Big Bird Day, 240213

February 25, 2013

Here’s the officialese about the Big Bird Day:

Big Bird Day is a yearly event celebrated all over the Indian subcontinent in conjunction with Delhi birders.

This year it is to be held on 24th of February – Sunday. This year’s event is the biggest, with more than 220 enlisted teams / individuals so far from all over India and even some from abroad. See the complete list of teams and sites here (let us know where you are going and we'll put you up on the here to see it The objective is to go out and watch birds in certain areas that are convenient to you and report your sightings at the end of the day so that it can be compiled into a cumulative list if birds seen on a single day. The more areas we can cover the more comprehensive and valuable the data becomes. Thus we want more people to cover more sites. Anyone can take part, either as an individual or as a team. Pick a site, preferably one that is not on the list yet and bird there from dawn to dusk (or for a shorter time) on 24th Feb. By 6.00 p.m IST send an email / sms to Bikram Grewal, only stating how many species you or team has seen and the areas covered. If you are a participating from West Bengal, communicate the same information to Kshounish Shankar Ray as well who is coordinating BBD for the state. Later, you can email the list of birds seen by you within a few days . The cumulative list will be published later after compilation of all lists. Let us know where you'll be spending your Big Bird Day!

I decided that though I was separated from my birding commuity by half the globe’s distance, I would still “paati” I went to Forest Park on the evening of the 23rd (which was, technically, the 24th morning in India…the Bird Day had to be 24th February IST!) for nearly four hours.

The areas in Forest Park that I covered were: Cantilever Bridge Des Peres Creek all over the Park Jefferson Lake Kennedy Forest Planetarium Post-Dispatch Lake Prairie Plantation Science Museum Spanish Pavilion Zoo Art Museum (That pretty much takes one to all corners of this park. I had to use the roads most of the times, as cutting across several inches of snow was not always easy, or even possible!) My bird list for the day was: Blackbird, Red-winged Bobwhite,Northern Cardinal,Northern Chickadee,Black-capped Crow, American Dove, Mourning Duck, Wood Finch, House Flicker,Northern Goose, Canada Grackle,Common Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Heron,Great Blue Jay, Blue Junco,Dark-eyed Killdeer Kingfisher, Belted Mallard Merganser, Hooded Mockingbird,Northern Owl,Great Horned Pigeon, Blue Rock Robin,American Sparrow, House Sparrow, Song Starling, European Turkey,Wild Vulture,Turkey Waxwing,Cedar Woodpecker,Downy Woodpecker,Red-headed

The other birds were all tick-birding, but I spent some time with the Song Sparrows; here’s

my FB album about them

Here are two of the three Song Sparrows that I watched for a while:

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