Just like every year, January is dedicated to the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC). Birders all across India (and all of Asia!) will be visiting all kinds of wetlands to document birds as well as the state of wetlands that harbor them. Initiatives such as these contribute greatly to the documentation and continued monitoring efforts of our wetland birds and their habitats. Find out more about the AWC here.
To contribute to the national effort towards the AWC, the challenge for this month is to upload eligible checklists of a minimum of 15 minutes from at least 2 different wetlands. In addition to uploading to eBird, please also fill in the AWC India eBird 2021 Wetland Assessment Form, and importantly, ‘share’ your checklist with the eBird username: awcindia.
- Please count (not just list) all the species that you see and hear, while visiting wetlands.
- All lists uploaded from wetlands should be of at least 15 minutes or more, complete lists with no X’s.
- In addition to uploading lists from wetlands, it is important to fill the AWC India eBird 2021 Wetland Assessment Form.
- Ensure that the list is shared among all who were present with you, along with the username awcindia
- If a wetland is not an eBird Hotspot then please add appropriate terms that make it obvious that it is a wetland. For example, you can use terms like Pond, Lake, Beach, River, Dam, Reservoir, Canal, Jheel, Kere etc
- Do consider filling AWC India eBird 2021 Wetland Assessment Form for each list that you upload from any wetland
- For best accuracy, take care to avoid double-counting the same birds. Here are some useful resources on how to count birds in large flocks: Bird Counting 101 and Bird Counting 201.
Important: While birding, please ensure that you adhere to COVID-19 related instructions by central and local authorities
What is a wetland?
See this link for how AWC defines a wetland: https://south-asia.wetlands.org/wetlands/what-are-wetlands/
Reference list of wetlands AWC recommends covering: Google Spreadsheet
Wetlands can include rivers, lakes, reservoirs, tanks, swamps, coastal sites, mangroves and mudflats, reefs, sandy beaches, etc.
Please note that all users shared on the list(s) contributed to the AWC Site Information Form will also be eligible for the challenge. In other words, if a group of three people counts birds at a wetland, only one needs to upload his/her list to the AWC Site Information Form. But please ensure that the list is shared among all who were present, along with the username awcindia. The recommended dates for the AWC are 2 – 18 January 2021, counts from any dates in January and February are welcomed.
Please upload all your lists (and fill out the google form) by 10 February 2021 so that we can announce the results soon after that. Here are the general rules of our monthly challenges. And check out the yearlong challenges for 2021 (coming soon) as well! You can keep track of fresh lists coming in from India on this page.
Banner image: Bluethroat Luscinia svecicas by Abhishek Das/Macaulay Library, from this checklist.