With no official figure of the number of pigeons in the city, the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has initiated a pigeon count this week. The group has organised a platform for bird watchers, ornithologists and all nature lovers to record and report pigeons in their vicinity. According to BNHS, an exponential rise of pigeons has possibly also given rise to several diseases in the city. The objective of the exercise is to gather data about this common bird and study its ecology and behaviour.
“The BNHS has organised a count of rock pigeons throughout this week under its Common Bird Monitoring Programme. Bird watchers can count pigeons around kabutar khaanas or any place that hosts large groups of pigeons,” a statement issued by the BNHS read.
The Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) is now commonly sighted in large numbers in urban as well as rural areas. Though their original habitat is cliffs and rocky coasts, rapid urbanisation with construction of tall buildings offer plenty of space for nesting to pigeons, the BNHS said.
“‘Kabutar khaanas’ have been established in a number of places to feed pigeons regularly which attract large congregation of these birds. People feed pigeons for a variety of reasons, including cultural and religious. There is a growing concern over rapid increase in the population of rock pigeons which might directly affect people living nearby. There have been discussions about diseases being spread due to pigeons but sufficient data is not available for further analysis,” read a statement by BNHS.
Bird watchers can send collected data to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the GPS location from where the picture was sent.
The data collection will end on May 28.