To commemorate the birth anniversary of the Bird Man of India, Dr Salim Ali, a pan India bird watching event will be organised on November 13. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) organised the event last year after a gap of nearly three decades since the last bird watch event across India.
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“Sálim Ali Bird Count is a flagship programme of BNHS. We aim to take it to pan India level and involve more people over the course of the next few years by strengthening the Indian Bird Conservation Network. This is a good opportunity to visit the Important Bird Areas (IBAs),” said BNHS director Dr Deepak Apte.
In the long run, said a society spokesperson, the event would not only help in maintaining a record of birds but also their migratory patterns. Last year, nearly 16,000 observations were made by bird enthusiasts across 22 states. At least 514 species of birds were spotted. “Thirty species of those birds spotted last year were from the list of threatened birds. This is the season for birds to migrate. Between sunrise and 9 am would be a good time to catch the birds doing their various activities,” said a spokesperson.
All the bird watchers to participate in this event may choose the location of their choice for a minimum of 15 minutes. Lists of all species spotted would have to be submitted by filling the ‘count summary sheet’, which is available on http://www.bnhs.org, and sent via email to a research assistant who would be collating all the data.
The ‘count summary sheet’ is an Excel sheet containing a checklist of birds found in India. According to the BNHS, diverse forest birds could be spotted at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra Nature Park and the BNHS Conservation Education Centre (CEC) in Goregaon in the state. A variety of water birds could be found in Satpul near Dombivli , Bhandup pumping station, the Sewri mudflats and around the Thane creek.
Dr Salim Ali, who died in 1987, had conducted several bird surveys and also written several books on birds.
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