The long-lost hobby of birdwatching and its importance

If you had asked somebody some 30 odd years back what are their hobbies, they would have given an exquisite list which modern Millenials will barely know. One such hobby in that would definitely be Bird watching. Bird watching simply means observing birds in the wild or in their natural habitat. Observing these flight-capable living beings in the Skies or in lakes with all their array of colors is always fascinating. As Humans, we have always wondered these animals capable of flight right from carving in caves during ancient times to clicking photographs now. But as times passed and technology took a good hold of a hand in the next generations, these citizen science hobbies have always been on the downside.

The need

Birdwatching can have a major impact in the field of ornithology as well, apart from being a hobby. This can range from discovering a new species, helping understand their migratory patterns, finding them in new habitats, etc.. Additionally, this will help us realize the importance and need for the conservation of various species. However, for all this to happen, the most important factor to act is individual awareness about the conservation of birds. This can act as a driving factor for a lot of people getting involved in this as this Earth is large, with still her mysteries to be unfurled. The further driving force be created by more awareness and education about birds to friends, families, etc.,

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Although technology has taken a grapple of our hands and restricted us to homes and beds, we can use the same technology to submit better bird data, take their photographs, record their calls and upload to citizen Science databases. This was not possible three decades before, where birdwatching is pretty much restricted to binoculars and field notes with handbooks. It is these uploaded data that contributes to a better knowledge of Birds and play a vital role in their conservation. eBird is one such important database developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helps in studying data of a Wide number of birds data worldwide. Any individual with basic knowledge who is able to identify any bird in their homes, gardens, backyards, or any other place can upload data here.

The given pandemic situation can be hard for some people and can even lead to mental stress for some individuals. Therefore, to escape the stress and pass the time in the current pandemic situation, one can try watching these flying friends in the skies and backyards with beautiful plumages. This can help inculcate bird watching in Kids as well if parents start doing it; thereby, we can all be an inch closer with nature.

For people who are living in India, it’s high time you can start this hobby as the Salim Ali Bird Count is taking place from 5th to 12th of November. This is to commemorate the Great Ornithologist Dr.Salim Ali, who made a major contribution to the field of Ornithology in the Indian Subcontinent.

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