It’s an annual ritual for me. Come February, I pack up my heavy professional camera with a heavier 500mm lens and an even heavier camera tripod, and head off to Kokkrebellur.
Tucked away inside Maddur district, 120km from Bangalore, this village gets it name from the Kannada “kokkare” meaning “stork” and “bella uru” meaning “jaggery village”.
The village cultivates sugarcane and is noted for the jaggery it produces from that cane. What makes Kokkrebellur famous however, is its large population of Painted storks. During the breeding season, the storks, in fact, outnumber the humans!
Without fail, during the third week of February, hundreds of Painted storks descend upon the village to breed. The village has several banyan and tamarind trees, and each of these trees is packed with Painted storks. Other birds like Spot-billed pelicans, Black-crowned night herons and Brahminy kites also nest in the trees, but the Painted stork…
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