Chennai Birdrace: A grand success!


40 Teams registered for the race and 35 teams completed and submitted their log books at the end of the day. More than 150 species of birds were spotted in a wide variety of habitats that included, wetlands, open scrubs, marshy areas, residential areas, estuary and water bodies. The team that spotted the highest number of species (120 species) was the Emerald Dove lead by mr. Sudhakar Muthyala (Praveen Govind Raj, Sandeep appa Rao, and Sathya) The team with the second highest species count was the Great Cormorant lead by Dr. Badrinarayanan (Dhurga S, Ekshika, Usha Palat). Their count was 97 species. The team with the third highest count was the Lesser Kestrel led by Dr Rajaram (Jennifer, Vasumathy T and Gopinath) They had a tally of 90 species. The All women's team led by Mrinalini Mani (Gayathree Krishna, Divya Ramesh and Aparna Narayanan) came up with a creditable tally of 86 species. The Bird of the day was the Indian Courser spotted by the team called Marsh Harrier led by Dr Geetha Jaikumar (Dr. Alaganandam, Vikram Kuruvilla, Dr. Arun Kumar) There was also a team of special students from Vidyasagar, led by Dr. R Bhanumathi.

What is a birdrace?

A birdrace is a dawn to dusk event where teams of 4 bird-watchers will spend the entire day birding in and around a city (within a specified 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 get-together.

Chennai Birdrace in Feb 2008

After the success of bird races in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore, the Madras Naturalists' Society (MNS) along with IndiaBirdRaces and HSBC proposes to organise a bird race in Chennai. The date is fixed as Sunday, the 3rd Feb 2008. All interested birdwatchers and nature lovers are welcome to participate in it.

The main objective of having a bird race in Chennai is to get as many of the city's bird-watchers together on a single day, along with as many birds as possible! Despite strict rules, there is a fun element to this exercise, which would help stimulate enormous interest in bird watching as a highly popular hobby. The event would give us a good idea about this region's bird life and helps in building up support for environment and nature conservation. This event will provide a wonderful opportunity for all the birdwatchers to get together, catch-up with each other, exchange notes and talk bird lore and re-seal working relationships!

For more information on the bird races and rules for participation, please visit

MNS hopes to help conduct the Chennai Birdrace year after year!