Regd. Office: Revathi Bhavan, Edathala P O, ALUVA-683561. Reg.No.: ER 18/10 of 2010 Telephone No.: 0484-2837414


The Cochin Natural History Society is a non-profit making, non-political charitable institution registered under the Travancore-Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955. This is a society of amateur naturalists who live in harmony with nature and seek to protect and to preserve the biodiversity and healthy natural environment. The mandate of the society is to undertake studies and documentation of biodiversity around us and to draw attention to the aesthetic, economic, scientific and conservation aspects.The society also intends to provide a platform to those who are concerned to come together and share, enlarge and correct our knowledge about Nature and its magnificence. Any person, who has a love, interest and commitment towards conservation of our biodiversity and natural history may become a member of the society*.

"You can know the names of a bird in all languages of the world,but when you are finished ,
You will know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird.....
So let`s look at the bird and see what it`s doing --that`s what counts.
I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."

-Nobel Laureate Richard P Feynman(1918-1988)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Training for Birdwatchers

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Training for bird watchers

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Bird watchers will be trained to record sightings of wetland and common birds found in Kochi.— File photo
Bird watchers will be trained to record sightings of wetland and common birds found in Kochi.— File photo
 Interested in honing your bird-watching skills and adding a scientific touch to your hobby of observing the winged species?

The Kerala Forest Department and the Cochin Natural History Society (CNHS) are jointly offering a training programme for the bird enthusiasts for correctly identifying in wetland and common birds seen in Kerala. The participants will be trained in scientifically identifying the birds and to monitor them on a regular basis. They will also be encouraged to record the bird sightings in a scientific manner, said the organisers.

The programme comes as part of the Green Partnership programme of Social Forestry Division of Kerala Forest Department. The data would go a long way in involving people to gather scientific data on birds, they said.

The training programme will be held at Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary on January 3 at 10 a.m. For more details, contact 9446437410.

Under the Green Partnership Programme, the Forest department and the NGOs had been carrying out Asian Waterbird Count, Common Bird Monitoring Programme, pelagic bird surveys and heronry surveys. The bird data generated from the water bird counting is used to monitor the health of wetlands. The Society had been monitoring the wetlands of Ernakulam district for the last four years. The 2014 Common Bird Monitoring Programme succeeded in recording 280 bird species, the organisers said.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Training on CBMP ,AWC and eBird

Dear Friends,

We are conducting a training session on Bird Watching  with the help of Kerala Forest Department under Green Partnership Programme.:

Date and time  :10am on Saturday, 3rd January 2015.

Venue:               Mangalavanam Sanctuary,behind Highcourt of Kerala.

Topics:              Wetlands Bird Monitoring and Identification:

                           Common Birds of Kerala- CBMP

                           Introduction  to eBird.

For participation, please mail us at or contact me .

Warm Regards Happy Birding,


Friday, December 19, 2014

Eat Pokkali Rice to Conserve Waterbirds, Say Birders

Click Here to go to the Report

Eat pokkali rice to conserve water birds, say birders

K.S. SUDHI ,The Hindu

The Cochin Natural History Society, an NGO, has launched a campaign asking the bird enthusiasts to buy pokkali rice from the farmers to support the farming and thereby conserving wetlands, the habitat of wetland birds. Eat pokkali rice to save wetland bird habitats, exhort birders of Kochi.

The Cochin Natural History Society (CNHS), an NGO dedicated for conservation of birds, has launched a campaign asking the bird enthusiasts to buy pokkali rice from the farmers of Varapuzha area to support the farming and thereby conserving wetlands, the habitat of wetland birds.

Pokkali farming is facing crisis in the district with drastic reduction in the extent of farmland. The farming activity itself had become uneconomic forcing the farmers to abandon it, said Vishnupriyan Kartha, secretary of the society.

The CNHS is focusing its attention on Devaswom Padam in Varapuzha, which is one of the favourite wetland birding sites in the district. The presence of around 50 bird species draws birders and nature enthusiasts to this site. The destruction of wetlands will naturally lead to loss of habitat of avian fauna. Sustainable farming is the only way to protect the birds. Hence the campaign, Mr. Kartha said.

