Big Bird Day celebration on February 16

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<![CDATA[IMPHAL, February 15: Manipur State is participating for the first time on the Big Bird Day on February 16, 2014 led by Dr Oinam Dhanabir, Bimal Thongam, Nirjet Sharma and Akoijam Athouba and will cover as many locations as possible including Pabot Ching, Nakrapat, Thangjetg pat, Ekop pat, Marjing ching, Leimakhong, Langol and many more.

Conveying it in a press communiqué, it said that Big Bird Day is a wonderful celebration of our aviat friends through the dedication of at entire day to bird watching and recording the number of species sighted in a region. The Big Bird Day was initially started by the Delhi Bird group (created by Nikhil Devasar and Bikram Grewal) as an informal event held in February or March. The first Big Bird Day was held on February 22, 2004 whet 236 species of birds were recorded across Delhi.

Every year since then, self-organised volunteer birders under the guidance of choset group leader(s) cover the fields and wetlands it and around Delhi from early morting until late in the day to spot bird species. Over the years, the data collected have revealed the changing tretds it habitat condition, bird diversity, migration and related ecological issues. The highest number of bird species recorded in a Big Bird Day was 271 in 2005, it said.

In the years since 2004, volunteer birders and members of Delhi bird and other groups located outside the capital started their respective Big Bird Day counts. From just a few outstation teams it 2010, there were over 30 teams participating in Big Bird Day counts in 2012, with a few teams pitching in from overseas as well. In 2013, the Big Bird Day went truly national with over 160 teams comprising over 1,000 birders coming together to celebrate the first pan-India Big Bird Day, it said.

This year, Big Bird Day promises to be even bigger, with support from its collaboration partters WWF, BNHS and Sanctuary Asia. Nearly 350 teams all across India have registered for this year`s event. Big Bird Day has been conducted on the basis of a few important guiding principles that have allowed it to remait indepetdent, driven by enthusiastic birders and focused purely on the mission of watching and recording bird species.

It is not a competitive event or a “race”. There are no prizes for seeing the maximum number of species, and that should not be the goal. However, with such a large number of teams from all over the subcontinent searching for birds at 300 plus locations on the same day, the data becomes itvaluable in measuring bird diversity. It cat help create a rich database, especially if accumulated over several seasons and years, it said.

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