Endemic Bird Day is an annual event in India in May, coinciding with the Global Big Day, a worldwide effort to document as many species as possible in a single 24-hour period. In India the heat of May, with many winter migrants having already departed for the breeding grounds further north, is not the best (or easiest) time to be attempting a “big day”, but it can be a good time to concentrate on resident, and endemic, birds.
About Endemic Birds
Endemic birds are those whose distribution is restricted to a defined area. For Endemic Bird Day we consider the region of South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka). There are probably more species endemic (or near-endemic) to South Asia than you think!
Endemic species are truly our very own; let’s get together and document them, from common and widespread endemics like Grey Francolin to rare and isolated species like Wayanad Laughingthrush. The lists gathered during Endemic Bird Day each year will give an annual snapshot of the distribution and breeding of these endemic species, and will in the long-term provide a valuable overall resource. In addition, any endemic birds we record contribute to the overall Global Big Day, where we will joining tens of thousands of birders worldwide in documenting all our sightings.
How to Take Part
- Quite simply, just go out birding on Endemic Bird Day and record the birds you see in eBird! It is always preferable to record complete lists of all species encountered (both endemic and non-endemic), as we can then analyse records of endemics compared to other species. Please also try to count or estimate each species and ensure you enter separate lists for each distinct location you visit. For each species, do also record any evidence of breeding.
- Ideally plan your day to see as many endemic species as possible. In India, areas of high endemism include the Western Ghats, the Eastern Himalayas and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but don’t forget that 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.
- Share your plans amongst your friends and spread the word about the event: you can refer them to this page, use hashtags #EndemicBirdDay & #GlobalBigDay and discuss plans with the Bird Count India community on Facebook.
- May can be very hot in many parts of the country, so plan your day according to your comfort and convenience!
- At this time of year, many species are in the midst of breeding activities. Please therefore be extra cautious to minimise any disturbance. Do, however, note any breeding evidence in eBird.
- 12 Endemic Bird Areas in India, BirdLife International
- Endemic Birds of India, by Girish Jathar and Asad Rahmani
Endemic Bird Day 2022 (details coming soon!)
Endemic Bird Day 2022 is going to take place on 14 May 2022.