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Bihu Bird Count- Kati Bihu
15 October - 18 October
Bihu, the primary festival of Assamese is celebrated thrice in a year–The Magh or Bhogali Bihu in January; the Bohag or Rongali Bihu in April and Kati or Kongali Bihu in September/ October. All three Bihus are related to agriculture. While the first two Bihus mark key dates in the harvest, the Kati Bihu is celebrated during the time of relocation of the rice sapling. The name Kati means “cut” in Assamese marking an important Assamese festival to ensure strong growth and healthy crops.
How to Participate in Kati Bihu Bird Count?
- Watch and count birds from anywhere you are in India for 4 days (15th to 18th October 2021) and upload your lists to eBird.
- Upload at least one list a day to eBird.org/india.
- Each list should be of at least 15 minutes or more
- All lists should be complete lists with counts of all birds that you could identify by sight and/ or sound to the best of your ability.
Birders uploading their checklists outside Assam should share their checklists with eBird UserID: bihubird, in addition to copy-pasting this link in their checklist comments: https://github.com/bihubirdcount/Logo/blob/main/LOGO-BBC-Final_528x600-264×300.jpg
Please upload all your lists by 20 October 2021
If you are bird watching inside a residential society or a campus (university, institute, or organization), please check if your location is already marked as a ‘hotspot’ in eBird. If it is, then please upload your lists to that hotspot. If it is not, then kindly suggest the location as a hotspot. Here is a short video on how to suggest a hotspot. More about eBird locations and hotspots is here.
Counts will be more productive early in the morning, with birds generally becoming quiet and inactive during the middle of the day.
You could also upload as many counts as you can from a single site or from different sites.
If you are uploading your lists to eBird then the eBird mobile app is one of the easiest ways to upload your sightings.
If you are new to eBird, then do have a look at the list of short videos on using various eBird features.
While birding, please ensure that you adhere to COVID-19 related instructions by central and local authorities.
If you have any queries, please email at [email protected]
About Kati Bihu
Kati Bihu is also called Kongali (“Poor”) as the granaries are usually empty and the Assamese families do not have much to eat at this time of the year with no good harvest. This means unlike most of the Indian festivals including the other two Bihu, Kati Bihu is not as flamboyant a festival and the festivities are more sombre in nature. This Bihu is celebrated by the lighting of lamps or saaki (candles) in different parts of the house. The main lamp is lit in the courtyard near the sacred Tulsi plant. The Tulsi plant is considered to be very auspicious in Hinduism. The plant is known to possess various medicinal properties that can cure a person of various ailments.
For Kati Bihu, the plant is cleaned and is placed on an earthen platform called a “Tulsi Bheti”. Offerings and prayers are made to the Goddess Tulsi for the wellbeing of the family and for a good harvest. This formal procedure continues for the whole month of Kati. While in the paddy fields, farmers light a special type of lamp, called ‘Akaxh Banti’ (Sky candle). These mustard oil lamps are placed high on the tips of tall bamboo poles. It is believed these lamps are lit to guide ancestors to heaven, though they serve a practical purpose by drawing insects to the flame and their doom, which helps keep the crops healthy.