Thiruvananthapuram Bird Race: 190 species observed

Species observed during the one-day event included the great hornbill, oriental turtle dove, lesser black-backed gull, great eared nightjar, and the green imperial pigeon.

Published - November 22, 2023 06:42 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Great Indian Hornbill:

Great Indian Hornbill:

In all, 190 species were observed during the Thiruvananthapuram leg of the Kerala BirdRace held on November 19.

Species observed during the one-day event included the great hornbill, oriental turtle dove, lesser black-backed gull, great eared nightjar, and the green imperial pigeon.

Lesser whistling Ducks:

Lesser whistling Ducks:

A total of 66 volunteer birders, including newcomers and experts, participated in the event held as part of the Kerala leg of the HSBC IndiaBird Races 2023-24. The Thiruvananthapuram event was organised by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) and WWF-India with support from the Department of Museum and Zoos, the Forest department, and the Nodal Office of Christ (deemed to be University), Vazhuthacaud.

This year, 12 sites were covered. They included the Punchakkari wetlands, Akkulam lake including the National centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS) campus, Veli lake and beach area, Kadinamkulam, Poovar, Ponmudi-Kallar, Bonacaud, Palode, Kottoor, Arippa, and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) campus at Vithura.

Spotted owlet:

Spotted owlet:

The keen observation skills of Bhadra J.K., the youngest birder in the group, enabled the team to identify the Heuglin’s Gull at Veli Beach, which would otherwise have gone unrecorded, WWF-India said in a statement.

Although rain played spoilsport, the birders were able to observe more species that they did in 2022 (187) and 2021 (152).

Participants were invited through the network of WWF-India Volunteers. They underwent an orientation on bird race and bird monitoring on November 17. The teams consisted of five to six members; a team leader for coordination, a bird expert for accurate identification, a photographer experienced in bird photography, and budding birders.

Renjan Mathew Varghese, State Director, WWF-India, said the the annual BirdRace, coordinated by WWF-India under the People4Planet (Volunteers) programme, has provided a great opportunity for birders to come together, visit birding hotspots in and around the state capital and understand the situation and assess the status of birds.

At an experience-sharing session, A.K. Sivakumar, Senior Education Officer of WWF-India, spoke about bird races and its role as a stepping stone for citizens towards nature conservation. J.R. Ani, Wildlife Warden, Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, was chief guest on the occasion.

In addition to Thiruvananthapuram, the 17th Kerala BirdRace was held in Kochi and Kozhikode also on November 19.

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