Are you a birder who wants to keep track of your sightings while at the same time contributing your observations 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 an informal partnership of organizations and groups working together to increase our collective knowledge about bird distributions and populations. The partnership has a set of specific goals.
We aim to document the distributional range and the abundance of Indian birds, from the finest scale (eg, within a city) to the largest (across the country).
Through collating observations on birds across seasons and years, we hope to enable a better understanding of seasonal patterns of movement and migration of birds, and to monitor changes in distribution and abundance of birds over long periods. Our work underpins important conservation outputs like the State of India’s Birds report.
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. The accompanying Campus Bird Count is conducted by students in c.200 school, college and other campuses across the country every year. In addition, we coordinate the annual Endemic Bird Day in May, and Wild Bird Day in October.
We also conduct a series of 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 bird documentation events. Examples of events we have supported include Asian Waterbird Census, Onam Bird Count, Pongal Bird Count, Bihu Bird Count, 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 formats and storage for collecting observations, and with the analysis and display of results. Examples of projects we support in this way include the Mysore City Bird Atlas, the Kerala Bird Atlas, the Pune Bird Atlas, and the Coimbatore 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
eBird is a feature-rich and versatile tool for birders to keep track of their observations and upload various kinds of media (audio, photo, video). Bird Count India manages the eBird-India portal, to customize eBird according to the needs of birders in India. 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 Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust, Nature Conservation Foundation, and Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies. Past support: National Centre for Biological Sciences and Cholamandalam Investment & Finance Co. Ltd.