The bird species present in the wetland include Little Cormorant, Oriental Darter, Indian Pond Heron, Purple Heron, Grey Heron and Little Egret. Asian Openbill, Lesser Whistling Duck, White-breasted water hen, Purple Swamp hen, Bronze winged Jacana and Pacific Golden Plover are also found here.

Calling the attention of birders who have been carrying out “birding and photography at Kadamakudi and Devaswom Padam regularly,” a communication from the CNHS urged them to buy pokkali rice to revive the farming. A group of social activists are supporting the farmers by returning the profit from selling pokkali rice procured from them, he said.

Pokkali paddy farmed by the local farmers is converted into rice at a threshing unit and the rice is sold at Rs. 60 a kg. The profit is returned to the farmers as an incentive for engaging in pokkali farming, said Jesudas Varapuzha, one of the activists.

Last year, One quintal rice was thus sold and profit shared among the farmers. There was good demand for pokkali rice and the transportation of rice to the buyers was one hassle faced in its marketing, he said.

The society had been covering the wetlands since 2011 during the Asian water bird census. When the birders assemble here for the next census in January, the members will be encouraged to buy the rice from the farmers.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Kerala Bird Race 2014- A Report

Dear all,

It was yet another day for celebrating the joy of birding by birding enthusiasts.The eighth edition of Kerala Bird Race was held with gusto and enthusiasm  yesterday . The Bird Race is conducted in Kerala to commensurate with the birthday of Dr. S`alim Ali in three cities namely Kochi,Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram In the central region, around 100 participants in 22 teams from Ernakulam, Thrissur,Kottayam and Alleppey  participated  in the programme. The valedictory function was held at Airport Abad, Nedumbassery.

The Chief Guest was  Hon, Justice K. Sukumaran, former Justice of Kerala High court.He shared his many experiences in dealing with environmental issues and the Silent Valley struggle.It was a speech sprinkled with humor and wit.In the function participants shared the day`s joys and misses and even a team`s tryst with wild elephants.

Now coming to the main part, the main sightings  from central.region were  an Amur Falcon from Nedumbassey by Dr.Dilip K G , our President, Asian Fairy Bluebird and Velvet Fronted Nuthatch from KAU Campus by students of Forestry College, around 1500 Glossy Ibis from Kole  wetlands, and a Mountain Hawk Eagle from Idamalayar area by Ginu George,Jai P Jacob,Cinoby J Kanat and Arun, members of CNHS.

All participants were  encouraged to submit their observations to eBird platform.A presentation on Onam Bird Count Results and eBird introduction was also given.

This year there were many  new birding enthusiasts  participating r, including from Thiruvananthapurm,Idukki and Palakkad. The function ended with a Banquet, and participants were seen lingering long after, sharing their days memories with each other....


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sri M Suresh, Beat Forest Officer ,Idukki WLS being awarded Forest Medal by Chief Minister on Independance Day for meritorious service

