News & Features

What’s on in June

Pied Cuckoo in flight, photo: Albin Jacob (see in checklist)

June welcomes the annual monsoon and so far, the patterns being observed haven’t disappointed. With resident species busy with nesting activity, and many being seen with fledged chicks – breeding season is in full swing as birds prepare for the abundance of the rainy season.

Cuckoos and others

This is also the season when a number of cuckoos across the country are in business. While the Pied Cuckoo is often associated with the monsoon (see migration GIF), other cuckoos too are very vocal and active this time of the year, probably to take advantage of the breeding cycles of the birds they parasitise upon.

Cuckoos are most apparent in May and June, as judged by the how frequently they appear in eBird lists.

But it is not just the cuckoos, many other birds seem to move around during this time of the year. For example, the Blue-tailed and Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters move into northern India along with Indian Golden Orioles. Black-headed Cuckooshrikes and Oriental Honey-Buzzards, for example, are rarely recorded during the monsoon months in Karnataka and Kerala respectively. It’ll be interesting to notice if there are any patterns elsewhere in India.

Breeding Birds

Breeding activity for most birds continues into June and it’s a great time to document the locations and timing of breeding of birds by adding a suitable ‘Breeding Code’ whenever you see any signs of breeding: from ‘Singing male’ (indicating possible breeding) to ‘Nest with young’ (indicating confirmed breeding).

Learn more about breeding codes.

Events and Challenges

This month’s eBirding Challenge also involves documenting brood-parasitic cuckoos around our region. And in tandem, June’s Global Birding Challenge asks observers to try and document breeding birds by entering their breeding codes. The Gap-filling Challenge continues with 350 districts to try and explore this month!
Earlier in May, the Endemic Bird Day and Global Big Day took place on the 13th. Birders across the country went out and looked for species endemic to the subcontinent. You can check out the Endemic Bird Day stats and global results from 13 May.