Published: 10th September 2019
School students in Coimbatore celebrate the arrival of Himalayan Grey Wagtail by distributing sweets on campus
Though the students have been recording the bird for the past 5 years, they celebrated this time too by distributing sweets to everyone on campus
Students and teachers of Government High school in Cincona in the hill town of Valparai not only celebrate sharing sweets each other for the school centum results in the public examinations, also for the arrival of migratory bird.
Unlike other government school students, Cincona school students have been interestingly involved in spotting the bird 'Grey wagtail' (Motacila Cinerea) which is a migrant bird from Himalayan region. A group of students spotted the winged visitor in the school campus on September 7 that spends winter season in the hill town and return to the Himalayan region.
Though the students have been recording the bird in the last five years, they have celebrated by distributing sweets on this year since the bird has successfully returned to the school campus on this year. A total of 40 students from class six to ten have been involved in spotting the bird using binocular and with the help of the book Birds of the Indian Sub Continent, whenever they get free time. Apart from spotting the bird, the students with the help of English Teacher K Selva Ganesh recorded the migratory bird in e-bird (it is an online database of bird distribution and abundance).
"We have decided to celebrate the arrival of the Grey Wagtail in our school campus since we believe that the breeding ground in Himalayan region, enroute and the school campus is a safe habitat for the bird. The bird has left from Valparai at the end of April last week and returned to the school campus at the first week of September. We have started observing the bird since 2015, However this is the first time that we have started celebrating the arrival of the Grey Wagtail. We have particularly spotting this bird since this would arrive first when compare to other migratory bird. More over the bird is easy to identify," said Selva Ganesh, adding, "After Grey wagtail, other migratory birds like brown shrike, blyth's reed warbler, Indian blue robin, greenish warbler, ashy drongo and blue capped rock thrush are also arriving to the hill town. We have recorded a total of 134 species in our school campus in the last five years and recorded in e-bird checklist."
He pointed out "By involving the students in bird watching, we have been creating awareness to them that the world is not only for the humans and also for the entire all living creatures. We would also impart about the bird's important role in the ecology and changing their mindset from hunting birds apart from understanding the nature," noted Selva Ganesh.