Sanctuary at Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit woos birders

Sanctuary at varsity woos birders


Poorna bird sanctuary located on the campus of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit in Kalady.– Photo: By Special Arrangement
Poorna bird sanctuary located on the campus of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit in Kalady.– Photo: By Special Arrangement
Leaving the traditional birding sites, birders are now flocking the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit in Kalady, thanks to its rich avian wealth.
Located far away from the city, the varsity campus is serene, green and home to a bird sanctuary named Poorna. As per the estimates, the park houses about 30 species of birds and plant varieties.
Varsity officials pointed out that the sanctuary highlighted the role of the campus as a shelter for local and migrating birds and in spreading awareness about the importance of birds in the environment. Some of the bird varieties often spotted here includes Night Heron, Purple heron, Back Bittern and Brown Hawk Owl. The location often serves as a stopover for many migratory birds as well.
“The significance of the park, established in December last year, is that it promises to radiate onto the surrounding urban settlement and spread the bird population to the countryside,” said M.C. Dileep Kumar, Vice Chancellor of the varsity. According to him, the system does not concern solely birds, but also addresses the elimination or reduction of threats linked to the survival of species and plants.
“The students and staff together play a key role in maintaining the system, which has been declared as a plastic-free zone,” the VC explained, adding that the varsity would make every step to maintain its habitat intact even while taking up the various development projects. Aiming to spread awareness, the varsity officials also plans to organise bird identification workshop for students in the coming months. “Students of different schools would be invited to participate in the contest, identify birds and check with experts about their guesses. This is needed for systematic and collective efforts to save biodiversity of Poorna,” said an official.
Dr.K.G. Dileep, Head of the Sociology department at the varsity and an avid birder, said sensitising people on campus to wildlife conservation is very important. “Speeding vehicles, fencing, construction and even cutting down a small tree may disturb the habitat. Therefore, keeping the people on campus aware about what may disturb the wild habitats is essential,” he pointed out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bird Count India-Bird Count happenings, October 2014

Dear All,

CNHS is a partner in Bird Count India Consortium and here is the update on the happenings:-

Bird Count India
Bird Count happenings, October 2014

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:12 AM PDT

‘Bird Count happenings‘ will be an irregular series of updates describing various snippets of news related to bird listing and monitoring in India. Our focus will be on activity from India in eBird, a public repository of bird information, but is not restricted to this. Although we view eBird as a valuable tool for accumulating information in Indian birds, it is not the only way in which Indian birdlife is being documented.

The Bird Count India partnership

This partnership exists to encourage and support bird listing and monitoring in India. Since its inception in early 2014, a large number of organizations and online groups have joined the partnership, supporting its goals in various ways. We welcome any group into the partnership in the spirit of working together to better understand our precious bird life.

One way in which the partnership encourages birders to document and share their bird lists is to run a monthly series of eBirding Challenges. Each challenge focusses on the effort spent in birding rather than number of species seen or the rarity of species. All birders who reach the monthly target are recognized on the website and one among these is selected at random to receive a small bird-related gift. The challenges have been run since April 2014, and you can see the monthly list of birders who met the target at this link.

Ongoing projects and new events

The Asian Waterbird Census, our oldest bird monitoring programme, picked up in 2014 with better participation and more site coverage than in recent years. We are told that a summary of the results from 2014 will be out soon.

Other events from early 2014 included the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC; 14-17 Feb), which saw a large jump in contributions thanks to the simultaneous occurrence of the Kerala Common Bird Monitoring Programme (CBMP), the Big Bird Day and the Bengaluru Bird Count. This resulted in India topping all countries in number of species reported, and coming third behind Canada and the USA in terms of the number lists contributed to the GBBC.

A follow-up event to the Kerala CBMP occurred on 12-15 Sept. This event, the Onam Bird Count, garnered even more participation than in February, and results should be out very soon. Other projects in Kerala include the Heronry Count (preliminary summary here) and the pelagic bird surveys — which are also taking off in other States, including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Goa. Lists from pelagic surveys are being uploaded to 11×11 km ‘hotspot’ cells in eBird.

During the months of June-August, the Goa Bird Conservation Network ran the Monsoon Sunday Bird Challenge, where birders were encouraged to upload their weekend lists to eBird. The eBird platform is also being used to document and archive the findings from formal bird surveys, for example the 2014 Melagiri Bird Survey by the Kenneth Anderson Nature Society.

A significant advance in Indian birding has been the initiation of the Mysore City Bird Atlas. In this, the city of Mysore has been divided into grids, and systematically surveyed in February and in June 2014. This atlas endeavour builds on a long tradition of serious bird documentation by the Mysore Nature group, as shown by the monthly Mysore Birding Diary. Discussions about possible bird atlassing in other parts of the country are going on.

