Bird Biodiversity

November 11, 2009

In writing this brief article, we have kept 3 important things in mind.

First, to speak to young school kids and students who have requested us to update them on bird biodiversity and post pictures of avian fauna that we have clicked inside the Western Ghats.

Second, to address the constructive criticism of our earlier articles and pictures so as to make the present article more enjoyable and presentable.

And lastly to educate and inform the global community on the avian wealth that Karnataka forests embrace.

We have increasingly realized that more and more school children initiated into conservation at a young age become guardians of nature for life. This aspect is of critical importance when it comes to bird conservation, simply because, in the absence of birds, all other conservation efforts fail.

David Orr, an environmental educationalist has this to say regarding Planet earth. “If today is a typical day on planet Earth, we will lose 116 square miles of rainforest, or about an acre a second. We will lose another 72 square miles to encroaching deserts, as a result of human mismanagement and overpopulation. We will lose 40 to 100 species, and no one knows whether the number is 40 or 100. Today the human population will increase by 250,000. And today we will add 2,700 tons of chlorofluorocarbons to the atmosphere and 15 million tons of carbon. Tonight the Earth will be a little hotter, its waters more acidic, and the fabric of life more threadbare.

The truth is that many things on which your future health and prosperity depend are in dire jeopardy: climate stability, the resilience and productivity of natural systems, the beauty of the natural world, and biological diversity “.

The earth’s biodiversity currently faces an extinction crisis that is unprecedented. Now is the time to take action. The fact of the matter is that in spite of observing bird species in terms of communities to individuals, one in eight faces extinction. Both resident and migratory bird populations are in sharp decline due to the accelerated decline of forests and wild life habitats such as wetlands and grasslands. Despite this, India is home to 14 % of the world’s bird species.

India is home to as many as 2000 species of birds, out of which 141 are endemic to this region. What's even more astonishing is that of the 27 Orders and 155 Families that bird life has been classified into, India has 20 Orders and 77 Families. The reason for this richness of species is the climate, the diversity of vegetation as well as its wide altitudinal range, which extends from sea level to the Himalayas.

Less than 5 % of the earth’s land area holds almost 75 % of the worlds threatened bird species.

In Indian mythology, birds assumed a sense of sacredness and this tradition was carried forward by our forefathers by providing nesting grounds as well as providing a safe haven for birds. Some bird species are often linked to the Sun, a sign of life and purity.

Birds inside the Western Ghats have certainly developed a way of life, unique to the topographies of the mountain chains. The same species of birds exhibit one particular color at a particular altitude and a different color at a higher altitude to blend, camouflage and regulate their metabolism. The senses of sight and hearing are most highly developed in birds; that of taste is comparatively poor, while smell is practically absent. In rapid accommodation of the eye, the bird surpasses all other creatures. The focus can be altered from a distant object to a near one almost instantaneously; as an American Naturalist puts it “in a fraction of time the eye can change itself from a telescope to a microscope “.


During the course of evolution, birds have adapted to extremes of climate and have survived in extreme temperatures. Each bird species has developed a migratory compass to nest and breed in a particular place. The bird’s innate sensory compass acts as a passport in determining its flight path in reaching new destinations. Some theories point out that birds navigate in the right direction because of the profound influence of the earth’s magnetic field. Another theory doing the rounds is the one that believes birds navigate by means of light, or rather by the position of the sun, as the position of the moon and stars.


Birds that migrate from the same geographic region often follow broadly well-defined routes known as migratory flyways. There are eight recognized shorebird flyways around the world. The Asia-Pacific region, as defined by the main migratory routes of water birds, is made up of three shorebird flyways - the Central Asian-South Asian Flyway, the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and the Western (or Central) Pacific Flyway crossing 57 countries and territories in the region. The East Asian-Australasian Flyway is the best studied and stretches from Siberia and Alaska southwards through east and south-east Asia to Australia and New Zealand, and supports over five million migratory shorebirds. The Central Asian flyway spans about 30 countries from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean. But these flyways are just generalizations and bird populations have been known not to strictly follow it. During migration, birds depend on strategically located staging areas where they stop to rest and "refuel", by building up fat deposits, before continuing their migration.


The future of wild birds is closely linked to the behavior of man. The rightful ownership of vast tracts of lands belonging to birds has been annexed by man, eliminating the bird habitat. Wetlands have been drained out to support housing and urban infrastructure. Chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides have wiped out most of the insect population which was a precious source of food during migration. In highly developed countries the guns have wiped out scores of duck and geese populations.

Protected bird habitats are small, scattered and fragmented covering less than 5 % area

Time is running out. We need to be proactive in stepping up our conservation efforts in protecting not only birds, but also their dwindling habitat.

Also see:

Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira - Archives


Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira
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Comment on this article

  • Veena Pinto, Shirva / Panjim, Goa

    Thu, Nov 19 2009

    Thank you Dr. Anand & Geeta for such an excellent article and amazing pictures. Your article is very informative and has helped me to enhance my knowledge in this field. Thanks once again.

