Mumbaikars can spend this Valentine's Day with birds!

There is a good opportunity for the bird lovers to spend this Valentine's Day in a different manner as the 12th Mumbai Bird Race will be held this year on Valentine’s Day. The Mumbai Bird Race has been one of the most important yearly events, famous among the birding community. 

Pic credit/India BirdRaces
Pics credit/India BirdRaces

With registrations closed at 250 participants, the Mumbai event is the crowning glory of the India BirdRaces that have become the largest citizen activity of its kind and run from mid-November to early-March. Collectively, the India BirdRaces get nearly 4000 participants across 14-15 cities pan-India. 

The day activity format was conceptualised by Mumbai-based naturalist-writer Sunjoy Monga, while Pravin Subramanian and Ravi Vaidyanathan help coordinate the BirdRaces programme, with help from local bird enthusiasts in every city-venue.

A press released issued to the media stated, "In recent years, we have taken to using technology to the fullest for this exciting event, with specially created apps and social media complementing the outdoor activity. Though called a race, since 2013, the races have become non-competitive. It is still a race, after all, to try spot as many birds as possible. The net result is a boon for the cause of birds, and the environment, in the urban context, getting that much more support, and awareness. There is a fun element but there are strict rules and its findings contribute to serious stuff about birds and our environment." 

On the day of the race, from dawn to dusk, teams of bird-watchers spend the entire day birding in and around Mumbai. Participants will try to record as many species of birds as possible; learn from and interact with the experienced, and in the evening, they meet over dinner and an interactive tête-à-tête.

“There is a mangrove cell team that will explore the world of Mumbai’s mangroves and there is a team that is only looking at birds on lakes, or just walking along in urban areas, and a few that are also using only public transport to move during the day. The Mumbai BirdRaces organising team helps with suggestions on places to visit and related information," stated the press release.

With well over 350 bird species recorded over the years in and around this city, and lanked by a vast landscape of habitats, Mumbai is a birding hotspot.

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