This page carries a listing of local events that were held across India as part of the GBBC. Many of these events were open to the public; other were carried out within a school, college or other organisation. We hope that the experiences described here illustrate that periodic events like the GBBC are a wonderful opportunity to reach out to the larger public!
Rishi Valley School. Bird count for classes 4-6. Description by Kaustubh Rau below:
GBBC in Rishi Valley was carried out in the junior school. This year classes 4, 5 and 6 participated in it (about 90 students). (Class 4 went out but did not contribute to the count). Students were divided into groups of 4-5. Each was provided with a pre-formatted sheet to enter the data. All groups went around in the main school campus for 15-20 minutes. Examples of locations were, School Main Gate, Office Area, Guest House etc. Groups went out at different times (as per class schedule). All data were vetted by V. Santharam before being entered into eBird.Enthusiasm levels were quite high, some class 6 boys went out on their own on the weekend and contributed more lists. Next year we could involve more classes and also do training runs which I am sure will help quality of counts. Overall a great experience for the children.
Madanapalle. Bird count with school children, coordinated by FES. Description from Saneesh CS follows:
“As part of the GBBC, we have organized bird watching sessions in five locations in Chithoor district of AP. Schools showed hesitancy to send students to any other activities that studying because academic year has lost almost 3 months (July to September) in 2013 due to the strikes related to Telangana issue. Schools were working even on holidays. So I had to do the count with the help of my friends & colleagues in Madanapalle.
Date Location Participants 14/02/2014 Saamicheruvu, Madanapalle, Chittoor Dt, AP Sadashiva & Saneesh 14/02/2014 Kotala Cheruvu, Kadiri, AP Snehesh & Saneesh 15/02/2014 Gopidinne chruvu, AP Sadashiva, Snehesh & Saneesh 16/02/2014 Yerrakonda, Thambalapalle-Peddamandyam Rd, AP Amir & Saneesh 17/02/2014 Danyanicheruvu, AP Vijay & Saneesh
This is the first time my colleagues (Sadashiva, Snehesh, Amir and Vijay) go out to observe birds for a purpose. But they were enormously familiar with common names of birds, plants, geckos etc. They were very good to spot and identify when they see a bird in irrigation tanks and agricultural fields. Whenever we sew a new species of bird to our list they checked with pocket guide and as soon as they see picture they start a small discussion “Yes, see this. This is what I saw there; I told you the local name, didn’t I”. I really enjoyed the GBBC days, and we are continuing observing birds after the GBBC also.”
Silchar, Assam University. Bird count; details coming soon. Orientation to GBBC conducted on 10th and 11th Feb.
Panjim. Bird count on 14th Feb. Open to the public (children particularly welcome!). [More details]. Description from Tallulah D’Silva:
On the first day, 14th Feb 2014 we had a small team of first-timers and amateurs-young scientists and architects and we set out around the city’s periphery. Our first spot was the mud flats of River Mandovi where we sighted a Curlew, Red Shanks and the Western Reef Herons amongst other local species. We then moved to the adjacent salt pans where we were thrilled to sight a huge flock of Kentish Plovers besides Red Shanks, Green Shanks, etc. As we moved further along the trail along the backwaters and mangroves the late evening light brought along Ibises, Wooly necked Storks, Cormorants, Egrets, etc all returing to roost for the night. The next day, 15th Feb 2014, some kids joined in the exercise and we visited many of our favourite spots. The Mala Lake had surprises like the Oriental Darter and much to our surprise a couple of mammals-Mongooses! The 3rd day 16th Feb 2014 being a Sunday, had the largest turnout with 12 participants, a mix of kids and adults. We were also a part of the larger BBD teams participating in Goa. We visited the Bondvoll lake and surrounding wetland and had the maximum sightings that day. On the last day, 17th Feb 2014 we set out to list Miramar Beach and the University Plateau and were happy to see the now regular Yellow Wattled lapwings and the lone Desert Wheatear at its high post!
Day 1: Location: Panjim Causeway, Saltpans, Backwaters and Mangrove trail. Target Audience: Researchers and students. Session: Basic identification of birds, use of field guides, use of binoculars, understanding of mangrove habitat. Feedback: Participants were thrilled to discover a new hobby in birdwatching. Viola Rodrigues who was introduced to birds for the first time has now become a regular and even goes on her own to see birds. Richa Chaudhary had studied birds and was happy to rediscover her passion. Both work together at the National Institute of Oceanography and are in the process of initiating an exercise to document the bird species in their campus!
Day 2: Location: Dukle Residency Backyard fields, Mala Lake, Panjim Causeway, Saltpans, Backwaters and Mangrove trail, St Cruz Merces Wetland and St Cruz-Taleigao back waters. Target Audience: School children. Session: Basic identification of birds, photography, understanding of different habitats. Feedback: These children were initiated more than a year ago into birding initially in their backyards and then various spots in Goa. Some of them also participated in the GBBC 2013. One of them, Omkar Naik has begun a unique collection of bird feathers and he is always lucky to find different feathers wherever we have gone in a group birding.
