‘Birds at ISB' has captured over 70 species of birds found on the campus

When was the last time you spotted an Oriental Magpie Robin or a Plum Headed Parakeet? From the Purple Sunbird to the White Throat Kingfisher, the ISB Hyderabad campus is a delight for any bird watcher. The campus covering 270 acres is home to over 70 different species of permanent and migratory birds. In search of the beautiful plumed Prinias or flocks of Silverbills, birders Raghoo Sinha, Raghuram Ananthasayana and Ruchi Sinha decided to put together their illustrations with brief descriptions of the feathered creatures in their book Birds at ISB.

“I was visiting my daughter (Ruchi Sinha) and on one of my morning walks around the campus I noticed so many species of birds. After that I started photographing them and putting the photographs on social networking sites,” explains Raghoo Sinha, an avid bird watcher and photographer.

An amateur bird watcher and current alumni member of ISB Raghuram Ananthasayana exchanged his photographs with Raghoo Sinha on a social networking site and that's how they discovered their common interest. “The photographs would be only a part of our personal collection if not for the Dean of ISB. He wanted us to do something out of our photographs and that's how the idea of a book came up,” explains Ruchi Sinha who is also a resident faculty in ISB.

Apart from beautiful illustrations that captured the birds in their resplendent colours and moods; the book gives some basic information on how to identify the birds, accompanied by simple self-explanatory graphics. “We made a conscious decision not to make it like a text book interpretation but help people understand and identify birds and their behaviour. The idea was to make people notice the beauty of the birds and create awareness about the flora and fauna in the campus,” says Raghuram. He explains that what started out as a hobby helped in the cause of the book.

Using a Nikon D700 and a Nikon D40 and a tripod, getting the photographs was not an easy task. “A lot of patience and my previous experience prepared us where to look for the birds,” says Raghoo Sinha. Ruchi adds that just a notebook and a pair of binoculars is sufficient for any birdwatcher. “Avoid flashy clothes; one has to blend into the environment,” is Raghuram's advice to amateur birders.

Apart from working on a DVD that will include recorded bird songs, the trio encourages people to take up bird watching. In fact, visitors and residents on the campus are provided with binoculars to observe the birds. Raghoo Sinha insists, “We still haven't photographed 34 species of birds that were spotted and it would be great if others do it.”

“I have learnt to personify these birds and we want the others also to be sensitive towards them. That's a step towards environmental conservation,” says Ruchi Sinha.

The book Birds at ISB is available at the merchandise and book store in the academic centre.