This week, Mumbaiites can take part in an online poll to pick the Bird of Mumbai — a bird that represents the city’s ‘never say die’ spirit.
The poll is a part of the 7th edition of the HSBC Mumbai Bird Race, which will see 350 participants vying to spot the maximum number of bird species on February 27.
The four bird species in the running for the crown are the house crow (Kawla), lesser flamingo (Rohit or Agnipankh), the coppersmith barbet (Tambat) and magpie robin (Dayal).
“There is something special about each of these birds. They all epitomise the resilience, beauty and adaptability of Mumbai. Of the four competitors, except flamingo which is a migratory bird, all are resident species,” said Sunjoy Monga, an independent writer, photographer, naturalist and the person behind the event.
The Bird of Mumbai title will be given to the bird that gets the maximum votes and the winner will be declared on February 27 evening.
In 2005, participants of the first bird race held in the city spotted 277 species.
The number of species spotted has increased with every successive year and narrowing it down to four ‘contestants’ was a difficult task.
The four shortlisted birds, according to the press release, have in one way or the other adapted to the choking pollution, thinning green cover and burgeoning human population and even capitalised on the alterations and additions to the habitats that have been made by people over time.
“Just like millions of toiling Mumbaiites, some birds just didn’t let anything come in the way of their survival.”
In 2008, Nagpur voted the Oriental Honey Buzzard as the ‘Bird of the Orange City’ in the 4th Bird Race.