Single-day census indicates 204 bird species in Mysuru region

Bar-headed Goose were sighted in large numbers during the single-day bird census conducted in January in Mysuru-Mandya-Chamarajanagar belt.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

In all, 204 bird species were recorded in Mysuru-Mandya-Chamarajanagar belt during the single-day winter bird monitoring programme for 2020-21 held in January this year.

The birders collected data from 133 locations in the 3 districts and the 204 bird species included 55 non-resident birds that kept their annual tryst with the region.

This is reckoned to be the longest running voluntary initiative in bird census in the State, if not in the country, and is in vogue since the 1990s.

A. Shivaprakash, who is associated with the bird census since its inception in 1987, said 32,304 birds were counted during this year’s exercise.

The volunteers used to conduct the bird count exercise spread over weeks till recent years but this was abandoned in favour of a single-day simultaneous count to provide a more robust data devoid of duplication of counts.

Mr. Shivaprakash said maximum individual species seen at any one location was the Bar-headed Goose (1,100) followed by Rosy Starling (1,000), Glossy Ibis (500), Spot-billed Pelican (468), and Openbill Stork, the last two being breeding population in the Ranganathittu bird sanctuary.

The maximum number of birds recorded was at Karigala (1,861) on the H.D. Kote Road, followed by Kabini (1,478), Irasavadi (958) near Yellandur, Gumballi (914) also in Yellandur and Markalu (839).

In all, 70 birders took part covering different routes simultaneously while 3 routes were covered later after the single-day bird count.

Interesting sightings included Ashy Wood Swallow, Malabar Lark, Eurasian Wryneck, Puff-throated Babbler, Rock Eagle-owl, Yellow-throated Bulbul, and Yellow-throated Sparrow.

But a comparison with the earlier mid-winter fowl exercise indicates that the winter migratory ducks observed in the entire survey over the years was at an all-time low. While 869 Garganey, 635 Northern Pintail and 236 Northern Shoveler were sighted, there was an increase in the population of Eurasian Wigeon (633). The decline in the count of Garganey Northern Pintail and Northern Shoveler was also attributed to the general decline in their population. Also, the habitats in the northern States could support the existing population and hence the birds need not have to fly all the way down to the south, Mr. Shivaprakash said.

Data analysis also indicated that the maximum bird count in the entire survey was that of Bar-headed Goose (1,925) followed by Barn Swallor (1,344), Cattle Egret (1,220), Rosy Starling (1,178) and Lesser Whistling Duck (1,074).

While the Bar-headed Goose tends to arrive late – its migration commences from Monglian regions and flies across the Himalayas to its roosting place in the Mysuru region – it is also the first to depart. The reverse migration of the birds is expected to peak during the end of March.

During 2020, 24,107 birds accounting for 202 species were counted while in 2019, 45,986 birds from 218 species were counted during the singe-day bird census.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 11:10:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/single-day-census-indicates-204-bird-species-in-mysuru-region/article33963991.ece

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