Upcoming events

Winter is almost upon us, and there is a packed schedule of events ahead. The India Bird Races will continue as usual in different parts of the country, spread over the winter months. The Asian Waterbird Census will happen in the month of January. And the Big Bird Day and Great Backyard Bird Count are scheduled for February. Please do check for announcements of these and other upcoming birding events.

eBird in India

Until late 2013, the majority of eBirding activity from India was by visiting birders from abroad. Since that time, more and more Indian birders have been using eBird to document their birding outings, and as a consequence, information on the occurrence and abundance of Indian birds is rapidly building up. On 1st January 2014, the number of records of birds from India stood at about 1,20,000. This number crossed half a million in early September, and now (end October) stands at just over 6,00,000 records. The number of India eBird users (ie, those who have uploaded at least one list from India) is 2,100, up from 540 on 1 Jan 2014. Since March, every month roughly 150-300 birders have been uploading one list or more from India.

Past records

Past information on birds in India is scarce, and mostly tucked away in notebooks and offline and online reports (but see the digitized records in the BirdSpot, South Asia Birds and India Biodiversity Portal databases). Thanks in part to the bulk upload feature in eBird, birders are uploading their older observations to the system. Since January 2014, a large number of lists (over 5,500 lists, totalling > 1,30,000 records) from the past (ie, from 2013 and earlier) have been uploaded. Many of these lists (over 1,000 lists, >30,000 records) are from Mike Prince, whose lists from India go as far back as 1995 and cover 22 States/UTs. Other major contributors of past lists include the Kerala Birder group, who have uploaded nearly 1,000 past lists (>23,000 records), including those from previous Kerala Forest Bird Surveys, as well as all Asian Waterbird Count data from Kerala. Shivaprakash Adavanne, Praveen J, and Fionna Prins have each uploaded over 200 of their previous lists, and a number of other birders have contributed smaller numbers of lists from the past.

Such historical information on Indian birds is extremely valuable; please do consider adding to the database by digging up your old lists and records and uploading them!


Despite all the recent activity on eBird from India, we have a long way to go, both in absolute terms and in achieving adequate coverage across different parts of the country. For example, the number of lists for all of India is about equal to the number of lists from a single reasonably well-birded county like Miami-Dade county in the USA. Within India, coverage across different Districts is highly uneven. Until there is relatively high coverage across India, it will be difficult to generate accurate species maps, and compare seasonality or changes over years. This is our major challenge.

eBird assistance and features

Uploading lists to eBird can be done through the regular web interface, through smartphone apps, and through the bulk upload feature. We have worked with eBird to display English names that are familiar to Indian birders, but many of us still face some confusion about names, especially because of the large number of recent splits in species. These new names (and also a comprehensive list of Indian bird names) are described here. Several additional features of eBird will be highlighted in the coming months on the Bird Count India website.

Join the effort

We invite individual birders and birding/nature groups from anywhere in India to join the effort to collectively document India’s birds. There are various ways in which you can do so: as individual birders, we can take care to note all the birds we see on our birding trips and upload these lists to a site like eBird. As groups, we can design surveys or monitoring programmes in the areas we cover, to generate and aggregate information on bird distribution and abundance. Entire projects can be run through eBird, like many of those described above, and also MigrantWatch, which gives the option of reporting of migrant sightings to eBird or directly to their database.

If you are interested in listing, surveying or monitoring birds, please do contact us if you would like any advice or other help.

To get updates from Bird Count India automatically into your email inbox, you can sign up here. If you are on Facebook and would like to join our discussion of bird listing and monitoring in India, do join our Facebook group. We also have a Google group, which we hope to re-energize soon!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Members Meeting

Annual General Body  of the Society is scheduled at 10.30 am on 02nd November 2014 at the Mangalavanam Sanctuary .

