Jharsuguda : In spite of having several big industries in Jharsuguda, it also has a rich natural abundance in and around it. Among one them, the scared groove of Jhadeswar Temple in Jharsuguda Town, which attracts hundreds of Asian Open Bill Stork birds, who visit every year to lay eggs and raise their chicks.

As the sacred groove of Jhadeswar temple is away from town, has a very peaceful environment, where these Asian Openbill Stork birds come in large numbers and setups a colony of nests around the trees. These tall and majestic birds arrive here during the month of May and remain here till September till they raise their chicks.

Openbill Stork is considered not to be a migratory bird, rather a resident bird that lives close to water bodies and paddy fields. This bird is very helpful to farmers as it feeds on Snails which are very destructive to agriculture & vegetable crops.

Jharsuguda Wildlife enthusiast and Bird Lover Asish Shukla says,” These birds have been visiting this place for many years. I have been tracking them for more than seven years. They usually come down here during Akshaya Tritiya in large numbers. They build their nest in the trees located in the Jhadeswar temple, lay eggs and raise their chicks and go to another place in September. Usually, Bird plays a very crucial role in our environment, they are also considered as the indicators of a healthy environment. We should always focus on bird conservation by building a small microhabitat. I would request everyone to come forward and conserve birds, which plays a vital role in our life. Subsequently, I also request the industrial houses present in the district to come forward and initiate some bird conservation projects which will be helpful for the environment also.”

Jharsuguda Divisional Forest Officer Lalit Kumar Patra said, “Like every year, Asian Open Bill Stork birds have arrived at Jhadeswar Temple Groove. They have started building their nest to lay eggs and raise their chicks. This year, we are planning to increase the green cover at the Jhadeswar temple premises so that it will attract a greater number of birds at this place.”