Pitchandikulam’s  Birds Friends Club turns one

Red vented bulbul
Red vented bulbul

For just over a year now, Pitchandikulam Forest has been running its Birds Friends Club, a bird watching programme that has been gathering pace and inspiring growing numbers of bird lovers in and around Pitchandikulam Forest.

Set up by the wildlife biologists of Pitchandikulam, the club provides a cost-free, fun way for children and adults to learn about different kinds of birds that live in their immediate environment, and to start to understand the birds’ role in the ecosystem and their importance for biodiversity. Armed with binoculars and bird checklists, the group meets every week to walk through the existing forest trails in the peaceful sanctuary of Pitchandikulam, spotting and observing birds with experts on hand to guide them.

Biologist Bubesh Gupta, who initiated the project, describes his fascination with birds: “Birds play an important role in the ecosystem as a part of the food web, as potential pollinators and bio-indicators. Birds can be fascinating creatures with much to offer those who care to study their lives.  Watching birds can reveal things about nature and the beauty that exists in it. It is an ideal solitary sport, your mind settles down.  Your senses open up, and all nature seems to become your friend. Identifying a bird can be challenging as birds are active energetic animals and you need a quick eye to spot as many details as possible in a short span of time.”

Some of the birds from Pitchandikulam

The club’s aim is also to create an accurate and detailed survey of the bio-region’s bird population, identifying species, tracking bird populations, recording their numbers and frequency. Since the club’s inception the team has been exploring different areas in and around Auroville, identifying a number of species which have not so far been recorded in this area, and the plan is to cover the whole of Kaluveli bioregion. So far the indication is that the area is rich in bird diversity, with a total of 63 species of birds belonging to 25 Families recorded. It also points to the immediate need for further habitat studies and active conservation in order to protect the birds and their environment.

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To join the club, please email your request to birdsfriendsclub@gmail.com

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