Several bird species missing

 Diminishing habitats and disappearing greenery may be spelling doom for bird species in India’s urban areas, but Mumbai Bird Race 2016 provided a chilling reminder of the extent of the dangers birds face.

The total number of birds found during the Race conducted on February 14 was 212, the lowest since the Race began. Veteran ornithologist and naturalist Sunjoy Monga, who tallied the numbers, said arriving at 212 itself was not without considerable effort.

The 250 participants, split into 52 teams and a special team of 27 fanned across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region from Kalyan - Murbad to the lower reaches of the Sahyadri hills in the east along the Karjat - Murbad - Malshej stretch, were delighted to sight “rarities”.

Included in them were Darter or Snake Bird, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Malabar Trogon and Caspian Tern, Ultramarine Flycatcher and Reddy Shelduck.

The alarming news, however, was the total absence of Vultures, Quails, Oystercatcher, Ruddy Turnstone, Ashy Wood-swallow, Black Redstart and White Stork.

Other species like Larks, Woodpeckers, Junglefowl, Spurfowl and Harriers were spotted rarely.

The teams also found common varieties like House Crow, Little Cormorant, Indian Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Pond Heron, Red-vented Bulbul, Green Bee-eater, Black Kite, House Sparrow, Rock Pigeon and Common Myna.

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