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Big Bird Day throws up less sightings this year

This year, only 228 species of birds were recorded on the Big Bird Day against the 239 species that were seen last year.

gurgaon Updated: Feb 09, 2016 11:44 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
Delhi-NCR,bird watching,loss of habitat
This year, only 228 species of birds were recorded on the Big Bird Day against the 239 species that were seen last year.(Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

Birders from Delhi and NCR successfully spotted 228 species of birds on the Big Bird Day, celebrated on Sunday. However, it was revealed that less number of species were sighted this year in comparison to 2015. Birders had sighted 239 species last year.

Big Bird Day is a nation-wide exercise during which bird watchers pan out to forests, rural, semi-urban and urban areas to record bird sightings. The results were declared on Monday.

“Number of bird sightings is falling in the Delhi-NCR region because of the loss of wetlands and change in weather conditions. There can be a number of other factors too that might be leading to a decrease in bird sightings,” said Bikram Grewal, founding member of the Big Bird Day event, which first organised on February 22, 2004, when 236 species of birds were recorded across the capital.

“The changes in the movement of the birds indicate change in the environment. For instance, if we compare the number of sightings in Bindawas this year to that in 2015, there is a major difference. This year we were able to sight only 150 bird species while last year the number was 184,” he said.

According to birders, the disturbing trend may be because of the increase in highrises in the cities, loss of habitat and a sudden rise in air and noise pollution level.

This year, the highest sightings were recorded in Dighal in Haryana, where 161 species of birds were spotted. Last year, 68 bird sightings were recorded here.

Pankaj Gupta, a birder, said, “The loss of habitat is the main reason why the numbers are falling. We can still spot different species of birds but the numbers have gone down.”

Over 200 people had gathered from different parts of Delhi to be part of the Big Bird Day. The Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Basai, Najafgarh and the banks of Yamuna were some of the places that saw bird watchers, ready with their cameras and books, documenting sightings.

Details and location of the bird sightings are noted so that they can be later documented and used to study their habitat.

First Published: Feb 09, 2016 01:21 IST