Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ranganthittu bird sanctuary

Ranganthitttu has been a special place to us and we have lost count on the number of times we have been here...

Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary is located in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka in India. It is a very small sanctuary, being only 67 km². in area, and comprises six islets on the banks of the Kaveri River. Ranganthittu is located near the historic town of Srirangapatna.
The islets came into being when a dam across the Kaveri river was built in the 18th century. The ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali observed that the isles formed an important nesting ground for birds, and persuaded the Wodeyar kings of Mysore to declare the area a bird sanctuary in 1940.

Bird watching can be done by opting for a boat ride or walking along the banks, just around anywhere. Gardens and artificial ponds are created to keep the families busy. A small canteen caters to the hungry stomachs within the sanctuary area.
Pied Kingfisher - The Pied KF is a water kingfisher and is found widely distributed. This KF is about 17cm long and is white with a black mask mainly feeding on fishes. The Pied Kinfisher is estimated to be the worlds third most common Kingfisher and is a noisy bird, unmissable in its range.
Black headed Ibis (White Ibis) - is a species of wading bird of the Ibis family. It feeds on various fish, frogs, insects and other water creatures. Adults are typically 75 cm long and white plumaged. The bald head, neck and legs are black.
Spot Billed Pelican - is a relatively small pelican but still a large bird. It is 125–152 cm (49–60 in) long and a weight of 4.1–6 kg (9-13.2 lbs). It is mainly white, with a grey crest, hindneck and a brownish tail. The feathers on the hind neck are curly and form a greyish nape crest. The pouch is pink to purplish and has large pale spots, and is also spotted on the sides of the upper mandible. Like most other pelicans, it catches fish in its huge bill pouch while swimming at the surface. The birds nest in colonies and the nest is a thick platform of twigs placed on a low tree.

The particular description for each species is inspired from this wonderful piece of blog by Rohini and Keshav. Intend to cover more species as my visits to this place keep increasing :)

Bird checklist:
Spot billed Pelican,
White Ibis,
Grey Heron,
Pied Kingfisher,
White breasted Kingfisher,
Barn Swallows,
Stone Plover,
River Tern,
Night Heron,
Small Cormorant,
Grey headed fish eagle .
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