Bird race records improving habitat

Birders’ delight: One of birds spotted during the bird race in Hyderabad.

Birders’ delight: One of birds spotted during the bird race in Hyderabad.  

85 birders spotted about 217 species of birds in the dawn-to-dusk exercise

The 11th edition of annual bird race in Hyderabad has spotlighted the improving habitat for birds in the city and its surrounding areas. As 85 birders began the dawn-to-dusk exercise of racing through the city while counting as many avian species they spotted, the tally was higher than last year or the year prior to that.

“The participants have recorded about 217 species of birds in total, and learnt about the finer points of bird-watching from the experts,” said Srikanth Bhamidipati of Deccan Birders.

“This year, the bird sightings were good with species such as Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Booted Eagle, Ultramarine Flycatchers, and Eurasian Wryneck, among others. A good number of geese, few owls and many other species were also being spotted. Out of the 18 teams, about 10 crossed more than 100 species mark,” he informed.

The Bird Race is a dawn-to-dusk race against time, where teams of bird-watchers spend the entire day birding around demarcated bird habitat in and around Hyderabad.

Waterbodies and their surrounding areas are a favourite hunting ground for birders as they present mixed habitats with a range of avian fauna in the shrubland surrounding it and a higher density of water birds. The bird race is considered an index of health of ecology and creates an awareness about bird conservation and protection of its habitat.

In the 2018 bird race, 211 species were counted by 15 teams, the number in 2019 was 213 logged by 16 teams. This year, the 18 teams that participated in the race recorded 217 species showing a gradual improvement in the habitat for birds.

The number of bird-watchers too has gone up as Deccan Birders along with Yuhina Canopy and HSBC have been organising this programme in Hyderabad for the past 10 years.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 9:04:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/bird-race-records-improving-habitat/article30926049.ece

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