We request all  members are to participate.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Kerala Bird Race 2014- Announcement

The eigth Kerala Bird Race will be held on  the Sunday, 16th November 2014 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. Kerala Birder along with The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) and Yuhina Eco-Media  is organizing the HSBC Bird Race in Kerala, a signature event of the Bank, on 16th November 2014. Kerala Bird Race is a dawn to dusk event where teams of bird-watchers will spend the entire day birding in and  around  each city. There are no pre-determined routes - you can watch birds in multiple locations all within 100 km radius of each of the site to see as many birds as you can. The participants will try to record the birds from each site; learn about the finer points of bird-watching from the experts & the experienced, and then later in the evening, all teams will meet at a suitable venue over dinner and an interactive tête-à-tête. Each Team gets an opportunity to interact with the others and recount their day's experiences. All in all, it is a great end to a day well spent with and for the feather-folk, and for nature.

Like last time, HSBC Bird Race shall be NON-COMPETITIVE. There are no prizes for winners and the idea is visit multiple sites and make lists for the day. There are no strict rules and it is only about the fun element in this exercise, which will hopefully help stimulate enormous interest in bird-watching as a highly popular hobby. The event will give us a good idea of the nature of this region's birdlife and shall help build up support for environment and nature conservation.
Last year, we had more than 350 bird-watchers on the field on a single day, many of them fresh into the hobby. Birdwatchers from other states are encouraged to take it as a chance to do some great birding in Kerala. We sometimes have participants from Kanyakumari district joining us at Thiruvananthapuram.

This year HSBC Bird Race shall have eBird in the backend. We encourage teams to make site-specific complete lists and upload it in eBird. There is no time restrictions on each list; however you are encouraged to separate the lists for each site so that you get 3-4 lists at the end of the day.

The Grand Plan

Play the race hard - try to visit as many good birding sites as you can from dawn to dusk before assembling to your chosen site for the evening dinner. Play the race to enjoy and share – each of you can treat it as an opportunity to make one another person interested in birds and share the joy.

Try to share your lists through eBird and photographs through any medium like flickr, picassa or facebook - so that others can see what you saw.

Birdwatchers across Kerala (& outside) shall participate in this event - choose a convenient city where you can assemble for the evening of Nov 16th and contact the right coordinator.

Sites could be outside the district or even state.

You are free to make your own team. Each team can be 3 or 4 members; but there should be one good birdwatcher with every team who can identify most of the species around the city. You should name your team with a bird's name - we had several interesting names last time like "Falcons", "Cuckoos", "Flycatchers" etc. Also, make sure you drop in your phone numbers with the coordinators.

If you are a beginner bird-watcher and is not able to find a team, you still can contact the coordinators and they will help you out for finding you a team with a good bird-watcher in it.

The Thiruvananthapuram leg shall be lead by WWF-Kerala while Cochin Natural History Society (CNHS) will lead the Kochi site. Malabar Natural History Society (MNHS) shall be coordinating the race in Kozhikode.

Whom to Contact

Whom to Contact (Site Coordinators) for Team Registration:

A K Sivakumar (WWF-India)
Phone: 94473 86978

Vishnupriyan Kartha (CNHS)
Phone: 94464 37410

Sathyan Meppayur (MNHS)
Phone: 94472 04182

Whom to Contact (General)

Phone: +91 94465 73106

Praveen J
Phone: +91 94480 39906

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Parambikulam Tiger Reserve- Bird Survey-Reg

Dear All,

There is a bird census coming in Parambikulam Tiger Reserve on 28th November to 01st December 2014..The announcement has appeared in Kerala Birder. If you are interested please contact directly Praveen.J by showing your previous birding survey experience.

Warm Regards,

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Heronries In Ernakulam and Idukki Districts Data

Bird enthusiasts in the dark about heronries in Kochi

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Historical data on known heronries in Kerala indicate that nesting sites were
recorded in Kochi in Mangalavanam. Photo: File
The HinduHistorical data on known heronries in Kerala indicate that nesting sites were recorded in Kochi in Mangalavanam. Photo: File

Scarce information on heronries in Kochi is worrying bird enthusiasts. A recent attempt to collect information on heronries in the district failed to generate any significant result.

