Eyes on the wings

Birding groups

Eyes on the wings

Birding has taught me a very valuable lesson — patience,” says Sharath Chandra Mouli, a professional at HP. Being in the lap of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, is something many of us long for these days.

Be it going for safaris, hiking or wildlife photography, people look for different ways to connect with nature.

Birdwatching or birding is another growing trend among Bengalureans. “It is the passion to understand nature deeply that attracts people to birding,” says Sharath whose interest in birdwatching began four years back.

It was during his childhood days, when him and his family lived in lush green surroundings, that he developed a bond with nature.

“Over the years, I have nurtured a relationship with the wild. Time, patience and understanding are all that one needs to make a note of every movement of these colourful creatures,” he says.


He believes that along with one’s timing, luck also plays an important role in spotting a rare bird. And it can take anything from one hour to four hours to catch a
glimpse.

Bopanna Pattada is an avid birdwatcher and a member of ‘Bangalore Birding’. He organises birding and photography trips around the city and other parts of the country.

Being in this field for the past 10 years, Bopanna says that birding, which was already a popular activity, has gained more prominence in the recent years. “‘At ‘Bangalore Birding’, we also have something called ‘patch birding’, wherein we encourage people to spot different birds in the area where they reside and work and then document the observations,” says Bopanna.

Places like Lalbagh, Cubbon Park and IISc, he says, are some of the ideal spots for birding. “There are also places like Bannerghatta, Hoskote Lake, Nandi Hills and Valley School on Kanakapura Road that are great locations on the outskirts of the city,” he adds.

He points out that youngsters too are getting a lot more involved and indulge in activities like sketching and painting while birdwatching. Other than observing the various species of birds, identifying butterflies, insects, trees and plants has also become a part of this activity.

“The major challenge that people face is to identify a bird in terms of its actions and behaviour. However, the awareness is growing today. For identification of a species, the size of the bird is important. This is followed by its location,” he details.

Purabi Deshpande, a post-graduate student, is an active member of the group ‘BngBirds’. She has been into birdwatching for the past six years and it was her father who got Purabi hooked to it.

Recalling her childhood days, she says, “Birdwatching was more like an adventure activity to get close to nature and my father and I used to often head out to spot different kinds of birds. Today, it is more like a social activity. With various groups existing in the city, birding has become much easier. The only challenge we face is that the city is growing by the day and we have to go long distances to spot the species.”

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