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Endemic Bird Day 2015
9 May 2015
SUMMARY OF EBD OBSERVATIONS
Braving the heat of May, 176 intrepid eBirders went out to look for endemic (and other) species on Endemic Bird Day, in the process uploading 620 birdlists containing over 11,000 bird observations. In all, 567 species were recorded from India, which is nearly 50% of all ‘non-rarities’ found in India, and much higher percentage of those species present in the country in May! Of the 225 species (excel file) we have that are endemic to South Asia, 133 were recorded on this single day. The most frequent endemics reported were White-cheeked Barbet (193 observations), Ashy Prinia (148), Jungle Babbler (124), Indian Robin (127) and Indian Peafowl (79). At the other end of the spectrum, there were single records each of Bugun Liocichla, Andaman Masked-Owl, Laggar Falcon, Painted Bush-Quail, Black-and-rufous Flycatcher and 19 other endemics.
Panchapakesan Jeganathan (45 endemics) and TR Shankar Raman (44), birding in the Anamalai hills of Tamil Nadu, recorded by far the highest number of endemic species during the EBD — that’s 20% of all South Asian endemics! They also ended up with the highest overall species tally, but many others were close behind.
Endemic Bird Day was planned to coincide with the Global Big Day, a worldwide effort to document as many species as possible in a single 24-hour period. Across the world, some 6,000 species were recorded on 9th May by over 13,000 birders from 127 countries! India’s overall species tally (567 species) puts us in 9th place, if you compare countries in number of species recorded — very respectable indeed!
We hope you enjoyed participating in this first Endemic Bird Day; and see you again next year. In the meantime, keep birding and uploading your lists to better document and monitor our wild birds!
ENDEMICS IDENTIFICATION CONTEST
A total of 63 birders tried their hand in this contest, of which 12 made a perfect score! These are: Abhishek Gulshan, Bhagyashree Ingle, Biswajit Chakdar, Manjula Ravi, Rajive Das, Rajneesh Suvarna, Ria Sarkar, Rithika Fernandes, Saurabh Sawant, Sweedle Cerejo, Tina Fernandes, Vaishali Jathar. Congratulations to them all!
The Endemic Bird Day is a day to go looking for endemic birds. Endemic birds are those whose distribution is restricted to a defined area, in this case South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka). There are more species endemic to our region than you think! Take a look at this excel file, which lists all species endemic (or near-endemic) to South Asia. The file also contains the number of observations of each species uploaded to eBird so far.
A lot of birding activity occurs during the winter months, when one can see lots of species thanks to the large numbers of migrants that come south to us. But now most winter visitors have left for their breeding grounds, and it is a good time to focus on our resident and endemic species, which are preparing for breeding. These species are truly our very own; let’s get together and document them, from common and widespread endemics like the Grey Francolin to rare and isolated species like the Wayanad Laughing Thrush. The birdlists gathered during the EBD will give an annual snapshot of the distribution and breeding of these endemic species. In addition, the EBD falls on the same date as the Global Big Day, where birders all over the world will be out documenting their sightings.
1. Plan your day to see as many endemics species as possible. In India, areas of high endemism include the Western Ghats, the Eastern Himalayas and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This does not mean that other areas are to be ignored! Many common species in other regions are also endemics. If you can, make a special effort to look for endemics with restricted ranges, which are often poorly reported on eBird. But do remember that our focus on endemics does not mean that non-endemic species should be overlooked! May can be very hot in many parts of the country, so plan your day according to your comfort and convenience. Even a single 15-min birdlist is an excellent contribution; or perhaps birding sessions in the early morning and then late afternoon?
2. Tell us (through this registration form) where you intend to go birding on that day so that we can maintain an updated map of survey locations. Tell your other birding friends about the event by sending them to link to this page, or via Twitter (#EndemicBirdDay & #GlobalBigDay) or the Facebook event page.
3. On the 9th of May, go birding and upload your birdlists to eBird. The birdlists should contain all the species you see, not just endemics, and should ideally contain counts of each species. This allows a comparison of endemics with other species. As during the GBBC and other counts, please maintain and upload separate lists for each distinct location you visit. There is no minimum duration for each list. Do also record any and all evidence of breeding for all species, endemic or not! Please upload your birdlists by 12th May.
Join hundreds of birders from all over the country in the first Endemic Bird Day! How many endemic species can we collectively find?