May is the time to check if the last of the migrants have left their wintering grounds – such as the Ashy Drongo and Garganey. It is also a good time to start looking for any summer/breeding visitors, such as the Indian Golden Oriole or the Indian Pitta. Even if there are no visitors, it is an excellent time of the year to check out breeding behaviour of most of our resident birds. But it’s not just the birds, there are birding events too; May has a lot to offer!
Endemic Bird Day
The main event this month is the Endemic Bird Day on 13 May. The event coincides with the Global Big Day, a worldwide effort to document as many birds as possible in a single 24-hour period. However, with most migrants gone and the heat during mid-day, May is probably better spent recording birds which are resident in our region. A surprisingly large number of these birds around us also happen to be endemic to the Indian Subcontinent! It is the season when a lot of these birds as well as some of our more prized endemics are busy in breeding, raising young ones, courting, etc. The Endemic Bird Day is a wonderful opportunity to go out and document these birds – and add to the understanding of their distribution and habits during this time of the year.
Other event and challenges
If you’re in Delhi on 13 May, do take part in the Delhi Summer Bird Count, which aims to engage more people in trying to document resident bird species. If you are planning something similar for Endemic Bird Day or otherwise, do let us know!
As usual, do take a look at this month’s eBirding Challenge and the Gap-filling Challenge. You can also take part in the the global eBirder of the Month challenge which involves uploading 3 or more checklists on Endemic Bird Day/Global Big Day. And do not lose sight of the yearlong eBirding challenges either!