Scarce information on heronries in Kochi is worrying bird enthusiasts.
A recent attempt to collect information on heronries in the district failed to generate any significant result.
Heronries are communal nesting sites of large wetland birds. Though the district had large extents of wetlands, there was no significant information on nesting sites, said Vishnupriyan Kartha, secretary of the Cochin Natural History Society, which organised the drive.
The Social Forestry wing of the Forest Department has attempted to prepare a database on heronries across the State with the participation of the public.
The recent attempt to record heronries with public participation was not encouraging as information on only three sites could be obtained. The information on the sites had to be verified, said Mr. Kartha.
Historical data on known heronries in Kerala indicated that the nesting sites were recorded in Kochi in Mangalavanam. The protection of heronries is significant for the conservation and management of these species, an integral part of the agricultural ecosystem. Kochi lacked comprehensive background information on the nesting sites and attempts were being made to generate data and chart out a conservation strategy for the birds and their ecosystem, said Mr. Kartha.
Information on heronries in the district could be passed on to the society through phone 9446437410 or email cochinnaturalhistorysociety
Birders believe that the changes in the habitat of birds might be one reason for the disappearance of heronries. Large-scale development activities leading to the reclamation of wetlands and cutting of giant trees might have taken its toll on the bird population, an ornithologist said.
Though there was some scanty information on heronries, there were no recent reports from the district, ornithologists said.
Bird populations are reported to be vanishing from the sites in Kochi where they were once found in large numbers.
Ambalamedu is one such site where over 50,000 migratory birds were recorded by legendary birdwatcher Neelakandan during the 80s. He had also penned a research note on the site and the birds that assembled there. These days only a few thousands could be sighted at the site during the migratory season, said bird enthusiast.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Heronries in Ernakulam and Idukki- Survey

Heronries are communal nesting places of large water birds, such as Indian Pond Heron (കുളക്കൊക്ക്), Great Egret (പെരുമുണ്ടി), Median Egret(ചെറുമുണ്ടി), Little Egret(ചിന്നമുണ്ടി),Cattle Egret (കാലിമുണ്ടി),Grey Heron(ചാരമുണ്ടി)        ,Purple Heron(ചായമുണ്ടി),Black-crowned Night Heron(പാതിരാകൊക്ക്)  ,  Great Cormorant(വലിയ നീർകാക്ക),Indian Shag(കിന്നരി നീർകാക്ക),Little Cormorant (ചെറിയ നീർകാക്ക),Oriental Darter(ചേരക്കോഴി),Glossy Ibis (ചെന്തലയൻ അരിവാൾകൊക്കൻ ), Woolly Necked Stork (കരുവാരക്കുരു) , Black Headed Ibis(വെള്ള ഐബിസ് ) etc.,. Usually they build nests on tall trees and reed beds near paddy fields etc. Kerala has about 15 species of resident and breeding water birds, many of which establish mixed colonies at the time of breeding. Protection of heronries is very important for the conservation and management of these species, many of which are an integral part of our agricultural ecosystem. Documentation of these heronries, information on the species breeding within our area and knowledge of the current status of our heronries are the first basic steps in the direction of chalking out a conservation strategy regarding these birds.

Cochin Natural History Society and Social Forestry Wing of Kerala Forest Department have (under the Green Partnership Programme) started   the data collection and monitoring of Heronries in Ernakulam and Idukki Districts. In the coming years this will help to protect their habitats which include Agricultural Lands, Wetlands and Woodlands.
We request all nature enthusiasts and bird watchers to help us in this effort. If you have come across any  Heronry(communal nesting sites on large trees and reed beds etc.), near your home, workplace or while travelling ,in Ernakulam and Idukki Districts, please contact and provide details to Vishnupriyan (Mob- 9446437410, on or before 20th July.

Vishnupriyan K

Cochin Natural History Society

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Plagic Survey Munambam Coast

Here are some pictures of the event. Report will follow:

Birds sighted:
   Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes                                            
   Wilson's Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus
  Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
  Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 1 Non-breeding adult and 2 Juveniles in pale morph
  Brown Noddy Anous stolidus     Two birds on a floating steel drum. The birds came back to     their favorite     perch even after disturbed by the boat time and again
 Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus
 Great Crested Tern Thalasseus bergiiin company with Lesser Crested Terns on a buoy and flying singly
 Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis

Thursday, May 8, 2014

CNHS partners with Bird Count India Consortium to promote Bird Watching and Monitoring Diversity

CNHS has joined Bird Count India which is  a consortium of organizations and groups working together to increase our collective knowledge about bird distributions and populations. The consortium has a set of specific goals.


