Barkatullah University in India Runs a Campus Bird Count

By Pratiksha Singh, Research Scholar Barkatullah University, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Photo by Shyamkumar Puravankara during Campus Bird Count in Kerala, India

Each year we do a Campus Bird Count (CBC) to document our local avian diversity. This year, through Bird Count India, we learned we could formally participate in the CBC during the global Great Backyard Bird Count.

It was helpful to visit the website to learn more, and there I found the the steps through which we can enter our campus count with Bird Count India in the global event. The Head of Zoology Department, Dr. Vipin Vyas, agreed to register our university. We started birding with our students, faculty members, and some off-campus birders during the four-day global count.

We uploaded our checklists to the ebird database through GBBC. Overall, the bird count was really an interesting and exciting event. We realized the importance of the niche role our campus plays in the conservation of ecologically important avifauna. Despite being in an urban location, the university campus is able to provide habitat to more than 60 species of migratory or aquatic birds.

Verditer Flycatcher by Abhishek Das/Macaulay Library

Barkatullah University is known for its rich biodiversity and pleasant habitat. With approximately 360 acres, it provides a vast array of habitat for plants and animals. This count was done each day on four different trails on the Barkatullah University campus. Our external bird experts helped our students in bird identification, habitats, and uncommon sightings of different species. Along with common birds such as the Indian Robin, Asian Koel, Green Bee-eater, Ashy Prinia, and Rufous Treepie, we encountered some infrequent birds of this area, and migratory birds also like Eurasian Stonechat, Taiga Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, Common Hawk-Cuckoo Greenish Warbler, Common Babbler, Eurasian Wryneck, Oriental Honey-buzzard and more.