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In Kokrebellur, a small village in Maddur taluk, 80 km from Bengaluru, birds and humans live in complete harmony. Birds are seen everywhere – sipping water from earthern bowls and chirping away in the backyard of village homes. The village is named after the painted stork, called Kokkare in Kannada, which comes here to nest every year. Though Kokrebellur is not a reserved bird sanctuary, it is home to spot-billed pelicans, cormorants, black ibis, night herons and pond herons.
The trees on which there may be 10 to 20 nests are close to the village homes but this does not disturb villagers. Kokrebellur is one of the 21 breeding sites and villagers have adopted the birds as their heritage. They have even set aside an area where injured birds can rest till they can fly off. The farmers benefit from the phosphorus and potassium rich manure from the bird droppings and the tourism they have brought to their village. The government too compensates the farmers for the trees claimed by the birds because there can be no agriculture under the trees occupied by birds.