Record attendees for Bird Day
Manipal: A record number of over 100 birders attended the sixth annual ‘Bird Day’, a bird watching event organized by the Manipal Birder’s Club on February 7. Along with Ramit Singal, author of “A Birder’s Guide to Manipal”, they covered 15 locations in and around Manipal.
The greatest danger to the avifauna of Manipal comes from deforestation. “Due to the sheer reduction in the amount of forests and grasslands, with developments spreading out, we have to go a lot further than before to find natural habitats,” explained Singal. “It’s okay to not be a regular birder but I think it’s important for everyone to acknowledge that there are birds and animals around us. I would recommend everybody to go birding to appreciate the beauty of nature that Manipal has to offer so that we don’t unknowingly destroy their habitats,” he opined.
Birders scouted the forested areas in small groups of six-eight members for around 3 hours, listening for the faintest cooing and the slightest flapping of wings. Some of the sightings included the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, the Eurasian Sparrow-Hawk, The Malabar King Hornbill and the Grey Headed Bulbul. Commenting on the diversity of the species found in Manipal, Subashmita Patro, from Bangalore said that, “Manipal is located between the Western Ghats and the Indian ocean. As a result we see a mix of both coastal birds as well as hilly terrain species.”
The event concluded with the launch of Singal’s second edition to his book, which was released in 2013. The book ‘A birders handbook to Manipal’, explores the different species of birds found in Manipal. It includes information on 254 species of birds and locations to find them.
The Manipal Birder’s Club organises birding trips every Sunday. For more details, refer to their Facebook page.
Edited by Kavana Desai