  • Balakrishna Shetty, Yellur, Udupi/Dubai

    Sat, Nov 14 2009

    Obviously, many of us are unaware of our own natural wealth. Congratulations to Dr. Anand and Geeta Pareira. With the massive SEZ, Nagarjuna Coal fired Power Project and other unplanned industrialization our coastal strip is unprotected. Any dammage to the environment in the coast will direct impact the Western Ghat and put the unique biodiversity at considerable risk from forest dieback from acid gases. These forests are already on acidic soils that have very poor buffering capacity. Apart from threat to the flora and fauna the forest dieback will seriously endanger the water security of the region.

  • Basaavaraj. B, Mysore

    Sat, Nov 14 2009

    Thank you Dr.Anand and Geeta for writing in a simple language. Your articles and the depth of the pictures makes for excellent reading.Would appreciate if you could contribute more on the flora and fauna.

  • , Sakleshpur

    Fri, Nov 13 2009

    Anand and Geeta's dedication in bringing the avian fauna within the reach of children and students is indeed something that needs to be appreciated. I have seen it in my own eyes the countless number of hours they have spent in photography and research.Daijiworld has also been kind to give them a platform to share their thoughts.

  • Shilpa Caveramma, Balale/coorg

    Thu, Nov 12 2009

    Absolutely fascinating. Anand and Geeta we are so happy to see the birds and the informative article. Why dont you guys start giving lectures on environment and related issues.

  • Dr. Jacinta D'Souza, Mangalore

    Thu, Nov 12 2009

    Dear Dr.Anand and Mrs.Geeta Pereira It was simply fascinating going through your article. It was a great joy going through the beautiful photographs and the excellent information which was a very enriching experience. I will encourage students from the School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya, to browse through this as they are the future caretakers of nature. Heartiest Congratulations! You have provided a wealth of information to the young and old. It is a great responsibility we all have towards mother earth.

  • Seema, Kemmannu/ Dubai

    Thu, Nov 12 2009

    Very very nice pictures, thank you Dr.Anand&Geeta.

  • Diensh, Houston, Texas

    Thu, Nov 12 2009

    Dr Anand & Geeta.sincerely appreciate the concerns and I fascinated by the very beautiful pictures. I would like to visit this place one day myself.


    Thu, Nov 12 2009

    The many articles and pictures by Dr.Anand and Geeta clearly show that all things on planet earth are interconnected. a small disturbance in one place will alter the balance in some other place. Hence, we need to bring in more green cover rather than think of destruction in the name of development.Thank you daiji for the article and pictures

  • Gratian Govias, Madras, India

    Thu, Nov 12 2009

    Anand and Geeta, as usual, superbly articulated and beautiful pictures. On reading the alarming statistics of the depleting forests, I am reminded of a saying, that the earth is a gift from our children to us, we need to love and preserve this gift from them.

  • Ivan Frank, Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Birds are a priceless part of our heritage.They are beautiful, economically important—and they reflect the health of our environment. Yes we see a decline of bird population mainly due to the greed of humans. But now due to the efforts of Anand & Geeta and other like minded people we can see some positive results. People and Governments are now trying to reverse the decline of birds through proper land management and conservation. Let us all play a part in preserving these beautiful creatures.

  • Geetha Arockiam, Mangalore/Dallas, Tx

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Thank you for your continued efforts in educating us. So the question is what can each one of us do to protect and care for our environment? Attract birds into our own backyard? Can we say 'yes' to a simplier life?

  • Pavithra & Prem, VIRAJPET

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Many of these birds are present inside the coffee forests. the article is very educative and the pictures are superb. thanks to anand,and geeta

  • payal, mangalore

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    awesum ! mid blowing article!! keep it up!


    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Beautiful pictures and very informative article. I am sure this is a great teaching material for all. Prakash

  • Joe Britto, Nakre/Bangalore

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Amazing and educative article and does gives us a sense of pride and the fact that there still are such beautiful creatures in our midst despite all the man made disasters and harm done to nature in the past few decades. All the major hot spots on this our only Earth are under severe threat of disappearing all together very soon. Already several bird and animal species and flora and fauna have already disappeared totally. Most continents / countries have been complacent thinking that climate and weather change will occur after a couple of decades and will affect some far off continent/country. But on the contrary the answer that nature seems to be giving us today is emphatically different. It seems that unless man quickly reorients his activities and puts a full stop to his numerous harmful activities, our children will not see the world as it is today. We are living on the legacy of our children and have a duty to perform and preserve the Earth. Also when we took birth we did see a lot of birds, trees and animals around and therefore by the time we die, we should certainly leave more birds, trees and animals around us. It's not too late still and Nature lovers like our own Dr.Anand Periera and Mrs.Geeta Pereira will surely encourage several others to follow them and make this Earth a Heaven again.

