Are you a birder who wants to keep track of your sightings while at the same time contributing your information to a common pool of knowledge?
Are you a group interested in monitoring the birds at your local wetland or forest patch?
For people interested in birds at any level, it’s possible for you to have fun birding while at the same time pooling your efforts with those of thousands of others so that the combined information is available for research and conservation.
Bird Count India is a consortium of organizations and groups working together to increase our collective knowledge about bird distributions and populations. The consortium has a set of specific goals.
We aim to document the distribution and abundance of Indian birds, from the finest scale (eg, within a city) to the largest (across the country).
Through the collection of information on birds across seasons and years, we hope to enable a better understanding of seasonal patterns of movement of birds, and to monitor changes in distribution and abundance of birds over long periods.
We try and meet these goals by conducting periodic bird events and activities; by offering support and resources to birding groups conducting their own events; and by putting together useful information on bird monitoring.
We coordinate the annual Great Backyard Bird Count in India, which provides a yearly snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds around us. In addition, we coordinate similar 4-day bird counts at other times of the year. Tentative dates for 2014 for these India Bird Counts are 13-16 June and 14-17 November.
We conduct a series of monthly eBirding Challenges, to encourage birders to look for birds all through the year and to share their sightings on a public platform.
We offer support to groups who wish to conduct their own birding events using the platform provided by eBird. Previous examples of events we have supported include the Kerala Common Bird Monitoring Program, the Big Bird Day, and the Bangalore Bird Count. If your group is interested in conducting a bird listing or counting event, please get in touch!
We offer advice and support to location/regional groups who may wish to conduct more detailed projects on the distribution and abundance of their birds, monitored over time. Depending on your requirements, we can help with designing the project (based on your needs), with suggesting data collection formats and storage, and with the analysis and display of results. An example of a project we have supported in this way is the Mysore City Bird Atlas.
We are working towards putting together a comprehensive set of resources
for anyone interested in bird monitoring. This will include a description of the various kinds of monitoring projects that could be done, some suggestions for how to decide between them, and step-by-step guides for how to carry out a monitoring project.
The eBird platform
In general, we encourage individual birders to use eBird to document their sightings. It often makes sense for groups running events and projects to similarly use eBird. However, for a few projects eBird may not be the best tool to use for bird surveys and monitoring. In such cases, we are happy to advise on the design and construction of a more customized system for data collection.
Bird Count India gratefully acknowledges support from the Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust, the Nature Conservation Foundation, and the National Centre for Biological Sciences.