38 Species of Birds Sighted in St. Aloysius College Campus during Campus Bird Count
Mangaluru: Campus Bird Count (CBC) is a sub-event of the larger ‘Great Backyard Bird Count’ (GBBC), organized by Bird Count India in collaboration with eBIRD every year since 2015. This is an effort to document the bird life in various campuses across India. This year over 250 campuses took part in this mega birding event.
St. Aloysius College, a 138-year-old campus is situated at the center of Mangaluru city and is spread over 37 acres. The campus took part in this event for the first time. The event was organized by Department of Zoology. The campus bird count team was led by Vineeth Kumar K., Assistant professor, Department of Zoology in active presence of Kiran Vati, Lecturer. Department of Zoology and Dr. Hemachandra, HOD, Department of Zoology. Total of 41 students from various UG Science and Arts departments of the college actively participated in the bird count.
Four days (15th to 18th February) of birding event concluded with recording of 38 species of birds. The common most birds of the campus include Black Kite, Brahminy Kite, Feral Pigeons, Rosy Starlings, Chestnut-Tailed Starlings, Asian Koels and White Cheeked Barbet. Total of 8 migratory bird species were reported from this campus which includes Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Indian Paradise Flycatcher, Green Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Brown Breasted Flycatcher, Blue Capped Rock-Thrush, Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater and Ashy Drongo. Sighting of Blue capped rock thrush is a rare and unusual for this part of the coast.
The campus being in the midst of a crowded coastal city is home to several bird species, which is a rare and interesting observation. This emphasizes the importance of green patches in an urbanized area. Campus has several small green patches with large woody trees which act as sheltering grounds, additionally there are many flowering and fruiting plants in the campus which attracts many birds as they provide food to these birds. There are hundreds of Black kites seen perched on top of various buildings in the campus. Barn owls are seen resting in the old administrative building. Calls of Asian Koels and White-cheeked barbets can be heard throughout the day. Flocks of hundreds of Rosy and Chestnut tailed starlings flying around the campus is a blissful sight to cherish.
Such bird counts done for several years will give an understanding of how the bird populations are changing with time. Bird-watching is a best way to spend our leisure time and anyone can practice this hobby irrespective of their age, occupation and place. Watching birds can bring joy to our minds and be a good stress reliever. With continuous practice bird watching becomes integral part of a birdwatchers life.
Report submitted by: Vineeth Kumar K., Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, St. Aloysius College, Mangaluru