Adventures of the Big Bird Day


Sanjay Tiwari, who came to the Okhla Bird Sanctuary with his specially-abled daughter, has been a bird enthusiast since the mid-'90s. He was introduced to birding when he went to the Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary and a rickshaw-wallah pointed out birds to him. "The rickshaw guy gave a proper tour as he was familiar with the various species of birds, and when I returned to Delhi, I started noticing the variety of birds that are there, but people fail to notice them because they are so caught up in their busy lives." Tiwari owns a business of his own, and was leading a group of specially-abled children at Okhla at the bird watch. "The aim was to introduce and encourage children to go birding and appreciate nature by spending time outdoors. It's healthier," he said. Spotting the long tailed nightjar was the highlight of his day.

He pointed out that the variety of birds are slowly and steadily decreasing in the capital due to the loss of greenery and weather conditions. Says Jain, "Birding is one indicator of the environment. We document the number of species of birds spotted in an area in a day (the annual bird day) every year. If the variation is five to ten per cent, then it's not a big deal, but if the margin is more, then it's an indicator of changes in the environment."

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