20 June 2013

Birdwatching - A recreational and a colourful activity

Birdwatching is the practice of observing birds and it is considered as one of the recreational activities. I would regard it as a blissful activity. Bird watching can be done using binoculars, telescope and even with a naked eye. It is believed that bird watching has been in practise as a hobby since 1968. Bird watching activity is not merely a refreshing activity, but it also paves way for identifying and knowing some birds of our own locality.

As I myself haven't tried this officially, I would like to share some of the procedures to be followed for bird watching that I read while surfing in the Internet.

Steps for Bird-Watching :

* First get an up to date Bird guide of your locality,

* Get a pair of binoculars( make sure it is of light-weight),

* Find friends of similar interests to accompany you,

* Start bird watching in the morning as birds would be busy in search of food and building nests. An ideal time for bird watching is early morning or just few hours before sunset.

* Start finding the birds from your own garden or backyard,

* Be quite, alert and attentive enough to hear the bird chirps or songs which makes easy to locate them,

* When you find a bird check it in the guide. Dont look for a similar colour of bird as in the guide, just check the whether it has similar features as colour many vary at times, the characteristics remain the same.

* Note down all your findings,

* Make sure that you don't disturb any birds while the activity. Maintain some distance so that they dont flew away or attack as you may near their nests. Do not disturb their privacy.

* Place some bird feeders in your garden or balcony so that you may invite many birds and you could easily witness different birds of our locality.

* Make sure that you hide in a place while capturing some pictures of them or noting them so that the birds wont get scared.

* Last but not the least, try your part in safeguarding their existence.

Birdwatching in India :

I was amazed while surfing about birdwatching in India. India is believed to have around 1250 species of birds and hence it acts as a kingdom of birds. It is said that out of 27 orders and 155 families of birds species that have been noted down by many bird enthusiasts around the world, India has 20 orders and  77 families. Despite having such richness in our biodiversity, we are aware of only fewer kind of birds. It is clear that we are less aware of our biodiversity and we do rarely spend time in knowing about our biodiversity and yes birdwatching activity would help us here in such situations. Despite living a incessant life in today's world, we can spend few hours in the weekends to relax ourself in such kind of activities.

Bird lovers have a look into this website - http://www.indiabirds.com/
I just love it. You can hear the sounds and chirps of many different birds of India in this website. You can also check the videos and qulaity pictures of Indian birds here. Bird lovers don't miss this site.

Birdwatching in Chennai :

Chennai might be the hottest place ever in summer. Despite that I read that Chennai still acts as a haven for more than 200 species of birds. As Chennai is located at the coromandel coast of south India, the geographical features of Chennai plays a vital role in attracting many birds. Most of the birds visit Chennai during the seasons from October to March.

Here's a list of places where you can do birding/birdwatcing in Chennai :
  • Adyar Eco Park/Tholkappia Poonga (Situated on the banks of Adyar Estuary),
  • Chembarambakkam Lake,
  • Guindy National Park,
  • Indian Institute of Technology( IIT ) campus, Madras
  • Kelambakkam Muttukadu Backwaters ( Best time to visit : November to February),
  • Karikili Bird Sanctuary ( located 6 kms away from Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary ),
  • Madhavaram and Manali Lakes ( Best time to visit during NorthEast Monsoon),
  • Mudaliarkuppam Backwaters,
  • Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary,
  • Nanmangalam Reserve Forest,
  • Pallikaranai Marsh ( Best time to visit : November to May),
  • Pulicat Lake/Shar Road and Annamalaichery Backwaters,
  • Siruthavur Lake,
  • Theosophical Society Gardens,
  • Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary ( Best time to visit : November to February) and
  • Vedanthangal scrub and reed bed.
Note : Check with the concerned authorities before visiting any of these places as they require permissions.

Apart form all these places, there are some other places where native birds can be found more than migratory birds. It was interesting to know about an unknown and uncommon place for bird watching in Chennai. I found this information in one of the websites I surfed on the Interent. Probably some of them may know or may not know this place located between Tiruporur and Tirukazhukundram. It is said to be reserve forest area where we can witness a lot of native birds and hence note that you don't get into the reserve forest area without permissions.

Here I'm sharing some pictures of birds in Chennai from the web :

Indian Robin
Rose Ringed Parakeet

Purple Rumped Sunbird- Female
Common Myna

Common Tailor Bird

Asian Koel

Spotted Dove
Red vented Bulbul

Greater Flamingo in Pulicat Lake
Small Blue Kingfisher

Images Source : Internet
There are many more birds of Chennai. You can check the list of birds of Chennai in this link : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Keep exploring about the birds around your place and have a touch with our biodiversity to know about the hidden values of our environment.

Thanks for reading :)


  1. I think a bird watching scope (binoculars) would be useful for this activity. However, most of the houses do not have any kind of gardens/greenery and (maybe because of it), the no. of bird species in Chennai seems to have come down drastically. But then there are a few more bird species left. I don't know when we are going to get rid of them too, in the name of development.

    Destination Infinity

    1. Exactly we need binoculars when we go for field work. You are right but some nature lovers are still opting for gardening and taking care of it. Hope every one should be kind enough to the environment rather than just concentrating on the development side.

  2. Very nice and very informative post sushmita :)keep blogging :) nowadays mostly do bird watching only when they play angry birds :P

    1. Thanks Gokoulane :) And you are right, this generation knows more about angry birds than the real one ;) But these activities can still bring them back to know more about the environmemt.

  3. Thanks for sharing Sushmita :) It seems like such a wonderful hobby :)

    1. Indeed it will be a wonderful hobby :) Thanks vandysnape :)

  4. my fav hobby di .... we dont even hav to national parks but ur terrace itself is more than enough :) (applicable to our area) .. thanks to jayakumar :).. nice post :)

    1. Thanks Sugi :) Yep dear I know that and it's my favorite too :) Ya we can also just stare from our terrace or balcony to enjoy birdwatching :) But for knowing and learning about more different species we need to visit some Sanctuaries or Lakes. And who is jayakumar ?

  5. That's nice write with many useful tips. Thanks for sharing

  6. True words. I am sure it is recreational activity as you mentioned. Birds can understand all the words which we are speaking regularly.

    1. Thanks Harishtanemi :) It's so nice to know about that information too.

  7. I love bird-watching and you have spotted lopt of birds.

    1. Thanks Rajesh :) Those pictures were from the web. I have spotted only a few.

  8. Awesome ! Informative post... The list really helps us a lot. Am sure the post will have an impact.

    1. Thanks Deepak :) Hope everyone gets aware of this.

  9. A very good and informative post with colorful pictures..... Thanks for the share.....

  10. I love it. When I was in Boston, I spent many weekends on the banks of Charles River. In fact once we interacted to such an extent that whenever I took chips from packet, birds came and took the chip away. It was so much fun.

    1. Oh great :) That would have been a nice experience for you Saru :)

  11. I love birds, i have a special liking for our feathery friends and my heart literally bleeds when I see pple caging them for selfish reasons :X

    1. Ya its hard to bear watching them in cages. Thanks for visiting A S :)

  12. Nice post Sushmita. Recently, I have spotted the Spotted Dove near our house. It was a welcome change to see something other than a pigeon in the concrete jungle that we live in.

    1. Thanks Brajadulal :) That's nice, its good to see them survive in today's concrete jungle ! But I wish we can make a better environment to invite them for their permanent habitat :)

  13. Nicely written and informative.
    I wish if its possible to click photos of all birds in Mumbai. :)

    1. Thanks Swaroop :) Kindly do explore the birds of your city and try posting about them :)


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