The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), a four-day event, was taken up across the State from Friday.

The ashy minivet that was spotted at Theosophical Society and a huge flock of Pacific golden plovers seen at the Adyar estuary were the two rare sightings during the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) in the city this year.

The count, a four-day event, was taken up across the State from Friday. Naturalists, bird watchers and ornithologists participated in the event.

In Chennai, members of the Madras Naturalists’ Society (MNS) formed eight groups and visited places such as Siruthavoor, Adyar Estuary, Perumbakkam marsh, Pulicat lake, Kelambakkam backwaters, Guindy National Park, IIT-M campus, Navalur lake, Manimangalam lake, Theosophical Society, and Annamalaicherry and recorded the presence of various species.

According to Gnanaskandan of MNS, more birds were spotted this year due to an increase in the number of participants.

In fact, Tamil Nadu State topped the list in the sighting of maximum number of birds during the count.

The State recorded sightings of 227 species, Mr. Gnanaskandan told The Hindu. The count is an annual event.

On the first two days, the birders recorded the birds in their backyard. Some of them even counted the number of birds found in their backyard, he said.

The count would continue on Monday.

The bird count is mainly taken up to check the distribution of birds and also to monitor global population trends.

Compared to last year, the number of sightings of wetland species has come down.

But overall, the bird sightings this year have gone up by a considerable number, he added.

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