Slow down, take a deep breath. Listen to the birds and let the melody relax you.

Who wouldn't love to listen to bird song? Stop and listen to the liquid notes that come floating through the trees. A composition with bird songs or bird calls is nothing short of a beautiful creation. A. J. Mithra, music teacher at the M.C.C. Campus Matriculation School, Tambaram has put together songs of birds to make a composition that would be the envy of any composer.

While downloading music, he says he came across bird calls that got him interested in the beauty of the sound. “It was like walking in a jungle,” he smiles. Later while travelling on his bike, he heard a bird song and thought it was the ringtone of his mobile phone.

From then, he took to bird watching and “bird hearing”.

The MCC campus is a bird watchers' paradise and the school is situated inside the campus. Mithra got the school kids involved — they listened to the birds and this eventually led to bird watching. The kids often go on many bird walks and now are able to identify the bird by the call.

“When we go on a bird walk, we have to be very, very quiet. We can hear them but we can't see them most of the times. We first heard the sound “cu, cu cu” and then we saw the cuckoo,” says R. Steffi Jones Evangeline of Std. V.

The students are also on the lookout for wounded birds and have tended a hurt crow back to “health”. Bird feeders and water spots are soon to be installed.

Oriental magpies are a melodious species, says Mithra. They literally “sing” and are believed to sing around 15 to 20 tunes improvising on it all along. They could go on and on for a long time.

The Black Drongo is aggressive, they fight and suddenly seem to make up — their call sounds like a hiss, with something of a mocking tone.

The common Iora carries on a kind of trilling conversation, which is also a territorial call. Mithra has composed a piece of music with 15 different bird songs titled “Walk through the woods”.

There are more than 90 species on campus he said and when the lake is full, migratory birds and waders are frequent visitors.

Constant listening to the song of birds and watching them, learning about their habits and their “lifestyle” will help us understand our feathered friends.Bird box:

The dawn chorus is important as it shows that they are alive. So they sing lustily.

Females imitate the males, to scare predators or to inform the male about the predator.

The males need to impress the girls – for the girls seem to think that males who sing well are only fit enough to raise a family.

If mates are not found, then there is no reproduction and this is disastrous for the world of nature

Birds are important as they are sowers, pollinators, scavengers and pest controllers.

Take care to -

Keep water to drink

Not overfeed them. They get too heavy to fly and the next generation might have smaller wings.

Gift a bird friendly tree to your school.

Not to prune trees as birds do not come to pruned ones.

Links to listen:

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/celebration/community/aj-mithra

http://www.youtube.com/user/ajmithra

http://www.bnhsenvis.nic.in/Kids%20corner%20-%20AJ%20Mithra%20videos.htm

http://www.welovebirds.org/profile/ajmithra