If bird-watching is something you enjoy, then here&’s some news to look ahead. The concept of eBirding is gaining popularity among bird watchers across the country and is used as a listing platform to maintain permanent records and information about avian biodiversity. North Bengal forms one of the most significant avian hotspots in the country and Jalpaiguri&’s Society for Preservation and Awareness of Wildlife and Nature with the support of Bird Count India took the first leap to host the premier workshop themed on “Birding to make a difference” on 3 May at Jalpaiguri Polytechnic Institute.

Similar workshops were also hosted in Kolkata and Gangtok on eBirding. The workshop held in Jalpaiguri had the presence of seven organisations and 30 participants with representatives from Bird Count India, eminent ornithologists and bird watchers of North Bengal.

Bird count India is an association of birding groups and voluntary organisations that lend a helping hand to regional birding groups to host workshops in their cities with a view to develop better  understanding and monitoring of avian fauna.

The conclave underlined on the significance of collecting info from isolated observations and forming a common database and the use of eBirding as a vital tool. According to secretary of Spawn, Biswapriya Rahut, “Bird Count India is making a sincere effort to promote the use of eBirding as a convenient listing platform among bird-watchers across the country by organising workshops and contests once in a month. In this day and age, eBirding is a global, online checklist programme that serves as a valuable resource for bird watchers and at the same time, helps to keep records and spread info on avian biodiversity and its distribution. The newly developed programme also provides info on range maps and seasonal bar charts.”

A number of birding organisations have begun using eBirding method for small projects based on monitoring of avian species. Rahut said, “The participants were also made aware about the ways to make use of eBirding to document their own bird-watching experiences. Bird watchers and bird watching groups can take up small projects to monitor avian species at specific areas through regular listing and counting.” This will bring some definite steps to progress in counting of avian species.

Apart from these, the conclave also focused upon topics like migration and breeding season of birds that can be documented. Rahut added, 

“One of the interesting aspects of the conclave focused on ways to come up with an avian map for the particular city or region. The essence of eBirding is to popularise bird watching and to ensure that our sighting of avian species help in developing better understanding of their life.”