New Delhi: Much to the delight of bird-watchers, painted storks have descended on the Delhi zoo this monsoon, a month ahead of the expected arrival of these large wading migratory birds.
"We received the first batch of 202 painted storks this August. We are expecting more numbers and hope they will stay in the zoological park here till March next year," Riyaz Khan, the zoo curator, said.
Though the birds usually start migrating in September, the painted storks arrived early his time due to good monsoon.
"The birds migrate from Kufri and Pong Dam regions of Himachal Pradesh. Monsoon is the best time for them and their diet depends on rainfall. They usually feed on fish," he said.
The zoo has made special arrangements for the new guests in its ponds.
"Painted storks form nesting colonies in areas full of moss, as they are also fond of insects," the official said.
Delhi zoo and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan are the places where these birds come for breeding.
The painted storks, scientifically known as Mycteria Leucocephalia, have a heavy yellow beak with a down-curved tip.
"We hope many more tourists and bird watchers will turn up at the zoo as the painted storks never fail to attract attention," Khan added.