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Sunday, June 07, 2020

Mumbai: Grey hornbills, peacocks, storks among birds sighted as noise pollution goes down

Last week, images of peacocks and peahens spotted at Babulnath went viral on social media, another example of the nature reclaiming its lost space, avid bird watchers said.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai | Published: April 6, 2020 2:10:25 am
Mumbai air pollution, Bird sighted, india lockdown, mumbai news, indian express news “Noise pollution is minimal and as a result, there is more bird movement even in urban areas. The smaller birds were always there but not audible because of both crows and human noise,” said Mumbai-based naturalist Sunjoy Monga. (Representational Image)

A video shared by industrialist Harsh Goenka showing a pair of grey hornbills perched on the balcony of his South Mumbai home has left many enamoured. The grey hornbill, mostly arboreal and commonly sighted in pairs, is the latest among birds that have made an appearance in the city that will remain under a lockdown until April 14.

Last week, images of peacocks and peahens spotted at Babulnath went viral on social media, another example of the nature reclaiming its lost space, avid bird watchers said.

“Noise pollution is minimal and as a result, there is more bird movement even in urban areas. Lots of smaller birds are now visible and audible in past 10 days because the crows have scattered in search for food. The smaller birds were always there but not audible because of both crows and human noise,” said Mumbai-based naturalist Sunjoy Monga.

From his balcony in Andheri Lokhnadwala, Monga has spotted several migratory and smaller birds since the lockdown which include storks, red-breasted flycatcher and the Asian koel.

With humans under lockdown to fight the coronavirus, the social media is abuzz with wildlife, bird sightings in the urban areas. Shared by many, these images and videos show peacocks and peahen frolicking through the deserted streets. While some are sitting on top of cars, others simply are walking around.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, two peacocks and three peahens were photographed by a Khareghat resident. The birds are frequently seen in the area.

The Sanjay Gandhi National Park also came alive, with pictures of deer on deserted roads inside the park. The footfall in the park is anything between 1,000 to 5,000 daily, which doubles on weekends and holidays. With the park closed since the Janata curfew on March 22, there have been no human visitors inside the park. There has been sighting of leopards on the road connecting Bhandup and the other road connecting the Kanheri caves during daytime.

Meanwhile, Bird Count India has commenced a 21-day lockdown birding challenge. Over 2,000 bird watchers from across Kerala will observe birds from their balconies or front/backyards of their homes for 15 days to one month and enter their findings on the eBird platform. Birders from all over India are participating in the challenge, observing birds from their respective homes.

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