Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary
One of the largest pelican habitats in Southeast Asia, Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary is spread across 404 sq km in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. The sanctuary gets its name from the Nelapattu village located close to the sanctuary.
The bird sanctuary is a breeding ground for rare and endangered species like Siberian Crane, Painted Stork, Spoon Bill, White Ibis and Spot-billed Pelican.
The birds in the sanctuary prefer to perch and nest in the foreshore areas, making this a great place for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers. More than 2000 birds of about 160 species migrate to the sanctuary especially during winter. Pelicans form a sizeable number of the migratory birds.
The reserve forest in the Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary is also home to jackals, spotted deers, and slender lorises. Reptiles like monitor lizards, snakes and tortoises are also found in various parts of the forest.
A deer park with about 20 deer is another highlight of the park. The park authorities provide vehicles that can be hired for a deer safari that takes through the most strategic points in the forest to spot deer and other animals.
A museum, library, education centre and auditorium with some audio-visual equipment near the entrance of the sanctuary, provides information about the flora and fauna of the sanctuary and its ecological importance.
Another great attraction of the sanctuary is the annual three-day Flamingo Festival that takes places in the second week of January. People from all over the country visit the sanctuary and the Pulicat Lake, which is also a hotspot for migratory birds. The three-day festival has various cultural programmes, rural sports and various competitions for spotting birds.