We aim to document the distribution and abundance of Indian birds, from the finest scale (eg, within a city) to the largest (across the country).

Through the collection of information on birds across seasons and years, we hope to enable a better understanding of seasonal patterns of movement of birds, and to monitor changes in distribution and abundance of birds over long periods.

We try and meet these goals by conducting periodic bird events and activities; by offering support and resources to birding groups conducting their own events; and by putting together useful information on bird monitoring.


We coordinate the annual Great Backyard Bird Count in India, which provides a yearly snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds around us. In addition, we coordinate similar 4-day bird counts at other times of the year. Tentative dates for 2014 for these India Bird Counts are 13-16 June and 14-17 November.

We conduct a series of monthly eBirding Challenges, to encourage birders to look for birds all through the year and to share their sightings on a public platform.


We offer support to groups who wish to conduct their own birding events using the platform provided by eBird. Previous examples of events we have supported include the Kerala Common Bird Monitoring Program, the Big Bird Day, and the Bangalore Bird Count. If your group is interested in conducting a bird listing or counting event, please get in touch!

We offer advice and support to location/regional groups who may wish to conduct more detailed projects on the distribution and abundance of their birds, monitored over time. Depending on your requirements, we can help with designing the project (based on your needs), with suggesting data collection formats and storage, and with the analysis and display of results. An example of a project we have supported in this way is the Mysore City Bird Atlas.


We are working towards putting together a comprehensive set of resources

for anyone interested in bird monitoring. This will include a description of the various kinds of monitoring projects that could be done, some suggestions for how to decide between them, and step-by-step guides for how to carry out a monitoring project.

The eBird platform

In general, we encourage individual birders to use eBird to document their sightings. It often makes sense for groups running events and projects to similarly use eBird. However, for a few projects eBird may not be the best tool to use for bird surveys and monitoring. In such cases, we are happy to advise on the design and construction of a more customized system for data collection.
For more details here are the links:-

May 2014 eBirding Challenge

Bird Count India

April eBirders of the Month


Saturday, March 22, 2014

InverteBlitz in Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary Successfully Completed

Cochin Natural History Society and Kerala Forest Department have conducted a Faunal Survey of the invertebrate fauna of the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary on 14-16th March 2014. This was done using a new method of monitoring and documenting biodiversity in a given place using citizen volunteers and scientists and professionals. It is called InverteBlitz a modified form of BioBlitz which has been done in Aralam WildLife Sanctuary in the past. A bioblitz is an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area (protected Area/Wildlife Sanctuary). Groups of scientists, Naturalists and Volunteers conduct an intensive field study over a continuous time period. There is a public component to InverteBlitz, with the goal of getting the public interested in biodiversity. Total of 18 participants from different parts of Kerala and from different backgrounds like Pharmacists, Mechanics, Sociologists, Doctors,Clerks,Entomologists(those who study insects in general),Myrmecologists(those who study ants) ,Odonatologits(those who study Dragonflies and Damselflies) Lepidopterists(those who study Butterflies),retired Engineers, Zoology students  all participated in the exercise.

The InverteBlitz was designed by Dr.Mohammed Jafar Palot, Scientist, Western Ghats Field Research Station, Zoological Survey of India, Kozhikode and Prof.Dr.Dilip K.G., President, Cochin Natural History Society. This survey was held with the assistance of Malabar Natural History Society and Travancore Natural History Society. Participants included Dr.Muhammed Jafer Palot, Dr.Dilip K G, Kiron C G (Author, Dragonflies and Damselflies of Kerala), Manoj. A (Myrmecologist), Sri.Baiju(Lepidopterist) etc.


Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located between 9040’ and 9055’N latitudes and 76050’ and 77005’E longitudes and is situated in Kerala state, Idukki district, Udumpanchola and Thodupuzha Taluk. The area is a part of Nagarampara Reserve Forests and forms the catchment area of Periyar River and caters to ldukki Hydel Project. The sanctuary was notified in 1976. The area was previously part of Kottayam Forest Division. The total extent of the sanctuary is which includes water body of the Idukki Reservoir The sanctuary consists of two Sections: Idukki Section, which was previously part of Nagarampara Range and Kizhukanam Section, which was part of Ayyappankovil Range.


Summary Results of this survey is given below:-

Ø 18 participants

Ø  Camps at            

·         Kizhukanam

·         Vakavanam

·         Vairamani(Vellakkamaly)

·         Chempakassery

·         Kettuchira

Ø  Found more than 350 species of  Invertebrates

Ø  30+ species of  Ants


v  Found Blind Ant from Kettuchira camp

Ø  25+ species of Spiders


v  Found Ant Mimicing Spider from Kettuchira camp

Ø  80+  species of  Butterflies


v  Found Malabar Flash from Vairamani camp

v  Malabar Tree Nymph from many localities

Ø  5+ species of  Centipedes


v  Found Coral Centipedes from several camps

v  Scolopendra sp.

Ø  Grasshoppers  more than 25 species

Ø  Painted grass hoppers and  other Katydids

Ø  Crickets – more than 25 species

Ø  2  species of  Scorpions

Ø  20+ species of  Dragonflies

Ø  6 species of  Cockroaches

Ø  20+ species of  Wasps

Ø  3  species of  Freshwater Crabs

Ø  2  species of  Earthworms

Ø  2  species of  Waterskaters(Water striders are bugs that can walk on water. They live on the surface of ponds and    marshes. They eat both living and dead insects, such as butterflies, dragonflies, and mosquitos.)

Ø  Many species of  beetles such as Whirligig beetles, Tiger beetles, Ladybird beetles,  Carabid beetles, Long-horned beetles, Chrysomelid beetles, Jewel beetles, etc.,

Ø  More than 20 species of hemipteran bugs

Ø  Cotton bugs, Assassin bugs

Ø  Praying Mantis- 6 species

Ø  Moths- at least 10 species

Ø  Stick insects- 3 species

Ø  Snails and  Slugs- 4-5 species

Ø  Millipedes- 4 species

Ø  Flies- many species including flower flies, blow flies, Horse flies, Crane flies, Blue bottle flies, Sarcophagid flies etc- at least  8 species

Ø  Earwigs- 3 species

Ø  Cicadas- 2 species

Ø  Wasps- many species like spider wasps, potter wasps, paper wasps, hornets, etc

Ø  Phalangids- 2 speceis

Ø  Honeybees- 2 species

Ø  Mosquitoes – 3 specis


Ø  Some interesting Birds

·         Savannah Nightjar

·         Jungle Nightjar

·         Short-toed Snake Eagle

·         River Tern

·         Woolly-necked stork

·         Little Grebe

·         Great cormorant

·         Oriental Darter

·         Indian Pitta

·         Black Eagle

Ø  Frogs

·         5 species

Ø  Toads – 2 speceis

Ø  Lizards- 5 specis

Ø  Skinks- 2 specis   

Ø  Gunther’s Vine Snake

Ø  Caesilian – Icthyophis beddomei

Ø  Elephant - mating at Vellakkamali (Vairamani team) 15-03-2014, 10.30 a.m.
There was a competition for spotting maximum diversity of species and Sri.Manoj. A,  Myrmecologist and member of TNHS got the first prize (91 points) and  Sri.Hari Praved,MSc Student,MES College Ponnani got the Runner Up Prize(89 points).The Survey was Co-Ordinated by Sri.Saji P K, Wildlife Warden,Idukki Wildlife Division ,Sri.Jayachandran Range Forest Officer, IWLS and Vishnupriyan Kartha,Secretary,Cochin Natural History Society