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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Birding and Documentation - Lessons from #Kerala

20 Birdlists - each list being a minimum of 15 minutes should have been child's play for someone who has done over 100 lists just the previous month...Well that's what I thought read about the June Challenge put to my country's birders by @Birdcountindia Consortium on it's facebook page.
As it turned out, June had many surprises (pleasant ones) in store for me on the professional front and finding time to do birding, even if it's on my terrace got tougher as the week one progressed.  I knew i had to meet or beat the target by 26th June as I will need to fly out to Vegas for #SHRM15 on 27th.

The Monsoons took their time reaching my home state this year and that lull gave me some opportunity to get some birding in.

Then came the big weekend which had me attending two major birding events or birder community meetups (Annual ones) at the College of Forestry, Thrissur.  The need to get more visibility around impact of birding and documentation was felt at both the days. I would'nt say it was clear to the casual observer but having been observing the community members interaction in multiple forums (FB and Whatsapp being most popular) - it was easy for me to read between the lines.
Don't get me wrong here - let me clarify that Kerala's birders are pretty advanced folks and I'm proud to get invited to that communities annual event. Well I see possibilities galore, even though my state may be the first one in my country to get it's own bird atlas.

From the discussions, it was clear to me that my efforts will need to be centered around getting birders to get deeper into birding by documenting their effort. Documenting can be done using Tech tools like ebird platform. This platform also supports pictures and audio clips.
With more photographers around than birders, Pictures play a significant role for promoting documentation in my country. 
Well, I did muster energy to get to the magic number for the June Challenge by 27th morning - a day late than planned.

Here is an example of how a birding documentation can be listed for posterity - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24034869


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