WII-ENVIS centre on Wildlife & Protected Areas organised the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), a popular citizen science event to map the distribution and abundance of birds across the globe, from 17-20th February 2017. The count was held at Wildlife Institute of India campus along with 289 other campuses across India (including research stations, government institutions, schools, colleges, universities and corporate offices etc.). As part of the count, birders were grouped into 4 teams and they surveyed in and around the WII campus. All the areas of campus i.e. Hostel & Nature trail, Admin Block and Faculty Residential colony, Sal patch near WII and IIIrd block residential colony were sampled on all four days.
Habitats covered during the GBBC 2017:
Moist-deciduous Siwalik Sal forest,
Open wooded compounds / gardens / parks,
Shrub jungle with thickets of Lantana and young Sal,
Open scrubland with fallow / barren crop-fields and
Wetland (WII Lake)
Altogether 4862 individuals of 146 species were recorded during the campus bird count period. Among them 30 individuals of 8 species i.e. warbler sp., Swallow sp., Swift sp. etc. were unidentified. Birds like Rose ringed parakeet, Indian spot billed duck, Jungle babbler and Red vented bulbul were the most seen birds, and total 25 bird species were recorded only once during the count including Eurasian wryneck, Himalayan buzzard, White tailed rubythroat, Himalayan flameback etc.
The GBBC was coordinated by Dr. Gopi G V, Scientist-E. A total of 37 people participated in the campus bird count team which were divided in to four groups and coordinated by: Sudip Banerjee, Sumit Arya, Anant Pande, Suresh Rana, Shuvendu Das, Upma Manral, D.S. Pundir and Deepak Brid.
Apart from the Campus Bird Count, a special session was organized on 19 Feb 2017 to introduce birds and bird watching to children in WII campus. Several kids participated enthusiastically and they were taken for guided birding around the campus. A checklist of 15 birds was prepared at the end of the count by the kids.
More information about the GBBC, Campus Bird Count, and other associated events can be found at http://gbbc.birdcount.org/, http://www.birdcount.in/ and http://ebird.org/ . The global GBBC event is organized by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society and this is the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.
Glimpses of Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) 2017