The annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) and Campus Bird Count (CBC) concluded on 15 February across the country. The four-day event was coordinated by the Bird Count India Collective. This year around, a city-based Wildlife NGO, Wildlife Conservation Through Research and Education (WCTRE), collaborated with Bird Count India and organised the walks here in Vizag. While Andhra Pradesh recorded more than 270 bird species, Vizag stood third in the state with as many as 134 species of birds.
Speaking to Yo! Vizag, Ms Bhagyasree, research biologist and member trustee of WCTRE, shared that the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is the Indian adaptation of the global Great Backyard Bird Count. She said that the Great Backyard Bird Count is an initiative of Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology.
Noting that the birders in India have been taking part in the annual event since 2013, she said that the information (species identification, number of each species, and activities) gathered during these four days will be collated at e-Bird, an online platform, by all the participants. These checklists submitted by the birders prove to be crucial in providing information on a variety of aspects, including the population distribution and breeding hotspots, among others. These inputs can later be accessed by anyone across the globe.
Shedding light on the GBBC and the CBBC here in Vizag, Ms Bhagyasree said that the latter was done in Andhra University, GITAM University, and Indira Gandhi Zoological Park. The GBBC, on the other hand, was held at Meghadri Gedda reservoir, Podugupalem lake, Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary, Bheemili shoreline, NTPC Ash pond, and other locations.
Stating her observations, the member trustee of WCTRE mentioned that when compared to last year, the number of species recorded has witnessed an increase in 2021. Elaborating further, she said, “In 2020, 99 bird species were recorded across Vizag District. This year around, the number shot up to 134. Interestingly, five species were recorded for the first time from the district. They are Terek Sandpiper, Pin-tailed Snipe, Ruff, Palla’s Gulls, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and Pied Harrier.”