Baya Weaver Count
(June 4th to 11th, 2017)
Organise by BNHS
Monitoring Baya Weavers
Weavers are highly gregarious, sparrow sized and popularly known for excellent nest-weaving skills, weaver birds have been residents of India since long. Among the four species of weaver birds or Baya’s, the ‘Indian’ Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) is one of the most familiar and common birds in the country. These birds seem to be facing population decline due to the growing human population and development. In an attempt to understand their status, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) announces a pan-India Baya Weaver Count on 4th to 11th, of June 2017. BNHS invites all Indian bird watchers, ornithologists, NGOs, Forest Officials and nature lovers to record and report the sightings of Baya Weavers in their areas.
Know the Weavers
India is home to four species of weaver birds or bayas:
- BayaWeaver (Common Baya or Indian Weaver);
- Streaked Weaver;
- Black-breasted Weaver(Black-throated Weaver)
- Finn’s Weaver(Finn’s Baya or Yellow Weaver),
Belonging to family Ploceidae. This is the only species which has suspended pendulous nests built in colonies, usually above water. It feeds on crops, seeds and insects and has a high-pitched voice. Breeding colonies are very noisy with lot of activity, some males bringing nesting material, while some males weaving thin threads into retort-shaped structures. The Baya has a polygamous breeding system i.e. one male has many females as mates (not necessarily at the same time). During breeding season between April-August, the Baya males acquire a distinctive yellow breeding plumage. All Indian weaver bird species are protected and listed in Schedule IV of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Count the Weavers
Once a common species across India, it seems that most weaver birds are slowly undergoing a population decline with the increasing loss and modification of the grasslands into human-dominated landscape like agriculture farms, orchards, factories, canals, roads, and rapid increase in human population. This requires an urge to monitor this common species so as to collect its population data across India to further reduce rates of habitat loss and degradation, along with promoting conservation, awareness initiatives focusing on sustainable management of grasslands to maximize available grass habitat for grassland birds such as weaver birds.
BNHS, under Common Bird Monitoring Programme (CBMP), a citizen science initiative has organized this bird count to involve common people in bird monitoring and gathering data on this species. The participants can select any location of their choice and record the sightings of Baya Weavers. The collected data can be reported to us (Nandkishor Dudhe, firstname.lastname@example.org) in a simple format which is available on www.ibcn.in
How to record:
(1) Select a site and go for bird watching
(2) Record the sightings of Baya Weavers in your chose location
(3) Send your records to us on email@example.com
(Please do send us photos of your field visit in this week)
For further details contact:
Mr. Nandkishor Dudhe: – firstname.lastname@example.org or 7620193207
Mr. Omkar Joshi: – email@example.com or 9768171322
We request you to participate in this count. The data has to be recorded in an Excel spreadsheet. The link of the data sheet will be available soon.