As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 16 September 2013

Community care for birds

BHUBANESWAR: Community conservation of birds is fast catching up with city denizens with ornithologists coming forward to provide them expert guidance on how to rear rare birds.

While at a few locations of the city, people on their own have developed mini bird sanctuary, at some other locations, bird loving organizations like Bhubaneswar bird walks and open wildlife lounge(OWL), an association of wildlife lovers, are assisting denizens to conserve birds.

To mention a few, the community bird conservation at Salia Sahi, bird keeping by inmates of a women's hostel of a private hospital and Sikharchandi temple at Chandrasekhapur have attracted the attention of bird lovers. The community-level bird conservation has started in the city recently. Although people are keeping birds and rearing them, they lack the knowhow to maintain them," said OWL secretary Shakti Nanda, adding that OWL has been providing bird nests made of marine ply, which is durable and can protect birds from heat and rain.

These birds choose the destination, where they can easily get food. If people are told about how to take their care, they can keep them and develop community conservation with minimum cost, said Nanda.

Birds used to flock the Salia Sahi area for more than five decades. But people were not noticing them that they were coming to one fixed location for collection of food every year. Then I took the initiative to put up nests and provide them food. While some birds flew back, many preferred to stay, said a bird lover of Salia Sahi, who has been maintaining the nests located close to his house. He said that other people who developed similar interest in the locality joined him developed community conservation of birds.

"Some rare birds like pale capped pigeon have been sighted in the city. Effective conservation will help save them," said a bird watcher Panchami Manoo Ukil. We have conducted as many as 27 bird walks in the city, where bird lovers gather to develop skills about conservation. In Bhubaneswar places like Jayadev Vatika and Ekamra Kanan, where rare birds use to flock needs to be maintained, said Ukil. She said that they are trying to increase the membership of bird lovers in future.

She said that the forest department should come forward with innovative actions and provide funds to pursue community conservation in the city in a large scale.

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