Hornbill Festival for bird-lovers

Hornbill Festival for bird-lovers

Hornbill Festival for bird-lovers

Amateur bird-watchers and professional ornithologists will have the opportunity to observe the endangered Hornbill species in their natural habitat during the 'Hornbill Festival' being organised by the state Forest and Tourism Departments  in February.    

The three-day festival will be held from February 2 to 4 at the Kali Tiger Reserve at Dandeli forests in Uttara Kannada district, with the idea of developing a community of birdwatchers. Dr S Ramesh, deputy conservator of forests, Haliyal division, said the number of Hornbills in this part of the Western Ghats has improved over the years and is higher than anywhere else in the country. There are four Hornbill species which can be found in this part of the Western Ghats -- Indian Grey, Malabar Grey, Great Pied and Malabar Pied. "The Greys are more common. But the Great Pied are rarer and found in areas with particular vegetation. February is the best time to spot Hornbill. Ficus (fig) trees will be fruiting now a number of Hornbills can be seen feeding on the fruits," Dr Ramesh said. The festival intends to create awareness about the unique and endemic species and to speak about the scientific methods to protect and conserve the birds, he added. Participants will take guided walks to spots such as the Government Timber Depot in Dandeli, Syke's Point in Ambikanagar, and Supa Dam in Ganeshgudi to see these birds, also known as, also known as 'farmers of the forest'

There will be talks by experts on topics such as the rare Narcondam Hornbill found only in Andamans. Cultural programmes such as a performance by a group from Nagaland and film screenings will also be conducted. Participants can stay at a range of accommodation options from dormitories for frugal adventurers to rooms by Jungle Lodges and Resorts for those who like comfort. Registrations on the 'My Eco Trails' website of the Karnataka Eco-tourism Development Board began on Monday and they have already received about 50 bookings for the 100 available slots. They are also expecting about 40 on-the-spot registrations.

A Hornbill photography contest is also being held as part of the festival. People can submit photographs of Hornbills which they have clicked to one of two categories-Hornbill portrait and Hornbills in their habitat. The organisers have already received 500 entries for the contest. Many of these entries will find a place at the photo exhibition in the venue.

There is no entry fee and submissions will be accepted until January 31. Winners will get cash prizes of up to Rs 25,000.  

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)