I am not a birder. I do not study about birds’ natural habitat, nor am I able to tell much about a kind of species, or identify them immediately. But when I know of a place where migratory birds gather, I love to go and watch them—I love birding.
Kokrebellur is a small village in the state of Karnataka in South India. ‘Kokkre’ in the local language means stork, named after the Painted storks that come here for breeding.
This is an easy day-trip from Bangalore (less than 100kms), or even from the city of Mysore.
Kokrebellur is a haven for painted storks and spot billed pelicans. There is a special bonding between the birds and the villagers; young birds roam freely on the ground, and the villagers tend on the injured ones. These birds are here from around late September to early May.
Some of the other birds that I saw here – black Ibis, little cormorants, indian pond heron, eagles.
On weekends the village children love to act as local guides for a small charge, but you actually won’t need one. Kokrebellur is a small village, and these birds are everywhere. Instead, you can make these kids’ day by distributing stationary (books, pencils, erasers, notebooks, color pencils, etc). We did this and instantly almost every child from the village was around me shouting ‘thank you teacher.’