Tracking Kochi’s winged friends 

“Though many bird surveys have been conducted, we never got to extensively cover the city

author_img Steni Simon Published :  27th July 2022 02:58 PM   |   Published :   |  27th July 2022 02:58 PM
Woolly-necked stork

Woolly-necked stork

Kochi has always boasted a rich diversity of birds, including migratory and non-migratory species. However, rapid urbanisation and climate change have led to the disappearance of many of them, say ornithologists.  

To record Kochi’s bird diversity and also help give insights into how the changing environment is affecting our avian friends, the Cochin Natural History Society (CNHS) is planning to conduct a comprehensive survey under the corporation limits. 

“Though many bird surveys have been conducted, we never got to extensively cover the city. Surveys were restricted to some areas such as Kadamakudy,” says CNHS secretary Vishnupriyan Kartha. “The upcoming survey will track all bird species found in the city.” 

Notably, a recent survey conducted in the district recorded 413 species of birds. Some of the interesting sightings included Eurasian spoonbill, lesser coucal, black-bellied plover, grey-necked bunting, spot-billed pelican, gadwall, long-toed stint, Eurasian wryneck, Chinese pond heron, Egyptian vulture, dusky warbler, Mongolian short-toed lark, red-billed tropicbird and pectoral sandpiper. 

Currently, a three-year-long survey has been planned, and it will be supported by the city corporation. Experts involved in the project say the survey would cover invasive species of plants found in water bodies within the city limits. 

“The survey will record the presence of birds during the migratory season (January to March) and non-migratory season (July to September),” says Vishnupriyan. “We will use GPS to track the location of the birds that are identified, and the data will be uploaded on an online database named eBird.” 

He adds that nature enthusiasts and volunteers would be part of the project. “Though random places would be chosen for recording the bird species, more focus would be given to areas under corporation limits,” says Vishnupriyan. “As the survey is planned over three years, we hope to get a clear picture of the status of bird population, the rise and decline.”