New Delhi: Delhi zoo has achieved a record breeding programme this year, with the local migratory 'painted stork' birds laying between 1,500 and 1,800 eggs.
"We have recorded the best breeding figure this year with our local guests the 'painted storks' laying 1,500-1,800 eggs at the zoo. Last year, the figure stood at 1,290. The birds migrate to the zoo from Himachal Pradesh every August. They will fly back to their native place in March," Riyaz Khan, zoo curator said.
The National Zoological Park receives a batch of 800-1,000 painted storks every year.
"Light wooden sticks are thrown around the bird enclosures for the storks to make nests. The painted storks generally make their own nests. This time we ran out of nests and found the eggs being laid even in the chimpanzee and Nilgai enclosures," Khan said.
"We also increase the supply of 2 by 4 inch fish to these birds," he said.
Explaining the peculiar nature of the wading birds, the curator said that the parent painted storks fly back to their native place leaving behind the eggs. The young ones that take 16 weeks to mature go back to their parents with the help of a "strong smelling power".
The adult storks can be identified by their 'yellow' beaks while the younger ones have 'grey' beaks.
"The beak colour can turn into a dim shade due to the pollution level of the area they migrate to," the official added.