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Birding in the 21st Century.

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eBird Mobile 1.3: breeding and behavior codes

Baya Weaver (Breeding Code: NB Confirmed -- Nest Building) © Prashanth N S (Checklist)

Following the release of the new eBird profile pages, now is the turn for a new version of eBird Mobile.

Our recent monthly “What’s on in…” posts have talked about breeding birds and how to report breeding evidence. The new release of the eBibrd Mobile app (version 1.3) allows one to enter breeding and behaviour codes through the app. This makes it easier to track breeding bird activity and also lets you log ‘flyovers’ (for example, when you see a cormorant flying right over a forest habitat). [Read more…]

What’s on in September

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin © Ashish Bhatt (view checklist)

September is an exciting month of the year and it usually signals the start of the “birding season” for many as the rains finally begin to retreat and a number of the migrants now start passing through.

Some of the birds that make their way through India at this time of the year are those which are on their way from breeding grounds further north to their wintering grounds in Africa. At this time, birds such as the Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin and Spotted Flycatcher make short stops in the North West parts of the country before continuing with their migration. [Read more…]

2016 taxonomy update for Indian birds

Emerald Dove is now Asian Emerald Dove © Dr Sumit Chakrabarti (checklist)

Each year, eBird updates the base eBird/Clements checklist to take into account any changes resulting from newly discovered species or better taxonomic understanding — including species splits, lumps, name changes and changes in sequence. In addition, various new helpful options for data entry for birds that cannot be identified to species are added, e.g. spuhs, slashes, hybrids, and domestic forms.

The 2016 update for the global eBird/Clements checklist is now available, and has been implemented in eBird. A number of these changes impact Indian birds, and these are described here. [Read more..]

What’s on in August

Bristled Grassbird © Santanu Chatterjee See in checklist

August is an interesting month of the year. While most parts of the country continue to receive heavy rainfall, the amount of water and associated increase in vegetation and prey items stimulates changes in birdlife both locally and in terms of long-distance migration.

August is a good time to look out for some resident birds that are otherwise hard to detect; and for early-returning migrants! [Read more…]

What’s on in July

Watercock male © Suresh C Sharma (See in checklist)

Although a relatively quiet month in the year for some birders, July can be an exciting time to add to our knowledge of birds. As the rains hit various parts of the country, a number of changes occur in the birdlife of the region as well.

Skulking waterbirds like bitterns and watercock become more visible. Within-country migration means that species like Indian Golden Oriole are seen much more frequently in northern India. And birding through the year has revealed hitherto unsuspected local migration, for example the departure of the supposedly resident Black Drongo from Mysuru district in summer. [Read more…]

What’s on in June

Pied Cuckoo, by Arabinda Pal, from this checklist.

June welcomes the annual monsoon, often associated with the arrival of the Pied Cuckoo – a bird which migrates from Africa to India in time for the rains. (In central and northern India, that is; southern India has resident Pied Cuckoos.) But it is also the season when other cuckoos in our region are active. As can be seen in the line graphs, some of the region’s cuckoos are especially active between April and September and thus get recorded more often. So keep alert and listen out for any cuckoos in your area! [Read more…]

What’s on in May

Indian Thick-knee, by Uday Kiran. From this eBird checklist.

May isn’t usually the most popular month amongst birders – it’s extremely hot across many parts of the country and a lot of birders are busy trying to beat the heat. However, May still has a lot to offer! Endemic Bird Day on 14 May is a chance to get outside to document birds that make their home in this part of the world and nowhere else? Make sure you get out early, to beat the heat! [Read more…]

Introducing the new media search tool

Bluethroat, by Akash Gulalia. From this eBird checklist, and image archived at the Macaulay Library.

Some exciting news as the summer heats up! The new eBird/Macaulay Library Media Search tool has been released. With this, you can explore photos and sounds uploaded through eBird, as well as the full collection of bird sounds and video archived in the Macaulay Library through traditional methods. With nearly 20,000 photos and 1,400 audio files uploaded to eBird from India (over half a million photos and more than 150,000 audio files globally) in the past five months, there is plenty to explore! [Read more…]

What’s on in April

Paddyfield Warbler

April is here and so is the heat. Large numbers of wintering migrants are expected to leave this month for cooler breeding grounds, and you can see which ones deplete in numbers by looking at the seasonality charts. Some species leave almost entirely by April – such as the Greylag Goose, Gadwall, Paddyfield Warbler and the Yellow-browed Warbler. Others, such as the Blyth’s Reed Warbler only begin to move towards the end of April.

April is also the month when some summer migrants begin appearing in the North-western states – moving into breeding grounds from south India. [Read more…]

What’s on in March

It’s that time of the year again! Resident birds have begun singing and courting for mates while winter migrants everywhere are looking to head back to their breeding grounds. Many of the birds wintering in South India will now be on passage across the northern parts of the country – announcing an exciting time for birders up north who now get a chance to see some passage migrants alongside winter migrants and residents! This frequency graph shows how Sulphur-bellied Warblers appear in Delhi and Haryana largely in March and April as they move north of their wintering grounds in central India. [Read more…]