As many as 115 bird species, including endemic ones, were sighted during the fifth edition of the Endemic Bird Day organised by the Salem Ornithological Foundation here recently.
The day also coincides with the Global Big Day, a worldwide event where bird watchers all over the world document as many species as they can in a period of 24 hours. With all the migratory birds back to their breeding grounds, it was an opportunity for the birders to focus on the resident birds.
Bird watchers A. Tamil Selvan, Angeline Mano and Himavat Gouresh covered Kannankurichi Lake and seven different areas in Shevaroy Hills where they spotted many species of forest birds including the White-cheeked barbet, Plum-headed parakeet and White-bellied drongo. In the Mettur taluk, birds such as the Yellow-wattled lapwing, Marshall’s iora and Indian eagle-owl were sighted by A. Vadivukkarasi and Subramania Siva. P. Rajangam and S. Senthil Kumar carried out the bird count in Pethanaickenpalayam, Attur and Omalur.
Prior to the event, a WhatsApp quiz competition on endemic birds of Salem was conducted over six days and three winners were selected. They would receive a book on bird behaviour. It was coordinated by S. Venkatesh.
Bird watchers said that conducting the count every year would give a better understanding of the distribution and abundance of resident birds in Salem and help take steps to conserve them.