Birds have triggered the imagination of mankind through the ages. In ancient India the Vedas mentioned many birds. In the middle age one finds, on one hand there are great Indian Emperors such as Jehangir whose immense interest in birds had made it possible to preserve some of the only authentic painting of the now extinct bird Dodo. Down to modern times there is Alfred Hitchcock’s celebrated thriller movie “Birds” attracting the audience worldwide. Rising above the earth and soaring through the skies, birds have been symbols of power and freedom throughout the ages.
Birds assume a variety of roles in mythology and religion. They play a central part in some mythical creations and frequently appear as messengers of the deities. In the Ramayana there is the valiant bird Jatayu’s role as the custodian of virtues.
Bird-watching or the field observation of birds is an educative, exciting, healthy, inexpensive and rewarding hobby enjoyed by millions of all ages the world over. Bird-watching requires no formal training. It only requires keen interest, patience and practice. Interest in birds may be limited to trying to put a name to the bird one casually sees from your window. Or one maybe, or is about to be, one of the growing number of people who watch birds regularly. Would you like to become involved in an enjoyable and challenging outdoor pastime? It is inexpensive and can be done anywhere and at anytime. If all this sounds good to you, then welcome to birdwatching, or “birding” in Bharatvan – The Bharatpur of Nagpur.
One of the best places to start bird-watching is one’s own garden or a nearby park. Often one will see people feeding the birds and be surprised to see how many turn up. But identifying them can be difficult at first, so here are a few tips to help you along.
The only way to become proficient at birding is to practice. Birding may seem difficult at first, but with a little study one will be able to identify many birds with just a quick look or a brief listen to their song. Start by learning the easy ones like mynas and common birds like bulbuls and doves. Then move on gradually to the more difficult species and soon watcher will be surprised to realise that one knows most of the birds in one’s area.
What to notice about a Bird.
Identifying birds can sometimes be a rather frustrating experience, especially for the beginner. But the skills as a birdwatcher will improve with time and experience.
Some necessary points for Bird Watcher
Time: The best time to see birds is at sunrise to early morning and then again in the mid and late afternoons. Birds tend to rest during the day.
Field Guide: Try and get a good affordable field identification guide and this will be the best and most valuable piece of equipment.
Binoculars: While these are highly desirable, they are by no means essential
Manners: Especially at popular birding spots, be respectful of serious birders (and the birds themselves).
Clothing and accessories: You are best off wearing clothes with dull colors that blend into the background.
Notebook and Birdlist: Carry a notebook and pencil to record the birds you have seen and any markings or unusual behavior.
What is Bharat Van? How many birds can I observe?
Bharat Van represents one of the finest patches of the last remaining urban jungles in the city of Nagpur which apart from producing oxygen, gives shade, maintains the local area temperature and helps in water table maintenance in Nagpur which is facing extinction due to the construction of an unnecessary road at the cost of 500 trees. There are over 130 varieties of bird species counted by birdwatchers after the regular weekend birdwatching events started by the #savebharatvan volunteers.
Why did the nature loving citizen of Nagpur form a Human Chain at Futala on 1 May ?
The nature loving citizen of Nagpur don’t want 500 trees to be destroyed to build an #unnecessaryroad
What do I do if I spot a bird in Bharatvan?
Take a photo & write about it on social media using the hashtags #savebharatvan #saveurbanjungles #unnecessaryroad #savefutala and tell RJ Namanon Radio Mirchiabout it on social media.
What is ethical bird watching?
Never disturb birds when you go out to watch, observe and photograph them. Read more aboutthe ethics of birdwatching here.
The organizers of the event , the residents of Bharat Nagar united as “Apna Van – Bharat Van” and “Society of Half Day Wildlifers” invite all young budding nature lovers and observational birdwatching enthusiasts in Nagpur to visit Bharat Van and have the amazing experience of being guided in your journey of starting of nature interpretation during the “Pukdundee Walks” that are being organized regularly in Bharat Van on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
- Shirish Nakhale is a Photographer and free lance writer staying at Laxminagar, Nagpur (Facebook : Shirish Nakhale )
- Dr Abheek Ghosh is a Moto-Traveller& Cardiac Intensivist living in his car &working with Intima Heart Hospital (Instagram :doc.nefelibata )
Have you met these types of birdwatchers in Nagpur?