A four-day birding event Tokhü Emong Bird Count (TEBC) was organised in Nagaland that saw a total of 178 species of birds being recorded. The event, which was the first ever for the state, had bird enthusiasts coming in from Dimapur, Peren, Kohima and Wokha districts to document Nagaland’s diverse avian population.
Pan India Participation
While the TEBC festival was held in Nagaland, participation was open pan India. An online portal, eBird, was set up to record bird observations and saw around 33 checklists from regions outside Nagaland, including Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
Objective of the Event
This event was primarily conducted to garner public interest in the different bird species of the state and spread awareness about them. This documentation exercise will also help maintain a database of Nagaland’s avian diversity for future study and comparison, given the effects of climate change. TEBC was organised by the Wokha Forest Division and the Divisional Management Unit, Nagaland Forest Management Project (NFMP), in collaboration with Bird Count India. The forest department stated that this documentation exercise would facilitate the protection and conservation of the state’s avian populations by close monitoring.
Bird Watchers’ Day Out
Participants were asked to go out on their terrace or to a nearby park or forest and spend 15 minutes watching birds, after which they were to upload their list of species spotted to eBird. This was more of a preliminary exercise to get people interested in bird watching and draw active community participation. A more detailed report on the bird count is expected to be published in December. The Red-faced liocichla, the Rusty-capped Fulvetta and the Streak-breasted Scimitar-babbler were among the many species recorded during the event.
Can You Still Participate?
Yes! You can. Although the festival in Nagaland is over for now, the online bird count platform eBird is a fantastic way to get started. You can go on the portal and explore the hotspots near you through it. Plan a trip with your friends and family to the nearest avian hotspot, spend time in nature watching birds, and then upload your bird list to eBird. This way, you can have a fun day trip while aiding the monitoring and subsequent conservation of bird species.