Srinagar: As part of a global effort, birdwatchers in Himalayan regions of India, Nepal and Bhutan will come together and document birds of the mountain range during the 2nd annual Himalayan Bird Count (HBC) event to be held this weekend.
From the westernmost Ladakh to the easternmost Arunachal Pradesh, the Himalayan Bird Count aims to celebrate the incredible bird diversity and bring attention to the threatened habitats of the Himalaya.
Significantly, Jammu and Kashmir will also participate in the annual Himalayan Bird Count as bird watchers here are geared to take part in the process.
The Himalayan Bird Count is being organised by Bird Count India in association with the Royal Society for Protection of Nature, Bhutan and the Bird Conservation Nepal.
"This is the second year of the Himalayan Bird Count. Last year, this event saw remarkable enthusiasm, with over 400 birdwatchers participating from Nepal, Bhutan, and India, uploading 1,150 bird lists and reporting 626 species" the organisers said.
They said the event is organised to bring the Himalayan birding fraternity together for a common good.
The event is open to bird enthusiasts, conservationists, and nature lovers of all ages and backgrounds.
The organisations have collectively decided to organise this event on "Endemic Bird Day" and 'Global Big Day', also celebrated on May 13 2023, to spread awareness about Himalaya’s bird biodiversity.
“The Himalayan Bird Count is an excellent endeavour to gather data on birds in the ecologically fragile Himalayan region. It also presents us with another opportunity to engage with the public to create awareness on the importance of birds and their role in nature” says Sanjay Sondhi, naturalist and founder trustee, Titli Trust, Dehradun, Uttarakhand in a statement.
“The Himalayan Bird Count is a great event that brings together scientists and citizens to study bird distribution in the fragile Himalayan mountains and assess the health of many bird species threatened by climate change and other anthropogenic factors. I think such events help people learn about bird ecology and their habitat!” says Sunitha Kathiwara, Project Officer at Forest & Environment Department, Government of Sikkim.
Founder of the local bird-watching club, Birds of Kashmir, Irfan Jeelani said, "we are fully prepared for the event. We have clubbed government boys higher secondary school Kangan to take part in the event" Irfan told Greater Kashmir.
Irfan said there will be designated birders, coordinators across the length and breadth of the valley who will be taking part in the event. He said the importance of the event is to promote the importance of protecting birds as well showcase our region’s bird diversity.
The organisers said people can participate in the event by watching and counting birds for a minimum of 15 minutes or more on May 13 from anywhere in the Himalayan regions. “Create a list of birds that you see, hear and upload them to eBird.org. eBird Mobile app is the easiest way to create and upload your bird lists,” they said.