GBBC and CBC 2018 + Big Bird Day – National Capital Region
The Great Backyard Bird Count is always a spectacle worth taking part in – thousands of people all over the world united for four days by just one aim – to got out there and watch birds. This time too, the scenario was no different.
While coordinating GBBC for Delhi , I realised how remarkably welcoming our community is. Within a heartbeat, so many birders came forward to conduct walks for people who were as yet unacquainted with birds. We were successful in organising more than 15 birdwalks and 8 talks for around 13 different groups.
A lot of new members joined us this time, many of whom participated in the Campus Bird Count (CBC) – which is an offshoot of GBBC. Students of the Mangar Government School, who have a particularly active Eco Club, were a delight to bird with. They are a very enthusiastic bunch, closely connected to the Delhi Birders who regularly conduct walks with them. What I enjoyed the most was observing students expressing awe over seeing the common birds such as the Coppersmith Barbet, Rufous Treepie and Indian Grey Hornbill! They could never imagine sharing the same space with such beautiful creatures!
“A bird count was precisely what the students needed to instil the thought of admiration for birds within them!” is what Dr. Anupam Varshney from Hindu College said to me, after telling me that she will now never forget the call of the Brown-headed Barbet!
While days one and two saw a lot of participation, day three turned out to be amazing with the Big Bird Day (BBD) coinciding. Within a day, more than 20 teams participated, counting 237 species. It was all so overwhelming, with everyone simultaneously also checking how the rest of the countries have faired. Not surprisingly enough, India was at the top with most species reported till 18th night!
Besides instilling a sense of connection, GBBC also incepts the idea of documenting wildlife around us – a practice of extreme importance, considering how rapidly biodiversity is diminishing. Among the 14 Campuses that participated in CBC from Delhi-NCR, Amity University from Gurgaon recorded 71 species – the highest this year. After them were Jawaharlal Nehru University with 67 species and GGS Indraprastha University with 64.
Ultimately, with 226* species, 224 checklists and a multitude of walks and talks spanning across the entire city – GBBC in Delhi this time too was a success!
*these are species reported entirely from the Delhi region. A lot of teams during Big Bird Day and CBC covered areas around Delhi which were counted under Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The Big Bird Day also saw participation from Uttarakhand, Telangana, Jammu, Karnataka and even Singapore!
– Misha Bansal, GBBC state coordinator for Delhi-NCR