Drying tanks deprive birds of their natural habitat

Drying tanks deprive birds  of their natural habitat

Egrets and cormorants  have come out of the drying tank in Toopalli village in Srinivsapur taluk. DH Photo

The unusually high temperatures and lack of rains are drying up tanks. Water is drying up even in tanks like the one in Toopalli village in the taluk which runs deep.

The small tanks and lakes always filled with chirping of the birds have slowly come to a halt. Some of the local water birds that are usually spotted in the tanks are white and ash cranes, egrets and cormorants. Rarely a few birds with coloured head and red feathers come from other places. It is a joyful sight to see the birds moving in water in boat-like formation. The way they dip their heads and come out with fish indeed brings great joy. However, due to lack of rain the tanks are drying up. The fishermen have compeletely taken over what little water is left of the place. Where is the place for the birds.

Earlier, the birds would hunt for their food in the tanks filled with water.  Now they have become targets for hunters’ rifles. As they are found in groups, they have become their preys. The local cranes are now going in search of food and the most common food they find is the lice on the bodies of the cattle. They also move in the farms and eat the insects found there. Only when the tanks fill up again with the monsoon showers, can the birds go back to their habitat. Till then escaping the bullets of hunters is not an easy task.

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