Annual Bird Race conducted in city - The New Indian Express

Annual Bird Race conducted in city

Published: 12th November 2013 12:29 PM

Last Updated: 12th November 2013 12:31 PM

Around 78 amateur bird-watchers participating in the seventh HSBC Kerala Bird Race in the city this Sunday were able to spot some 149 species of birds from seven birding sites. This is a fall from last year’s total species count of 157, and in addition each birding site also fell, according to a release issued by WWF-Kerala, which organised the day-long event.

The fall was especially felt in the Punchakkari wetlands, Bonacaud forests and Kallar-Ponmudi. Where Punchakkari, a major landing site for migratory birds, had afforded birders sightings of 76 species last year, this year the number had fallen to 48.

Similarly, the team in Bonacaud counted 59 species this year whereas the number had been 80 in 2012. From Kallar-Ponmudi, the number of species sighted this year was 70, as opposed to 82 last year.

The extended rain this year and fluctuations in temperature is one of the reasons suspected for the fall in number of migratory bird sightings like red shank, green shank, golden plover, and black winged stilt.

The WWF’s activity report of this year’s Bird Race also blames the loss of paddy cultivation - which had provided mud-flats for feeding - at Punchakkari wetlands for the fall in water birds. “The pollution of Akkulam-Veli Lake also resulted less number of water-birds,” the report stated.

The other sites for the day were Arippa forests (73 species spotted), Kottoor (54), Akkulam-Veli (42) and city, including zoo premises (35).

Positive sightings of the day, the report said, include three Black Bazas in the Kallar forests and Tickell’s blue flycatcher from Kottoor forests.

An interesting sighting was the presence of peacock from Kallar and Bonacaud “but indicates the increase in atmospheric temperature,” the report said.

The valedictory session of the Bird Race in the city was inaugurated by cine actor Kollam Thulasi. All the participants were gifted with a book on Kerala’s birds ‘Keralathile Sadharana Pakshikal’ written by C Susanth.

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