A number of bird lovers in the city are enthusiastically participating in bird counting in areas around their dwellings as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), which began on February 17 and will go on till February 20.
Raman Kumar, director of Nature's Science Initiative, said, "According to GBBC guidelines, the bird count has to be done in 15 minutes in one stretch, and hence I have devoted around six hours to it in the past two-and-a-half days in Rajaji Tiger Reserve, Haridwar Forest Division and Lansdowne Forest Division. I am taking out time from my research project and will continue to count birds till February 20."
Raman Kumar said the marathon exercise, which is carried out voluntarily by bird lovers the world over, gives ample information about the bird species and their densities region-wise in different countries and, hence, helps in drawing plans for their conservation.
Vinod Pundir, an employee at Wildlife Institute of India, said that four teams — consisting of WII staffers, scientists and researchers — have been formed for the purpose. Each team goes to different locations on the WII campus every day for a couple of hours and takes photographs and writes the names of birds. They then upload the details on the GBBC website.
Student groups that are part of the nature club, Nisarg, in Forest Research of India (FRI), are getting up early to contribute to GBBC. Gurpreet Singh, an FRI student, said, "The students congregate at a designated spot in FRI around 6 am and then go in different directions to prepare the checklist of birds. The students are passionate about conservation of birds and have come forward to enthusiastically participate in GBBC. They think it is their duty towards nature and bird conservation."