.It was Ayilakkad wetlands near Ponnani.The water stretches have grown leaner and drier under the trail blazing April sun.The sky was partly over cast. I could spot a bird in the shallow muddy waters amid egrets and other shore birds..it was more than half meter long and seemed bigger than egrets .it had been persistently moving its curved sword like beak in the shallow muddy waters of Ayilakkad wet lands.it had been moving the sword for a long time as though it felt that the whole wet lands would be dried up by the next day.I could trace a dull black bird.Its is a small dark ibis that looks black in the distance.The Glossy Ibis ,Plegadis falcinellus amid a group of egrets foraging food flew up and down made complainig sounds,,but the silent solitary bird was busy with its pursuit. when we zoom the neck is reddish-brown and the body is a bronze-brown with a metallic iridescent sheen on the wings. the term glossy becomes meaning ful there.The distinctive long, curved bill is olive-brown,the skin on the face is blue-grey with a bordering white line that extends around the eyes. The eyes, legs and feet are brown. Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibis.Though glossy ibis are midsized they have a body mass that ranges from half kg to one kg. They are more than half meter long .Inspite of their size and weight,they remain excellent fliers.They are capable of soaring up in the sky.Ibises fly with necks outstretched,They fly gracefully often in V shaped flocks.AYILAKKAD Dt 20. 4. 2014
The bird is believed to have originated in Africa and was later was distributed to north america and other regions of the world.they usually breed in Europe.they stay inAfrica during winter,and disperse to other parts of the world.
The Glossy Ibis requires shallow water and mudflats, so is found in well-vegetated wetlands, floodplains, mangroves and rice fields.
Glossy Ibis feed on frogs, snails, aquatic insects and spiders in damp places. They feed by probing the water and mud with their long, curved bill.
Our child hood memories never painted the image of a flock of open billed strokes foraging in the wet fields ,white ibis silently probing in shallow muddy waters or several woolly necked storks fight for food with cattle egrets behind a ploughing tractor after the first summer rain.Though the shore bird population was varied and rich in those days along the banks of the river,we failed to trace ibis in the rice fields. But nowadays it is possible to find migratorybirds very easily in the rice fields close to Bharathappuzha i could spot four ibis in thge rice fields close to MANNIAM PERUMPALAM near Kumbidi.on 2.10 .2014.These migratory birds might have adapted themselves to paddy fields as the wet land shrunk .
The rice fields close to Bharathappuzha at Maniamperumbalam near kumbidi remaied wet and tidy after the seedling plantation in mid september. Icould spot easily four glossy ibis who feed vigourously in the clear shallow waters amid the newly planted rice seedlings. Later they preened themselves foraged again and when they felt the sense of being watched they flew awayIcould spot them frequently by the same area during the following week.
Shrinking of available paddyfieilds in kerala pose a grave threat to the wetland bird population.Really wet lands facilitate as breeding ground for birds.As the wast stretches of wet lands were transformed into new physical features the bird population has .but the shrinking of the paddy fields have put a question mark on the existence of shore birds. The future of the species is bleak as there is change in the current farming practices… the open billed storks straying without food could be called a refugee bird instead a migratory bird.
A bird census held on January 17 in Pathanamthitta district which covered the wetlands in the project area recorded as many as 1,000 water birds belonging to 22 species.The general conclusion of the census reveals a steady total count in the district compared to the previous year. But the sighting of dry habitat species brings a real concern on the increasing temperature in the district,”
The increased number of Black Kites, a known scavenger, in the River Pampa indicates the increased pollution owing to dumping of poultry waste.
The sighting of Whiskered Terns, generally found in stagnant waters such as paddy fields also were reported from the river, indicating the degradation of the river ecosystemThe vast tracts of wetlands in central Kerala have been witnessing a considerable increase in the arrival of birds that use kole fields and small water bodies in dry lands as their habitats.
. According to an initial survey of the Kerala Bird Race-2010, the Painted Stork and Glossy Ibis that live in the wetlands of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have been spotted in large numbers in central Kerala.“Since the birds are considered as an indicator species, the large-scale presence of these species could be seen as an indication of the water bodies in central Kerala drying up”, the study said.
the census reported the sighting of a Blue Throat, a flock of Glossy Ibis and a dozen Asian Openbills which are commonly found in dry wetlands with high atmospheric temperature.. thus the birds turns to be the winged indicators of ecological imbalance.“The wetlands of the district need to be protected for the existence of these birds and thereby the agricultural sector and a sustainable socio-economic status.
According to a Turkish belief Ibis was one of the first birds that Noah released from the Ark as a symbol of fertility,.this lingering religious sentiment in Turkey helped the ibis a lot there to survive .we should weave a morrn myth and action plan for preserving the available wetlands.
Migratory birds such as the Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, black headed seagull,open billed stork,mooorhen,jacanasn,and Glossy Ibis were reported along the banks of Bharathappuzha.