Whats on in June

By eBird India May 31, 2020
Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii

June marks the annual monsoon in India. It also is a critical time of the year as many of our birds are breeding. Observing breeding birds can tell us a lot about their breeding behavior and ecology. While doing so, entering breeding codes in your checklist is a nice way to know about the different stages of breeding and how they vary between populations. For example, by analyzing these breeding codes over a large area for a certain species, we can figure out if different populations of that species vary in their nesting time.

Bird Movement

Outside of the winter months, there is an intriguing amount of bird movement and activity that goes on. 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 parasitize upon.

Due to the recent cyclone Amphan many pelagic birds like storm-petrals, shearwaters, frigatebirds, noddys that spend most of their life over oceans and rarely venture close to land (except to breed), were sighted inland in the southern districts of West Bengal. A large number of Bridled Terns along with a few Roseates and Sooty Terns were also sighted by bird watchers in West Bengal. While many birders took the opportunity to visit nearby water bodies and coastal areas, quite a few of them were able to watch them from their rooftops!

Bird Webinars

Since the lockdown, there have been many webinars hosted by naturalists, birders, birding groups, and organizations. Do take a look at the following links to see some of the webinar recordings:

A series of nature and bird talks hosted by Bombay Natural History Museum

A series of bird talks in Marathi, hosted by Maharashtra Pakshi Mitra

A series of bird talks from Early-Bird

To view a list of all bird webinars,  please visit Arun Varghese‘s Facebook page here

Events and Challenges
This month’s eBirding Challenge also involves submitting 30 complete checklists and out of 30, at least 5 lists with a minimum of 1 or more breeding code. Please see here to know more about the monthly challenge. The yearlong eBirding challenges for 2020 can be seen here.
Earlier in May, the Endemic Bird Day and Global Big Day took place on the 9th. Surprisingly, even with the country on lockdown, birders across the country documented birds from their backyards. This year more than 2500 checklists were submitted, and around 420 species reported just in a single day! See the details here.