Chennai Bird Race 2020: introducing people to joys of birdwatching

Madras Naturalists’ Society to hold 13th edition of Chennai Bird Race on Jan. 26

Updated - January 13, 2020 04:26 am IST

Published - January 13, 2020 12:39 am IST - CHENNAI

Attn. Pix for Sunday Magazine for Rahul Karmakars story
Assam, Kaziranga : 22/12/2018: A group of migratory Bar Headed Goose in Kaziranga National Park in Assam. A File Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar / The Hindu

Attn. Pix for Sunday Magazine for Rahul Karmakars story
 Assam, Kaziranga : 22/12/2018: A group of migratory Bar Headed Goose in Kaziranga National Park in Assam. A File Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar / The Hindu

How many species of birds can one spot in and around Chennai in a day?

From dawn to dusk on January 26, the Madras Naturalists’ Society is organising the 13th edition of the Chennai Bird Race, where participants can visit various spots in the city and record their findings.

“Our aim has been to introduce more people to the joys of birdwatching. When we begin a conversation about conservation and protection, it is important to involve the public for it to be a people’s movement,” said K.V. Sudhakar, president, Madras Naturalists’ Society.

While earlier editions of the Bird Race had people compete to spot the maximum number of birds in a day, the society has done away with the competition aspect of it this time, said Mr. Sudhakar.

In the previous edition, 28 teams participated in the Bird Race, and among the rare species spotted were the Bar headed goose at the Great Salt Lake; Tree Pipit at Thaiyur Lake; Pallas’ Grasshopper Warbler at Perumbakkam tank; Slender-billed Gull at Adyar estuary; and the Brown Hawk owl at IIT-Madras.

Participants will be divided into teams of four, and for persons who wish to participate but have no prior experience of birdwatching, members of the Madras Naturalists’ Society will accompany them. “Teams will be given a 160-page booklet on the list of species they have a chance of spotting in Chennai. At the end of the day, we usually convene and discuss our findings and experiences,” he said.

Stressing on the need to be environmentally conscious, Mr. Sudhakar said ‘Green Birders’ could also participate in the race. “They only use public transport to get around the city and we encourage such eco-friendly practices,” he added.

Those wishing to register for the Chennai Bird Race either as an individual or a team, can log onto www.blackbuck.org.in and register before January 22.

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