Day 3: Location: Bondvoll Lake and surrounding wetlands. Target Audience: School Students, researchers and adults from neighbourhood. Session: Basic identification of birds, use of field guides, use of binoculars, understanding of reservoir and surrounding habitat. Feedback: The trail along the forest edge was thrilled everyone and the discovery of so many species of birds to the beginners made it worthwhile for them to pursue a new hobby.
Day 4: Location: Miramar Beach, University Plateau. Target Audience: Friends. Session: Basic identification of birds, understanding of lateritic plateau and habitat. Feedback: We happily discovered plovers unperturbed by early morning joggers at the beach and were relieved to rediscover the lone Desert Wheatear and a couple of Yellow Lapwings on the plateau.
Vadodara. Bird count on 16 Feb at Wadhwana Lake, organized by Zoology students of MS University Baroda. Description from Sapna Jayaraman follows:
A birding event for the GBBC was organized for the students of the Department of Zoology, M.S. University of Baroda on the 16th of February to the nearby Wadhvana Wetland. 14 students showed up for the event. The participants were given information on the GBBC, eBird and the importance of these and other such citizen science initiatives. The details of the day’s birding event were discussed, recording start and end times, listing down birds, registering on eBird, using BirdLog Asia and uploading and sharing lists on eBird.We birded as a group on foot but no fixed pace was set and the participants were free to move faster or slower as they pleased from the start point to the end point. Two lists were created, the first one covered the distance between the train station and the wetland via the approach road. Habitat was largely agricultural fields and village settlements and a canal flowing next to the road. The second list was created while walking a part of the periphery of the wetland with agricultural fields on one side and the wetland on the other.We recorded ~65 bird species on that day, the number will vary in individual lists shared with the participants based on what they recorded. Participants with smartphones downloaded BirdLog Asia. Most of the participants have created eBird ids and the list has been shared with them.Feedback: The participants said they enjoyed the experience and would continue uploading lists on eBird. After it was announced that India reported the largest number of species during GBBC, they said they felt ‘elated to have contributed their bit for the event’.
Kukkarahalli Tank, Mysore. Bird count every day (14-17 Feb) at 6-9AM and 4-6PM. Meet at entrance near Senate Bhavan. Open to the public. Description from Tanuja DH below:
Bird watching for the public was organised at Kukkarhalli kere, an IBA lake in Mysore, on 14-17 February, as a part of GBBC like previous year. All the days the bird-watching sessions was organised between 7-9 AM and 4-6 PM. In all 13 individuals participated and more than 45 species were recorded. Couple of daily carried the news which helped the public participate. Interestingly Whiskered tern- Chlidonias hybrida and black-naped monarch- Hypothymis azurea, two new species for Kukkarahalli lake. Few of the participants showed interest for future bird-watching.
Madiwala Lake and Agara Lake, Bangalore. On 15 and 16 Feb.
NCBS, Bangalore. Description from Rohit Chakravarthy below.
We (Mayank Kohli and I) organized birdwatching trails for students of the National Centre for Biological Sciences at GKVK Campus. Our primary target audience was faculty and students of experimental biology who work in laboratories but get little exposure of watching birds and other wildlife. We also had the opportunity to introduce birding to a few school children who were accompanied by their parents. In all 18 students, faculty and kids participated over the weekend. We walked around the campus in search of birds and bird calls, simultaneously taking notes of the birds they see or hear; the idea being to introduce our participants to the birds that they are likely to see in their day-to-day lives. All participants thoroughly enjoyed the birding sessions and also demanded that we take them to a nearby lake to watch waterbirds. We too were deeply satisfied with the enthusiasm that the participants had; particularly a young seven year old boy who quickly learned all the common birds on the first day and pretty much led the trail on my behalf the next day!
Savandurga State Forest. Bird count on 16th Feb by staff and student of Centre for Learning.
Mumbai. Bird count; open to the public. More details soon.
Ikop Lake, Thoubal. Bird count on 15 Feb by People for Animals, Manipur.
Bhubaneswar. Bird count on Feb 16 by The Bhubaneswar Bird Walks.
Kalivelli and Ousteri lakes. Bird counts at both locations on GBBC dates, coordinated by FERAL; open to the public.
In all, we had 20 people join us. 4 more were scheduled to join but cancelled because of emergencies. 3 came from afar – 1 lady from Nagapattinam, and 2 from Kallakurichi. Almost all the participants were new to birding. And everyone seemed happy to gone birding. One lady came back with her husband earlier this month to do more of the same.
