Mangaluru, Feb 22: The Campus Bird Count is a coordinated effort to document the birdlife in multiple campuses across India. It is a part of the larger Great Backyard Bird Counthosted by Bird Count India in collaboration with eBIRD where several campuses of educational and training institutions, government institutions, research stations, corporate campuses participate in documenting the avian fauna during February 17 to 20.
St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru has taken part in this event from 2018 onwards. The 37-acre campus, which is 143 years old, is situated at the heart of Mangaluru. Campus bird count was also conducted at the 17-acre St Aloysius Institute of Management and Information Technology (AIMIT) near Kotekar Beeri in addition to the main campus.
Campus Bird Count 2023 was organised by the Department of Zoology in the active presence of rev dr Praveen Martis SJ (principal), rev Dr Melwyn Pinto SJ (Director of AIMIT Campus), and the staff of the department of Zoology. The campus bird count team was led by Glavin Thomas Rodrigues (assistant professor), Kiran Vati K (lecturer) and Dr Hemachandra (associate prof. and HOD) in the active presence of Hariprasad Shetty ( assistant professor ), Savia D’Souza ( assistant professor) and Michelle Rodrigues (assistant professor ). The survey was completed by 36 students from both campus making the event a huge success.
The four-day birding event, which took place from February 17-20, led to the identification of 32 species of birds on the campus of St Aloysius College in Mangaluru and 60 species of birds on the campus of AIMIT. It was common to witness Greater Racket-tailed Drongos, Jungle Mynas, Common Mynas, Rock Pigeons, Purple Rumped Sunbirds, Pale Billed Flowerpeckers, Asian Koels, Oriental Magpie Robins, and Red Whiskered Bulbuls on both the campus. Large predatory birds such as the Black Kite and Brahminy Kite which often perch on campus buildings could be seen in large numbers.Migratory species including the Indian Paradise Flycatcher, Indian Golden Oriole, Baya Weaver bird, Blue Tailed Bee Eater, and Chestnut Tailed Starlings were also observed during the campus bird count. In addition, birds including the Nilgiri Flowerpecker, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Brown Breasted Flycatcher, Oriental Honey Bazzard, Red Wattled Lapwing, Golden Fronted Leafbird, Eurasian Hoopoe, and Orange-headed Thrush were spotted on the AIMIT Campus.
In this age of urbanisation, hundreds of birds call St Aloysius College home because of its beautiful green campus and green initiatives. The reason for such a big population can be attributed to the wide range of fruiting plants and trees that can be found here. These plants and trees offer a number of bird species refuge, food, and nesting locations. The AIMIT Campus was listed as an eBird Hotspot in 2022 with a count of 35 species and this years Campus bird count reveals the presence of 63 species in AIMIT, Beeri Campus, and as of now, the St Aloysius College, Mangaluru Campus has an inventory of 58 species with the addition of one new species that was recorded for the first time during the campus bird count ( Barn Swallow). Several different bird species had their nesting locations visible during the bird census. This illustrates that the campus provides a balanced environment that promotes the survival of a variety of bird species. Long-term bird counts like these will show how bird populations change over time and help take necessary measures to conserve them.