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What's on in June

By eBird India June 5, 2018
Slaty-legged Crake Rallina eurizonoides

Bird moving around

Outside of the winter months, there is an intriguing amount of bird movement and activity that goes on. While June is a fantastic time of the year to watch out (or hear out) for most cuckoo species across the country, it is also the month in which several species appear and disappear around us. If you’re in Kerala, perhaps you would be keen to figure out where all the Cattle Egrets go off to? In the Mysore region, the Black Drongo also performs the vanishing act at this time of the year while the frequency of observations of the Oriental Honey-buzzard also begins to wane as the summer gives way to the monsoon. The Indian Golden Oriole seems to leave its wintering grounds in south India and announces itself in the northern parts of the country, where it breeds. Speaking of which…

Breeding birds

Cuckoos calling fervently around us also serve as a sign that the species whose nests play host to the cuckoo’s eggs will be busy with nesting duties as well. Many birds, such as the trio of Blue-cheeked, Blue-tailed and Green Bee-eaters, visit suitable habitats in north India to breed. We’re learning that the beginning of June is also the time for secretive species such as the Slaty-legged Crake (esp in Kerala and Karnataka) to announce themselves to potential mates and if you’re in the right location, it may be a good time to hear out for them!

Breeding activity for most birds around us continues throughout June and it is indeed a great time to document the locations and timing of breeding of birds. When making eBird lists, do add 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. The Global eBirder of the Month Challenge requires one to fill in breeding codes in their checklists. You can also take the eBird Photo + Sound Quiz, which tests your knowledge as well as helps curate the Macaulay Library Archive in the process.
Earlier in May, the Endemic Bird Day and Global Big Day took place on the 5th. Birders across the country went out and looked for species endemic to the subcontinent. Do check out the Endemic Bird Day stats and the summary of the Global Big Day as well. Around this time, the number of records submitted to eBird from India also crossed 10 million – find out what it means by clicking here.