Counting birds together: Can you guess these avian species?
In the recently concluded Great Backyard Bird Count, India climbed to second spot, behind Colombia, in terms of number of species observed. A total of 941 species were recorded. Here are some highlights.
For bird watchers in Bengaluru, it was a double treat. They spotted not only the Ruddy-breasted Crake (seen above) but also the Spotted Crake. They are both rare migratory birds at Anekal Lake, Elusive and shy, these birds dart around the reeds at the edges of lakes. As a result, one has to wait for hours to get a sight of one, says Deepa Mohan, one of the count coordinators for Bengaluru, (Deepa Mohan)
A medium-sized wading bird, the Ruff travels to India during winters from the colder regions of Europe and Asia. Usually, only one individual has been recorded throughout Visakhapatnam. But during GBBC, this species was recorded in two major birding hotspots by birders from Wildlife Conservation through Research & Education. (WCTRE)
While the Indian Golden Oriole is distributed in the Indian subcontinent and central Asia, there have been only a couple of reports of its sighting from Assam till now. This picture was captured during a bird count at Don Bosco University's Tapesia campus. It is the first photographic evidence of the bird from the state. Even for the campus, it was a rare record. (Nilutpal Mahanta )
One of the most majestic species, the Asian Paradise Flycatcher was one of the highlights among the birds spotted during a campus bird count at Christian Medical College, Vellore. (Latif Rajesh Johnson)
The Grey Breasted Prinia is a winter migratory bird not often seen in the Pune region. But during the count, a group of bird watchers saw four individuals at Vetal Hill, which is in the heart of the city. (Siddharth Biniwale)
This was a surprise find for birders at Pune’s Empress Garden campus count. The Mottled Wood Owl, which is not a commonly seen owl species in the city, has never been recorded from the garden till now. Found usually in wooded areas, this owl is difficult to spot as it camouflages easily with surrounding trees. (N.S.Sivasankaran)
The Crested Serpent Eagle is not an easy raptor to find because of its limited population. Birders at the Gandhisagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh, spotted them during the count. (Loukika Lakshmikant Neve)