Compiled by: Sreekumar ER, Vivek Chandran , Adithyan NK, Manoj K, Praveen ES
The steeply increasing numbers of birdwatchers and bird-photographers have helped in recording previously unrecorded bird species from our localities, especially wetlands. However, there seemed to exist a bias in favour of colourful, easily identifiable species. In short, many of the small and drab species were being overlooked. Same was the fate of raptorial birds, which in spite of being reasonably big, are difficult to identify. To generate interest in these two groups of birds, i.e. Peeps and Raptors, a twin-challenge was conceived by Kole Birders. Thus was born The Peep and Raptor Challenge 2017. The observers were asked to look out for these species in any habitat within the geographical area bound by the Chalakkudy River and the Bharathapuzha River and record their observations in ebird, supported by photographs/call recordings/field notes. The time frame was from November 1st, 2017 to December 31st, 2017.
For the ease of analysis, the entire ebird data from Thrissur and Malappuram districts have been used (Thanks to Bird Count India). The event lasted for 61 days in the months of November & December 2017 and saw wholehearted participation of 148 bird-enthusiasts from the two districts. Emphasis was given on recording maximum number of species under each category. We are delighted to announce the winners of the two challenges:-
Peeps Challange : Mathew Thekkethala (6 Sp.), Krishnakumar K Iyer (5 Sp.)
Raptors Challange : Sreekumar K Govindankutty (15 Sp.) & Raphy Kallettumkara (15 Sp.)
Species considered as Peeps: Genus Calidris
Species considered as Raptors: Family Accipitridae, Family Pandionidae, Family Tytonidae, Family Strigidae, Family Falconidae
Thanks Kole Birders Community for the active participation
Dr.Nameer P.O. for sponsoring the invaluable prizes.
Special Thanks to Bird Count India, Suhel Qadar, Praveen.J, Ramit Singhal and Tom for data & analysis