Bird Watchers from Thane Eagerly await Salim Ali Bird Count

7th Nov, 2017

Thane: Bird watchers and avifauna enthusiasts from Thane will participate in the Salim Ali bird count on November 12.

Equipped with their binoculars, cameras and a list of species of birds provided to them by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), some plan to flock to popular birding areas in the city like Yeoor, Kopri wetlands and Thane creek to record the birds seen here. The remaining will move outside city limits and contribute to this nation-wide annual bird count, which is held to commemorate the birthday of Dr Salim Ali, the Bird Man of India.

"I just started bird watching with a few friends last year and I am excited to participate in an official bird count activity where my inputs will be used to prepare a report to help identify bird habitats and conservation programmes. My friends and I are planning to spend an hour at each of the popular birding spots in the city," said Siddharth Deshpande, a Saket resident.

City-based famed avifauna expert of Paryavaran Dakshata Manch, Avinash Bhagat, added, "I will be travelling to Bhimashankar for a three-day camp at the time of the Salim Ali bird count. I will, however, dedicate a couple of my morning hours to bird sighting and recording on Sunday and send the information across to the BNHS."

In the same activity last year that took place in 12 states, including Maharashtra, which topped the list of checklist entries, 325 species of birds were recorded. Of these, 18 were from the threatened category of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. This includes the lesser adjutant, grey-headed fish eagle, spot-billed pelican and so on. In the last count, ducks were the most recorded birds followed by rose-ringed parakeets, eurasian coots mynas and so on.

Research assistant of BHNS, Nandkishor Dudhe, who is heading this project, said, "The bird count presents a good opportunity for bird watchers to visit the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) around them and undertake a diligent count of birds for over an hour. It can become a means for monitoring the status of birds and their habitats over the years if one visits the same location every year."


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