12 January 2018

2018 Pongal Bird Count

The annual Pongal Bird Count, held for the fourth consecutive year is an opportunity for everyone to observe, learn and appreciate bird life. The event is part of a worldwide effort to document birds around the globe and to make bird watching popular and scientific. The event is coordinated by Tamil Birders Network and Bird Count India. The result of the count will be uploaded on ebird.org (an online platform for bird watchers to register their observations in a systematic manner. It is like a bird atlas which through its created database arrives at birding trends over the years.

The 2018 Pongal Bird Count will be held from January 13 to 17. Birders from all over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will document bird species and count their numbers for at least 15 minutes each day and thereafter upload the observations. Through this Pongal Bird Count, growth and distribution of bird species, migratory and behaviour patterns will be assessed. In addition this count will help spread awareness towards bird conservation.

Pongal Bird Count was started in 2015. In the 2017 Pongal Bird Count, birders from all over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, participated. Out of 1741 lists submitted, most were from Coimbatore, Pudukkottai, Kancheepuram, Thanjavur and Tiruvannamalai (top five districts).

House Crow was the most common resident bird appearing in 53.8% of all the checklists, followed by Common Myna (53%), Black Drongo (45%), Large-billed Crow (41%) and Indian Pond-Heron (39%). The most common migrant appearing in 31.2% of the check-lists was Barn Swallow followed by Blue-tailed Bee-eater (25%), Blyth’s Reed-Warbler (21%), Rosy Starling (13%) and Common Sandpiper (12%).

Various resource materials are available at on how to prepare bird checklists in eBird, online pictorial guide to some common birds of Tamil Nadu and Introduction to birds and birdwatching. These resources are available in both English and Tamil. For more details go to this link here.

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