A group of bird enthusiasts camped in the village in the early hours on Sunday, to save wetland birds visiting Sivarakottai by documenting their numbers.
At the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), a global annual four-day event (February 14-17, 2014) engaging bird watchers of all ages in counting birds in their area to know bird population, around thirty nature enthusiasts and bird watchers from the city chose Sivarakottai village for bird watching.
“Wetland birds grab attention in all places and those in the Madurai region are no exception. Hence, we decided to go for wetland birds and the area surrounding the Malaiurani Perumal Koil in Sivarakottai was the apt place for bird watching,” said Tamildasan, a member of a youth-friends’ group called ‘Naanal Nanbargal Kuzhu’.
“Sivarakottai village, which is home to several species of birds, is facing a threat because of the government proposal to bring in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on 2,500 acres which made the bird counting vital at this juncture,” he said.
“The team spotted nearly 33 varieties of birds in Sivarakottai, which is nearly 10 km from Thirumangalam, with some interesting species making the area a decent habitat for birds,” said Elanchezhiyan, a research scholar and bird watcher from the city.
“We found varieties of birds from the same family, such as silver-billed munias, black-headed munias (apart from pallid harrier), blue-tailed bee eaters, brown-backed shrikes, peafowl, golden orioles, kingfishers, skylarks, Eurasian collared-doves, Indian rollers, kite and Baya weavers,” he said.
Several college students, professionals and bird enthusiasts including firsttime bird watchers took part in the event and learned about the existence of the varieties of birds and their importance in the ecosystem from the experts.