News

Sálim Ali Bird Count

12 November 2017

The Bombay Natural History Society announces the Sálim Ali Bird Count for the year 2017. This is a single-day event to commemorate the birth anniversary of the “Bird Man of India”, late Dr. Sálim Ali (1896–1987). The event will be held on 12 November 2017, which falls on his birthday. The only criterion for participation in the event is an interest in birds. Participants can observe and records birds in their chosen area, preferably for over an hour. A checklist of bird species is available on the IBCN website (ibcn.in). We request the participants to download the same and enter their sightings in the checklist. This complete list of all species spotted (ideally with counts of individuals) should be submitted through email to Nandkishor Dudhe (n.dudhe@bnhs.org)

 Sálim Ali Bird Count is a Citizen Science initiative, conducted in association with many organisations. Birdwatchers can visit their nearest Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) or any water body and undertake a diligent count of birds for a long period of time (over an hour) to make it more meaningful. Counts will be more productive early in the morning, with birds generally becoming quiet and inactive during the middle of the day. We also request the birdwatchers to not restrain themselves to the one-day-event, but monitor the chosen area consistently over the coming years and also be part of the Common Bird Monitoring Programme.

Last year’s bird count (13 November 2016) saw a very good participation, with observations recorded from 12 states of India. A total of 325 species were recorded through 62 checklists. Maharashtra ranked first among all the states with 20 lists, followed by Assam (10), Karnataka (8), Sikkim (1), Goa (4), Delhi (1), Uttar Pradesh (1), Telangana (1), Tamil Nadu (1), West Bengal (1), Gujarat (1) and Chhattisgarh (13).

Out of the total count, ducks (Anatidae family) numbered 16,911, followed by Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri (1816), Eurasian Coot Fulica atra (1671), Common Myna Acridotheres tristis 1032, House Sparrow Passer domesticus (972), Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus (918), Rock Pigeon Columba livia  (771), Little Green  Bee-eater Merops orientalis (560), Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer  (558) and  Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica (458).

Out of 325 species, 18 came under the threatened category of  IUCN, which included Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus, Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster, Grey-headed Fish-eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus, Laggar Falcon Falco jugger, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, Pallid  Harrier Circus macrourus, Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii, Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri, Alexandrine  Parakeet Psittacula eupatria, Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis, Common Pochard Aythya ferina, Curlew Sandpiper Erolia ferruginea, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala, White-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus, River Tern Sterna aurantia and Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus.