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Endemic Bird Day is Here!

Tomorrow (Saturday 14 May) is Endemic Bird Day. You’ve seen the list of all of our endemics, heard some interesting facts about some, including Spotted Creeper, Painted Sandgrouse and Indian Pitta, and done the quizzes, now all that is required is to go birding on 14 May and enter your lists into eBird. (We request you to upload you lists by the night of Monday 16 May so we can publish some summaries soon afterwards). Do sign-up for the Facebook event, maybe let others know of your plans by posting there, and on the day itself we welcome updates of interesting sightings and experiences from the field.

If you are in the Delhi area, you can combine your Endemic Birding with the Summer Bird Count.

Forest Owlet

Forest Owlet

Forest Owlet © Rohan Chakravarty

Many of you will know the story of the Forest Owlet, one of our most famous endemics. Known from just seven central Indian specimens, the most recent having been collected in 1884, it was unsuccessfully searched for a number of times, notably by Sálim Ali and S Dillon Ripley, and generally considered extinct. After some intriguing detective work by Nigel Collar and Pamela Rasmussen it was realised that the last collected specimen had actually been stolen from the British Museum by Richard Meinertzhagen and relabelled with a false location. Hence the various recent searches had not been focused on the most likely locations. Armed with this new information, Rasmussen joined Ben King and David Abbott on an expedition which resulted in the sensational rediscovery after 113 years in Maharashtra in November 1997.

The Forest Owlet story does not end there however. Just over 2 years ago the species was found for the first time in Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary, by Sunil Laad and Rohidas Dagale, a mere 100km from Mumbai! Shortly afterwards came another new location, this time by Jenis Patel, Shashank Patel, Saurabh Rathor, Jaymal Patel, Pratik Patel and Anirudh Vasava, in Purna Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat. From this story it is clear that there is still a lot to be known about our birds, and anyone actively birding could play a part. With endemics especially, it is key for their conservation that we understand as fully as possible their distribution: your eBird records are therefore vital.

Green Avadavat

Green Avadavat © Rohan Chakravarty

As a teaser for those who are excited by such prospects, here is a modern mystery. Why is it that a species described just four years ago as being “resident in C India… from Rajasthan to Bihar, and S Uttar to N Andhra; scattered records further south”
(Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide), has no regular records away from one known small area for at least the last 30 years? The species is of course Green Avadavat, easily seen at Mount Abu in Rajasthan but apparently nowhere else at all! We look forward to an Indian eBirder adding a new chapter to this story…

Global Big Day

Saturday 14 May is also Global Big Day, and your eBird observations will automatically count towards this, the biggest day of birding ever worldwide! India is a major contributor to this event, as you can see from the table below which lists the 66 species (of the total of 6,158) that were only recorded in India in 2015. Will it be more this year? (The Bird Count India Coordinator is currently in Nagaland doing his bit!)

