Engineering graduate turned birder

Syamala Rupakula with her husband and son.  

For someone who could have made it big in the world of engineering being a graduate from JNTU (Anantapur), 41-year-old Syamala Rupakula decided to chart a different course and make a mark for herself in the world of bird watching.

And, Syamala has every reason to look back with a sense of pride at her passion that began in 2012, for she now leads, effectively, in motivating hundreds of bird watchers to visit Ameenpur lake with her ‘first-time’ sighting of some of the rare birds species like Indian Pitta, and Indian Blue Robin.

“Staying close to Ameenpur lake has been definitely one of the reasons for my growing passion for bird watching. Somehow, I got hooked to birds and not to the big cats for I love clicking action pictures like these winged visitors taking flight or feeding the chicks,” she says.

To her credit, Syamala has so far shot 310 species of birds and 80 of them at Ameenpur lake. “I remember the first time I saw a flock of 13 flamingos at the lake about three years ago and my joy knew no bounds. It was such an amazing experience,” she recalls.

Interestingly, the passion for bird watching for the mother of two (her son T. Krishna Prem Kumar too is an avid bird watcher making strides in photography) makes her visit the neighbouring States too.

“Yes, during my last visit to Ganeshgudi in Karnataka, I had the immense satisfaction of shooting the Malabar Trogon. To be frank, Indian Pitta (Ameenpur lake), Mottled Wood Owls (Anantagiri in Vikarabad) and daughter T. Jayasree (who is into sports) gave me great satisfaction,” says Syamala.

Not surprising, this passionate nature lover has the backing of her husband T. Bala Subramanya Kumar (software engineer) and the entire family including her mother-in-law.

“This is obviously my asset as my husband makes it a point that I should explore different species of birds every weekend. And, I enjoy watching these wonderful birds,” she says.

That Syamala is one of the most familiar names and grateful to the members of Hyderabad Birding Pals in improving her knowledge about birds, is a tribute to her amazing passion at an age when many of her contemporaries would like to stay back at home and relax watching some entertainment programmes on TV. “Is this not a better way to beat the pandemic too?” she signs off with a big smile.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 12:14:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/engineering-graduate-turned-birder/article34297790.ece

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