  • Jagadish Anchan, Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    time and again Dr. Anand and Geetha have prooved beyond doubt that our country is blessed with incredible flora and fauna wealth. It is in our hands to protect these rare creatures for the benefit of Mankind

  • Allen.J.Pais, Houston-Texas

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Dr Anand & Geeta,I had gone through the article & yet again i have just reached my office @ Jelana Park Houston,I had no choice but to have a better glimpse of the beautiful bird images,you have really done a very talent full,perfection rated job & you have not cut corners to reach this feet of remarkable photography,keep up the good work & all the best-Regards Allen.J.Pais Houston-Texas

  • Liza Gina Pais, Mysore

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Dear Uncle Anand & Aunty Geeta,Very beautiful bird photographs & the green birds look very beautiful,Thank you for the excellent article-Regards Allen

  • Leander Pais, Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Dr Anand & Aunty Geeta.We went through the entire article & we were very surprised to see the pictures,I can remember a few pictures that i had assisted you by talking to the birds & distracting their attention so you could capture the best shot.Very good pictures & i will use them for my project work in school.Regards-Leander Pais Mysore

  • Leona Pais, Pune

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Dr Anand & Geeta.The photography is very remarkable,The picture do speak the trouble & time you have taken to capture such beautiful flying angles.Now i would suggest you may soon have to up grade your camera to a New Cannon EOS 7D features an all-new 18.0 Megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor and Dual DIGIC 4 Image Processors, capturing tremendous images at up to ISO 12800 and speeds of up to 8 fps. Well done & keep up the good work,We will always acknowledge your articles-Leona Pais-Mysore

  • Lathish Bangera, Bantwal., Polali

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    we have gone through Dr.Anand & Geeta's Ecofriendly Coffee Book. The Pictures on the Flora & Fauna of the Western Ghats is STUNNING. The Present article and pictures on bird Biodiversity is a stark reminder that this Eco wealth needs to be protected at any cost. "GREAT ARTICLE & PICTURES ." Thank U Daijiworld

  • Manikya, Katipalla

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    We have seen a few of these birds in and around the Chickmagalur and Coorg Dist. Thanks for the timely article and picture.

  • Savithri Arvind, Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    We are extremely happy to see such beautiful birds in our state. thanks to Dr. Anand, Geetha and Daijiworld for providing us a glimpse of Karnatakas bird bio diversity.

  • Ramanand, NewJersey/U.S

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    In this thought provokiing article, the message of conservation is very clear. if birds die, then all other conservation efforts fail. We need to collectively do something fast.

  • Ronald Fernandes, Kulshekar

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Dear Dr Anand and Mrs Geetha Pereira, Its a wonderful article with beautiful photos (hardly anybody gets a chance to see these birds). As you have a huge collection of interesting details, perhaps you can provide us more information on a weekly basis! Ronnie. Deccan Herald.

  • Allen Pais, Siddapur Coorg

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Dr Anand & Geeta,Excellent article & wonderful photography,Thank you also for contributing Aquatic bird photographs for Urban Oasis Compact Vijayanagar Mysore.Regards Allen Pais Houston Texas


    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Very educative article. Thanks to the authors for simplifying various aspects on bird biodiversity.

  • veeresh, Newjersey/U.S.

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    One look at these baeutiful pictures and it spells a thousand words about the state of the fragile ecology. One needs to protect these winged creatures for our very own self interest. Thank you anand and Geeta and daiji world too.

  • V.Baretto, Bantwal-Bangalore

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Beautiful and informative article and nice snaps. Keep it up Anand and Geetha

  • swathi, Sanfrancisco/U.S

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    It is hard to believe that these pictures were shot in Karnataka. I guess you guys need to bring a book on the birds of the State.Thank you for the time and trouble in educating us.


    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Dear Anand & Geeta, Thanks for the beautiful pictures God will definitely bless the one who admires and appreciates his wonderful creation. So also let us not fail to thank God as written at Rev 4:11 “You are worthy, Jah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.” All the best to you.


    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Thank you for the lovely pictures. Are these birds present in all parts of the State.We are studying ecology in school and i will try to find out the habitat of these various bird species. Thank you Daijiworld for providing space for this article.


    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    Thanks to do excellent photography with the names of the birds and for a good article.

  • Borewell Puttaka Laxminagar, uppinangady

    Wed, Nov 11 2009

    very good snaps.beautiful pictures.amazing scenery.thank u daiji.Dr.Anand & Geetha

  • Della Rego, Mangalore, Doha, Qatar

    Tue, Nov 10 2009

    Thanks to Dr.Anand and Mrs.Geeta Pereira for their excellent photography with the names of the birds and for a good article. Keep clicking nature photos and keep writing. Wishing you all the best. Thanks to Daiji too for publishing.

  • Arun,Pratibha,Adrian & Alastair, Kaprigudda, Mangalore/Dubai

    Tue, Nov 10 2009

    Dear Anand&Geeta, Splendid article. Thank you both so much for such an informative piece of writing. keep up the good work. we are proud of you both.

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Tue, Nov 10 2009

    A very nice and informative article. Man is indeed very cruel. The forests are the rightful place for these beautiful creatures but man has invaded their habitat. Thank you Dr. Anand & Geeta, for all what you are doing towards mother earth. Children who study this, will understand the importance and protect the bird/animal kingdom.

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