Birders and enthusiasts gathered around 13 Delhi-NCR campuses from February 17-20 to count the various bird species frequenting these mini habitats.
As part of the Campus Bird Count 2017, which is a sub-event of the Great Backyard Bird Count, India, and is organised every year by Bird Count India and eBird India, 289 campuses from 23 states took part in the census this year. In 2016, 138 campuses from 19 states across the country took part in the CBC, documenting 436 species.
The documentation of the number of species found in 2017 is still in process.
“The campus bird count is a coordinated effort to document the birdlife in various campuses across India. In the world’s biggest bird-a-thon, the documentation work of avifauna within each campus is done by following a protocol of collecting as many 15 minutes ‘complete’ checklists of species and uploading the list of all birds seen or heard,” Meghna Joshi, state coordinator CBS, Delhi-NCR, told HT.
This campuses that were covered in Delhi were Aryabhatta College (Delhi University), Ram Lal Anand College (DU), DU South Campus, Holy Family Hospital, Ambedkar University, Shiv Nadar University, Amity University (Haryana), Shikshantar Public School, DU North Campus, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Teri University and RK Puram Sector 3 .
According to her, these annual snapshots of bird populations will help to answer many important questions, including how birds are distributed across the country, how they are affected by changes in habitat and weather, and whether populations and distributions might be changing on a yearly basis.
At JNU, 82 species were spotted. These include Oriental honey buzzard, booted eagle, bonelli’s eagle, Eurasian sparrowhawk, Chestnut breasted bunting, among others.
“The number is better than last year. JNU is a very good habitat for not only birds but also animals like blue bull, golden jackal, porcupine, black naped hare and many snakes, lizards and butterflies. This type of census shows whether the biodiversity of a campus is suitable as an avian habitat,” Dr Surya Prakash, a zoologist from JNU, said.
Different universities took up different ways to engage more students to register and participate in the event, say the organisers. While the Centre for Urban Ecology and Sustainability department of Ambedkar University focused on conducting an orientation session for students followed by the birding activity in all the campus locations, Amity University Haryana held a special technical session on the ‘art of birdwatching’ conducted in collaboration with the Bombay Natural History Society followed by a campus visit for students.
“This proved very fruitful as the first day in itself saw more than 50 species of birds, including rare species like Short Toed Snake Eagle (a winter visitor), Yellow Wagtail (one of the longest travelling migratory) and Black Red Start,” says Kushagra Rajendra, convenor of CBC event at Amity University.
- Rose-ringed parakeets
- Common myna
- Rock Pigeons
- Yellow-footed green pigeons
- House crows
- Red-vented bulbuls
- Eurasian collared dove
- Purple sunbird
- Coppersmith barbet
- Brown headed barbets
- Jungle babbler
- Rufous treepie
- Red-wattled lapwing