More than 270 species of birds were recorded from the State this year during the four-day annual event of The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) and Campus Bird Count (CBC) held during this week. Organised every year in February for four days, the GBBC and CBC India is coordinated by the Bird Count India Collective.
Interestingly, this year Visakhapatnam district reported more than 130 species of birds, taking the district to the third position on species diversity next to Chittoor and East Godavari. Five species were recorded for the first time from the district. These are ruff, pin-tailed snipe, pied harrier, Palla’s gull and lesser black-backed gull. This time, a city-based wildlife NGO, Wildlife Conservation Through Research and Education (WCTRE), collaborated with Bird Count India and coordinated the event in the district.
“Compared to 2020 results where 99 species were recorded in the district, this year the diversity recorded has increased to 134. The district is a hotspot for over 30 migratory avian species and our neighbourhood holds an importance in these birds’ migratory life. Hence it is of utmost importance for the common man to come forward and contribute in protecting them,” said V. Bhagyasree of Wildlife Conservation Through Research and Education (WCTRE).
Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) India is the Indian implementation of the global Great Backyard Bird Count. Birders in India have participated in the GBBC since the event went worldwide in 2013. The data is collated at eBird, a global online platform, for documenting and maintaining observations of birds. It is housed in Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology.
These annual snapshots of bird populations provide crucial information on a variety of important questions, including “how birds are distributed across the country, how they are affected by changes in habitat and weather, and whether populations and distributions might be changing from year to year.”
In the district, GBBC was conducted in locations such as Meghadri Gedda reservoir, Podugupalem lake, Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary and Campus Bird Counts were done in Andhra University, GITAM University and Indira Gandhi Zoological Park. With active participation from the members of WCTRE, Vizag Birdwatcher’s Society and nature enthusiasts, the event was a huge success.