Metroplus

Spot the endemic winged friends

A few members of Hyderabad Birding Pals

A few members of Hyderabad Birding Pals

Harsh summer is upon us and migratory birds, like the flamingos that were spotted in the outskirts of the city a few weeks ago, have gone home. So summer is an ideal time to observe birds specific to our region. This is what a group of bird watchers will be doing on Saturday, May 9, to mark the Endemic Bird Day.

The group will set out at the crack of dawn to Ameenpur lake and spend a few hours recording each species of native bird they spot. Similar events have been planned in different cities and bird watchers will share their observations on ebird.org.

Ahead of the event, ebird shared a document with a list of endemic and near-endemic birds documented so far in the Indian subcontinent and it numbered to 226. Anshumaan Jha, founder of Hyderabad Birding Pals, has been a bird watcher for 25-26 years and was pleasantly surprised with this data. “When I shared the details with fellow birdwatchers, there were similar reactions of surprise and disbelief.”

Taking stock of birds will help maintain a record of native species. “Teams across India will be doing the same,” says Anshumaan. According to details of endemic birds on birdcount.in, the areas of high endemism are Western and Eastern Ghats and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. However, this doesn’t brush away the fact that native birds can be spotted across the country.

In March, members of Hyderabad Birding Pals ventured on a birding trip to spot migratory birds as part of Big Bird Day, similarly observed in different cities. “We spotted a number of migratory birds towards the end of winter. Endemic species are present all year round but summer is an ideal time to observe them since monsoons aren’t recommended for bird watching,” says Anshumaan.

The Ameenpur lake has emerged a hotspot for birding activity in the city. From the Indian Eagle Owl to Night Herons and Babblers, the lake is home to many birds. Each weekend, bird watchers go on field trips to different locations in the city armed with their telephoto lenses and feel that the chances of spotting different species of birds is higher at Ameenpur lake than Osmansagar and other areas. Hyderabad Birding Pals has conducted 51 bird walks so far and is looking forward to Endemic Bird Day and the knowledge sharing that will ensue.

Endemic Bird Day events are aimed at getting an annual snapshot of the distribution and breeding of native species. The event is open to anyone interested in bird watching. Bird watchers follow protocols such as not wearing bright colours and maintaining silence so as to not scare the birds away.

Those who cannot head out to Ameenpur lake can identity and record birds they spot in their neighbourhoods, gardens, balconies, work place or colonies and share the details on ebird.org.

Endemic Bird Day

On May 9, bird watchers will head out to Ameenpur lake to spot and record species of native birds specific to the Indian subcontinent.

Bird enthusiasts Robin Panigrahi (9912292044) and Naidu Kumpatla (9160333777) will be leading the teams.

Bird watchers will meet at Mr. Idly Dosa restaurant near Alwyn chowrastha at 6 a.m. on May 9.

For details, check Hyderabad Birding Pals page on facebook, ebird.org and www.birdcount.in


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Printable version | Oct 5, 2022 2:52:21 am | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/spot-the-endemic-winged-friends/article7180197.ece