment, ensure that the poaching and smuggling of rare species is rampant.
(Posted on 10-03-2014)