Pakshi enables anybody to add to bird data

Are sparrows really getting fewer in number? Does radiation from mobile phone towers affect birds? Where do migratory birds fly in from, where do they go, and when?

A team of students and faculty members from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), Bangalore, have developed a mobile phone application based on crowdsourcing to gather data that could answer these questions.

Harish Bhat, Research Scientist, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, told The Hindu that the bird monitoring freeware, called “Pakshi”, is designed for any bird enthusiast. He said, “Anyone who knows the difference between a crow and a pigeon can add to the data, all at the tap of a key.”

The status of many birds in the State, the country and the world, are not known. The application will help in gathering data, collected from various sources, about them. Right now, the application has data about around 186 species of birds from Karnataka, but it will be expanded to 1,300 species covering the whole of India.