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Birds add color to cities


The Hindu, New Delhi, 13 April, 2015


 India became the country recording the second highest bird count at 735 species, after Ecuador with 784 species.

 

Professional and amateur bird watchers use a variety of tools today, including online portals to keep counts of species. They update this frequently. Thus, when the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was conducted in mid-February, India became the country recording the second highest bird count at 735 species, after Ecuador with 784 species.

 

As enthusiasts are aware, birds are most active early in the morning. The best time to watch them is between 6 and 9, with a peak in activity in between. Morning walkers spot many species in their backyard.

 

 

During the recent backyard bird count, participants in Uttarakhand came in first with 383 species, Tamil Nadu with 324, Karnataka with 322 and Kerala with 299. All these States have good bird diversity, and so do some others.

 

After the common crow, the other most frequently encountered species in India were common Myna, Rock Pigeon, Black Drongo, and Asian Koel, as per the GBBC.

 

What makes for a bird-friendly city? The online journal Nature of Cities, which has several trained specialist contributors, makes the following points: City planning must factor in biodiversity and conservation, bird baths and feeding areas, along with specific plant and tree species to attract birds. Cities without suitable vegetation and water bodies are bereft of birds.

 

Unlike agriculture, which is a monoculture, cities can be made biodiverse with several different types of trees. This actually makes them better placed to host a variety of birds than plain farms.

 

On the other hand, birds in cities are affected by the presence of free-roaming cats, large glass windows without glazing, a lot of lighting and steadily glowing red lamps.

 

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/online-portals-to-keep-counts-of-bird-species/article7095487.ece