1Mountain Bamboo-Partridge
(Bambusicola fytchii)
KhonomaShashank Dalvi
2Snow Partridge
(Lerwa lerwa)
Sela PassTony Palliser
3Koklass Pheasant
(Pucrasia macrolopha)
Kedarnath Wildlife SanctuarySahas Barve
4Black Baza
(Aviceda leuphotes)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
5Indian Spotted Eagle
(Clanga hastata)
Taal Chhaper ,Rajasthan, IndiaTaksh Sangwan
6Lesser Fish-Eagle
(Ichthyophaga humilis)
Valparai–Urulikal Checkpost to ManamboliPanchapakesan Jeganathan et al.
7Andaman Crake
(Rallina canningi)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
8Brown Crake
(Amaurornis akool)
9Black-bellied Tern
(Sterna acuticauda)
Malkhed-sawanga lakeGajanan Wagh
10Andaman Cuckoo-Dove
(Macropygia rufipennis)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
11Nicobar Pigeon
(Caloenas nicobarica)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
12Andaman Green-Pigeon
(Treron chloropterus)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
13Andaman Masked-Owl
(Tyto deroepstorffi)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
14Hume’s Hawk-Owl
(Ninox obscura)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
15Andaman Nightjar
(Caprimulgus andamanicus)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
16Ward’s Trogon
(Harpactes wardi)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
17Crested Kingfisher
(Megaceryle lugubris)
Kedarnath Wildlife SanctuarySahas Barve
18Freckle-breasted Woodpecker
(Spot-breasted Woodpecker)
(Dendrocopos analis)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
19Crimson-breasted Woodpecker
(Dendrocopos cathpharius)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
20Andaman Woodpecker
(Dryocopus hodgei)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
21Laggar Falcon
(Falco jugger)
Taal Chhaper ,Rajasthan, IndiaTaksh Sangwan
22Slender-billed Oriole
(Oriolus tenuirostris)
LaheriasaraiYoung Birders Club Darbhanga et al.
23Andaman Treepie
(Dendrocitta bayleii)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
24Malabar Lark
(Galerida malabarica)
Katyayani PlateauGirish Jathar et al.
25Black-breasted Tit
(Rufous-naped Tit)
(Periparus rufonuchalis)
PATNITOP J&KParvaiz Shagoo
26Yellow-cheeked Tit
(Machlolophus spilonotus)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
27White-throated Tit
(White-throated Bushtit)
(Aegithalos niveogularis)
Kedarnath Wildlife SanctuarySahas Barve
28Indian Nuthatch
(Sitta castanea)
SGPGI campus, LucknowAble Lawrence et al.
29Andaman Bulbul
(Pycnonotus fuscoflavescens)
Webi villageSaw Isaac
30Striated Bulbul
(Pycnonotus striatus)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
31White-throated Bulbul
(Alophoixus flaveolus)
ThekrejumaMandar Bhagat
32Scaly-breasted Cupwing
(Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler)
(Pnoepyga albiventer)
Kedarnath Wildlife SanctuarySahas Barve
33Ashy-throated Warbler
(Phylloscopus maculipennis)
Kedarnath Wildlife SanctuarySahas Barve
34Grey-cheeked Warbler
(Seicercus poliogenys)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
35Bristled Grassbird
(Chaetornis striata)
MollarberMeghna Banerjee et al.
36Fire-tailed Myzornis
(Myzornis pyrrhoura)
Sela PassTony Palliser
37White-browed Fulvetta
(Fulvetta vinipectus)
Kedarnath Wildlife SanctuarySahas Barve
38Black-chinned Babbler
(Cyanoderma pyrrhops)
Sattal–vicinityviral joshi et al.
39Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler
(Pomatorhinus ruficollis)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
40Yellow-throated Fulvetta
(Schoeniparus cinereus)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
41Rufous-winged Fulvetta
(Schoeniparus castaneceps)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
42Ludlow’s Fulvetta
(Brown-throated Fulvetta)
(Alcippe ludlowi)
Sela PassTony Palliser
43Grey-sided Laughingthrush
(Ianthocincla caerulata)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
44Blue-winged Laughingthrush
(Trochalopteron squamatum)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
45Black-faced Laughingthrush
(Trochalopteron affine)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
46Grey Sibia
(Heterophasia gracilis)
KhonomaShashank Dalvi
47Beautiful Sibia
(Heterophasia pulchella)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
48Bugun Liocichla
(Liocichla bugunorum)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
49Red-faced Liocichla
(Liocichla phoenicea)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
50Streak-throated Barwing
(Actinodura waldeni)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
51Rusty-fronted Barwing
(Actinodura egertoni)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
52White-bellied Shortwing
(White-bellied Blue Robin)
(Brachypteryx albiventris)
Kolukan, Eravikulam National ParkANEES AHAMMED A
53Spotted Forktail
(Enicurus maculatus)
PATNITOP J&KParvaiz Shagoo
54Blue-fronted Robin
(Cinclidium frontale)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
55Himalayan Bluetail
(Orange-flanked Bush-Robin)
(Tarsiger rufilatus)
Sarahan-Kurgu RoadLakshminarasimha Ranganathan
56Rufous-breasted Bush-Robin
(Tarsiger hyperythrus)
Sela PassTony Palliser
57Black-and-rufous Flycatcher
(Black-and-orange Flycatcher)
(Ficedula nigrorufa)
Munnar–MeenthottyArathy S Kumar et al.
58Sapphire Flycatcher
(Ficedula sapphira)
Eaglenest WLSBen Schweinhart
59Scaly Thrush
(Zoothera dauma)
YuksumSuresh Rana et al.
60Fire-tailed Sunbird
(Aethopyga ignicauda)
Sela PassTony Palliser
61Long-billed Pipit
(Anthus similis)
Horagina BettaAnkit Vikrant et al.
62Upland Pipit
(Anthus sylvanus)
Sarahan-Kurgu RoadLakshminarasimha Ranganathan
53Plain Mountain-Finch
(Leucosticte nemoricola)
Kedarnath Wildlife SanctuarySahas Barve
64Crimson-browed Finch
(Pinicola subhimachala)
Sela PassTony Palliser
65Dark-breasted Rosefinch
(Carpodacus nipalensis)
Sela PassTony Palliser
66Red-fronted Rosefinch
(Carpodacus puniceus)
Kedarnath Wildlife SanctuarySahas Barve

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