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The India BirdRaces

The Mumbai BirdRace and now, India BirdRaces, have been inspired by the Hongkong BirdRace, with slight modifications, keeping the logistics of travel and other factors into consideration. All India BirdRaces will be dawn to dusk events where teams of bird-watchers will spend the entire day birding in and around every metropolitan region (each with a geographical limit to its outer boundaries). The participants will try and record as many species of birds as possible, 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 tÍte-ŗ-tÍte.

While there are strict rules there is a fun element to this exercise, which has helped stimulate enormous interest in bird-watching as a highly popular hobby. The event has given us a good idea of the nature of this regionís birdlife and helped build up support for environment and nature conservation.

Of course, there is also the team spirit and participation that comes into focus here. To ensure that the results are as infallible and in principle as correct as possible, each BirdRace has one or two special adjudicators who analyse the results.

In a marked change from previous years, in several of the BirdRace cities there will not be any first three winners. It would still be a Race after all, to try and spot as many birds as possible. The net result will be that all participants will be winners and the cause of Birds, and the environment, in the urban context, will get that much more support, and awareness.

At the evening get-together, the participants, from so many children to rank beginners to birdwatching, get an opportunity to interact with some of the finest and most experienced birders in that city, including special invitees.

Each Team also gets an opportunity to interact with the others and recount their dayís experiences. All in all, it is a great end to a day well spent with and for the featherfolk, and for nature.


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