The new year is here and January has a lot to offer to ensure that 2018 begins with a bang! We are in the middle of the winter migration season, and for larger parts of the country, there is rarely a better month for enjoying birdwatching. A number of birds would have made themselves at home in their wintering grounds and some of the residents will soon be beginning to get showy and ready for the breeding season that lies ahead.
There are also a number of events to look forward to this month. Since 1987, the annual Asian Waterbird Census has continued to be one of the largest citizen science efforts. Birders from multiple countries will gather to survey wetlands and waterbirds this January. Using eBird and by filling in the AWC Site Information Form, you too can take part easily.
If you are in Tamil Nadu, celebrate the harvest this year by participating in the Pongal Bird Count which takes place from 13-17 January. In Kerala, the dry season surveys of the impressive Kerala Bird Atlas effort gets underway on 13 January.
The second edition of the Goa Bird Festival will be hosted at Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary from 12-14 January. In Karnataka, the Bangalore Bird Race and the Kaiga Bird Marathon take place on the 21 January. Both are annual affairs, the former adding a competitive incentive to birding while the latter is an opportunity to bird in the forested environs of Kaiga.
The monthly eBirding Challenge involves taking part in the AWC and visiting at least 3 wetlands this January. You can also take part in the global eBirder of the Month challenge, which requires one to upload 31 checklists in this month. For those aiming farther, the 2018 Yearlong Challenges might be right up your alley.
So keep your ears and eyes open, and we wish you a bird-filled 2018!