Kokkrebellur is a haven for birds

Kokkrebellur, in native Kannada, means the village of storks. During October-November every year this village, a ragtag assortment of tiled and thatched houses, teems with feathered activity, as it turns home to migratory birds. Flocks of Painted Storks (Ibis leucocephalus) and Spot-billed Pelicans (Pelecanus philippenis) descend on this hamlet to build their nests and rear their young.

To the villagers, these winged visitors are welcome guests. So much so that if they fail to turn up in a year, they believe it bodes ill for the village. Around five years ago, the birds failed to keep their annual tryst. That year, drought and an outbreak of flu took a heavy toll on the villagers. No one knows what really brings them here,” is the common refrain, which leaves you wondering why these flocks travel hundreds or perhaps thousands of miles — from as far away as Siberia, according to some findings — to home in here.

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