Synchronized bird count to begin January 22 as migratory bird arrival peaks – The New Indian Express

Express news service

CHENNAI: As the annual migration of Arctic birds begins to Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary at Kodiyakarai in Nagapattinam, the state forestry department has scheduled its annual synchronized bird census on January 22 and 23. Shorebird lakhs have already flocked to the area and the size of the congregation, which field observers say ranges up to 4-5 km, is much larger than in previous years.

Chief Wildlife Custodian Shekar Kumar Niraj said: “Usually the census is taken in February. But this time around, we’ve decided to move it forward until January of last week, when bird numbers are expected to peak. The census will be carried out simultaneously in the 16 bird sanctuaries, marshes and other important wetlands of Tamil Nadu. The objective is to assess the diversity of species and the population of migratory birds.

A webinar involving the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and the Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History and Wildlife Institute of India will be held prior to the bird assessment, to discuss the methodology and techniques to be adopted in the exercise. “All census results will be sent to Wildlife Warden, Nagapattinam for compilation and analysis. They will prepare a consolidated bird estimate report and submit it to me by February 10,” Niraj said.

Bivash Pandav, director of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), told TNIE it would be too early to draw any conclusions about the migratory bird population, but stressed that good congregations were seen at Point Calimere, all this thanks to a good monsoon.

S Balachandran, deputy director of the BNHS Regional Migration Study Center in Kodiyakarai, said the last week of January was the perfect time to take the census. “About 3-4 lakh shorebirds congregate in November last week and December the first week. This year things look very bright and the conditions are perfect for the birds to stay longer than usual. Thousands of terns and gulls, small sandpipers, sandpipers and ring-necked turnstones have been seen wading in shallow water, ”he said.

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