Winter bird monitoring programme: Over 200 species of birds recorded across Mysuru region

Bird watchers covered 147 locations 

Published - February 13, 2022 08:57 pm IST - MYSURU

The Winter Bird Monitoring Programme for 2021-22 has recorded the presence of 203 bird species, including 53 non-resident species, in the districts of Mysuru, Mandya, and Chamarajanagar.

The teams have collected data from 147 locations spread across Mysuru-Mandya-Chamarajanagar belt between January 14 and February 13. ‘’Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the census could not be completed in a single day and had to be stretched,’’ said A. Shivaprakash, who led the bird census and is involved in the monitoring programme since the last three decades.

In all, 20 teams comprising 63 birders took part in the bird enumeration and each team was given a different route to cover, monitor and enumerate the birds, according to Mr. Shivaprakash.

He said the data indicates that the number of species found in the region this year is almost identical to what were recorded in the past. While 203 species were recorded this year, 204 species were recorded last year. The bird count too was healthy this year and the team recorded 34,361 birds of all species underlining the sheer diversity of birds that is supported in the region. This is against 32,304 birds counted in last year’s exercise.

The data has also generated interesting insights and of the 203 species of birds the most abundant – total counts from all locations — was Cattle Egret (2,064) followed by Eurasian Coot (1,111), Bar-headed Goose (995), Barn Swallow (974), and Little Cormorant (900).

The most abundant species in any single location was Northern Shoveler and 650 of these birds was found in Lingambudhi Lake in Mysuru. There were 530 Spot-billed Pelicans at Ranganathittu apart from 480 Asian Openbills and 410 Indian Cormorants, also at Ranganathittu. Hadinaru lake in Nanjangud taluk played host to 400 Bar-headed Goose, as per the data generated by the bird monitoring teams.

Among the most birds counted in any waterbody across the region, Ranganathittu had the highest numbers with 2,366 birds of various species that were recorded during the monitoring exercise. Agara supported 1,450 birds while Lingambudhi lake in Mysuru played host 927 birds. The habitat at Mahadevapura bridge saw the presence of 842 birds while Kallur supported 637 and Hadinaru had 660 birds, according to the data.

In terms of species richness in any waterbody, Rayanakere had 94 species followed by Doora (79), Irasavadi (78), and Bettadahalli (74).

Bar-headed Goose, which create a flutter among the bird watchers and flies all the way from Mongolia and southern China crossing the Himalayas, were found not only in Hadinaru but also at the Gundal dam, Kalale, Narasambudhi, Kaggalipura, Chikkahole reservoir in Chamarajanagar among others.

Other birds of interest that were recorded included Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Grey-necked Bunting, Black-naped Monarch, Pacific Golden Plover, Lesser Yellownape, Large Cuckooshrike, Western Reef Heron, Greater Painted Snipe, and Bluethroat.

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