We  all know that connecting with nature is important. Great Backyard Bird Counting (GBBC) 2021 is the opportunity for us to enjoy the beautiful little things while walking through the forest trail or river  side or watching the backyard through the window. As usual, ISFA LC FRI participated in this amazing session of connecting with birds along with the initiative by Forest Research Institute,  and Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun. The initiative took place from 12th to 15th February, 2021 at Forest  Research Institute (FRI), New Forest Campus, Dehradun.

Each day was divided into two major sessions; the morning half, from 7 to 10 AM and the  afternoon  half, from 3 to 5 PM. The campus was divided into five sections considering of it’s hotspot, forest  type and population in each group. Each group was led by the experts.We are  grateful to have Sipu Kumar, Vipin Rao, Himanshu Chaudhury, Agnish Kumar Das, Saurabh  Pundir, Diksha Mishra as the leading leaders for the four days and a  total of 104 participants registered for the bird watching and counting session.

The bird enthusiasts found and identified various common and migratory bird species in the campus  like Grey Hornbill, Long tailed Shrike, Eurasian Hoopoe, Baya Weaver, Oriental White-eye, Blue  Whistling Thrush, Kalij Pheasant, Hair-crested Drongo, Rusty Cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Green  Sandpiper, Large Cuckooshrike, Himalayan Rubythroat, Rosy Pipit, Zitting Cisticola, Speckled  Piculet, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Brown Fish-owl, Slaty-blue Flycatcher etc. After the 4-day-long bird watching, 196 species were identified in Forest Research Institute (FRI), New Forest  Campus, Dehradun, which is the highest count in India during GBBC, 2021.

It has been a new experience for the freshmen of the Master’s Degree programme. Danush Enara, one of  the participants from freshmen shared his experience with us, “It has been a great pleasure being part of the GBBC. Through this, I got many ideas about the rare species of birds from ornithologists”.

Written by Esha Mitra, IFSA LC FRI, India, Asia Pacific. Photograph taken by Danush Enara, IFSA LC FRI, India, Asia Pacific.