Chennai: Pallikaranai Marsh area. Sunday 9th Feb. Orientation programme for GBBC, conducted by Nature Trust. Open to the public. [More details, and see their checklist here]. Description from KVRK Thirunaranan:
Our trust members most of them were school students participated in orientation programme on 09.02.2014 on GBBC -2014 and ebird at Pallikaranai Marsh Lands, Chennai. The orientation programme conducted by Dr.Jeganathan of NCF. This public event attended by our The Nature Trust members and general public (15 nos). Our trust members about 14 nos actively participated in GBBC -2014 from 14th Feb- 17th Feb, most of our members were school students age group of 16 to 20 yrs. They enjoyed in participating GBBC-2014 they overwhelmingly mentioned they live with birds and they gained learning experience in bird count and eBird. They have also very much happy that they were surrounded by the winged beauties.
Coimbatore. Events conducted by Coimbatore Nature Society. More details soon.
Kaluveli bioregion. Description from Lourde Nadin Epinal below:
The backyard bird watching programme was conducted around Pitchandikulam Forest, Auroville in two blocks (Marakkanam and Vanur blocks) of Tindivanam Taluk, Vilupuram district. Pitchandikulam Forest Environment Education Team engaged with 61 Eco club students for this birding programmes in 26 location of Kaluveli bioregion. The programmes were coordinated by Lourde Nadin Epinal and Nadukuppam Environment Education Team with school eco clubs.The particular birding areas are farm field, sand dune, salt plan area, mangrove plantation area, wetland, village ponds etc.,This is the bird migration season at Kaluveli wetland where one can easily see migratory birds such as flamingoes. Students used Kaluveli wetland bird poster to identify the birds which they have seen. We got support from the local school head masters and community groups such as Parent Teachers Associations, Education Department, Mother Groups for this wonderful programmes. Children continue to do this kind of birding programmes once in a month in their region.
Thirukurangundi (near Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve). Bird count with college students, coordinated by ATREE.
A ‘heritage tree’ workshop was organised at Tirukurangudi village which is known for its ancient temples in the Tirunelveli dist of Tamil Nadu on 16 Feb 2014. This was to highlight the importance of several old trees present in the Tirunelveli district planted for various cultural and other purposes, and the need to protect them from developmental activities that are threatening their existence. The workshop was attended by 18 youth participants from the Tirukurangudi village. Many of the participants also counted birds as part of the GBBC initiative under the heritage trees between 10-10.15am on 16th Feb.
Salem, Sri Vidya Mandir School. Bird count by students of the school. Description by Ganeshwar SV:
Location: Steel Plant, SalemTarget Audience: School studentsName of the School: Sri Vidya Mandir MHSS, Steel Plant (The School has a Birding Club)No. of students participated: 50I went before the event on 3 consecutive days, to tell them some basics to follow while birding. The students were already involved in birding but never knew such events or what to do with their previous observations. So they considered this as a spectacular opportunity to contribute their best toward conservation. Now they really believe and hope that even their tiny works are also a crucial piece. I feel that this is a real success for GBBC. They are truly eager for more such works and their worry/fear is about their parents who are the only barriers. This event has given them some awesome moments which they feel is unforgettable.
Valparai. Description by P. Jeganathan:
Nature Conservation Foundation Ecoquest staff Ms. Stella visited three schools in Valparai region (Beula Matriculation School, Valparai, Government Middle School, Ropeway, Government High School, Rottikadai) and engaged with the students in bird count and prepared a checklist which are later uploaded on eBird. Totally put together around 60 students participated in this event. Mr. Mathin Henry, Principal of Beula Matriculation School mentioned to me that their students thoroughly enjoyed this event and sent a few photos. Also he mentioned that he is going to get 6 binoculars for their students soon to encourage them in birdwatching.
Surajpur wetlands, NOIDA. Bird count by families and staff of WWF-India on 16 Feb. Description by Diwakar Sharma:
About 20 persons of 13-60 yrs age group visited Surajpur wetland in Uttar Pradesh on 14 Feb 2014. As the day witnessed heavy fog, the visibility was very poor initially. The group walked along the trail and observed birds in the guidance of 4-5 bird experts from WWF-India. Since there was good rains about two days back, the trail had mud in some parts but it did not dampen the mood of the people. About two /two and a half hour walk ended at 11 AM. The participants took interest in observing birds and many of them took back with them new experience.
Many public events were organized in the State during the GBBC. They are listed below.
No. of people
|Ramnagar/ Corbett NP||Rainbow Friends of Nature and Environment||Schoolchildren of GGIC, GIC, Vidya Mandir and Jim Corbett School|
|2 runs of birding:(1) Mohan to Bhakrakot;(2) Kumeria|
|Rajaji NP||Nature Science Initiative||Nature Guides and field researchers|
|2 runs:(1) around Chilla,(2) trail along the Ganga|
|Dehradun||Nature Science Initiative||Students of Jaswant Modern School|
|On school campus|
|Dehradun||Welham Boys’ School nature club||Students of Welham Boys’ School|
|On school campus|
|Dehradun||Citizens’ group led by Mr Ajay Sharma||Citizens’ group|
|In Gandhi Park|
|Dehradun||Doon University birdwatchers led by Khimanand Balodi||Students of Doon University|
|On university campus|
|Rajaji NP||WWF-India team||Team of WWF-Dehradun office|