Efforts of seven youngsters in documenting bird species gain importance. Rathod along with six other friends of his - Ravi Kanth Reddy, Vijay Potnuru, G.P Rao, Praveen Mallampati, Gnaneswar Ch, Sridhar Vaddi - have formed a group called Trendsetters Charitable Trust (TCT).

The call of a pair of roosting and spotted owlets pierced through the morning silence. This was enough to alert a group of young photographers who stood in freeze positions with lenses aimed at different spots. And then there was an excited whisper from one of them: “Oh! That’s an Alexandrine parakeet!”

Rare sight

A scheduled bird under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, this intelligent, playful creature is a rare sight in the cities, as is the case with several other bird species that have migrated from the growing urban jungle. It is in this particular context that the efforts of seven youngsters in documenting bird species around the region gain importance.

So when Vivek Rathod spotted an Alexandrine parakeet on an early morning of March, the excitement was palpable. Rathod along with six other friends of his - Ravi Kanth Reddy, Vijay Potnuru, G.P Rao, Praveen Mallampati, Gnaneswar Ch, Sridhar Vaddi - have formed a group called Trendsetters Charitable Trust (TCT), who set off on their motorcycles every Sunday to explore the city’s neighbourhood. Their aim: to make a list of bird species in and around the region and work towards conservation methods.

In the last one and a half years, the team documented 125 species of birds, some endangered ones among them. The team’s latest report was on the nesting grounds of the white-bellied sea eagle, whose population has been on a decline from the city centres.

The list of birds spotted by these youngsters in the neighbourhood is a rich mine of information - bronze-winged jacana, baya weaver, rufous treepie, black-shouldered kite, crested serpent eagle, hoopoe, hornbills, glossy Ibis, spot-billed pelican, scaly-breasted munia, painted stork, purple rumped sunbird and black-rumped flameback woodpecker.

The bird species have been identified at areas such as Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary, Simhachalam Hills, Kapuluppada, Mudasarlava, Meghadri Gedda, Araku Valley, Yarada Beach and Bheemunipatnam. The team also visited neighbouring areas like Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Kolleru Sanctuary, Telineelapuram Sanctuary.

For taking up conservation measures, the team has approached the Forest Department for the restoration of habitat of migratory bird species in Telineelapuram, after the devastating effects of the cyclone that uprooted several trees in the area. “We hope to start tree plantation and other activities this monsoon,” says Rathod.

More In: Visakhapatnam