NFS launching poll for “India’s Most Loved Bird” to create awareness about avian wealth

Here comes the month of love. The romantic kind is already in the air with Valentine’s Day round the corner but the world needs more. Love for nature and environment being the pressing one, one can express it through a bird.

Capturing the flavour of the season, the Nature Forever Society (NFS) is launching a poll for the “India’s Most Loved Bird,” to create awareness about the rich avian wealth of the country.

You can participate in the poll at www.thehindushutterbug.com

Although only a few of the 1,301 species of birds feature in the contest, the aim is to put the spotlight on their status, their problems and the possible solutions that could go a long way to save them, says Mohammed Dilawar of NFS.

“Our bird life is interesting, colourful and amazing. Some birds never fly more than a few hundred metres from where they were born, and some of them are found nowhere else in the world while others visit us from different continents.”

Every bird is a hero in the untold saga of its fight for survival. But since all of them could not be featured, some of the most endangered and the endearing ones have been selected. There is the Sarus crane — the world’s tallest flying bird — and the Narcondam Hornbill, found only on a small remote island in the Andaman Islands along with the ubiquitous house sparrow which was recently declared the State bird of Delhi and of Bihar.

"Most of people still take avian neighbours for granted and hardly spare them a glance. It is hoped that efforts like this poll will encourage people to watch their feathered friends,” says Mr. Dilawar. “Once interest is stirred, more Indians will become aware of their problems and therefore, work towards a solution.”

The NFS initiative is in a way aimed at finding which bird the world’s biggest democracy loves. The Hindu has designed a simple voting system accessible to all. This voting system will be opened from midnight of February 14, 2013 and will be closed on the midnight of March 17, 2013. The result will be declared on March 20 at the main event of World Sparrow Day.

NFS is also encouraging people to campaign for their favourite birds. This can be done by designing posters, carrying online campaign and even shoot a video to influence one’s family and friends to vote. The campaign posters can be posted on the Nature Forever Society page on Facebook. The best campaign will get a bird attracting kit from NFS and the winner’s interview will also be published on NFS website.

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