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Small is beautiful

Updated on: 03 June,2022 07:23 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Vedika Mane |

Sign up for an interesting trail to Karnala Bird Sanctuary where you might spot the elusive Indian pitta, as well as other avian species

Small is beautiful

Indian pitta. Pic courtesy/Asif Khan

How often do you wake up to the sound of chirping birds by your windowsill? Spotting birds, let alone rare species, is a magical sight in the concrete jungles that humans have built. Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has organised a bird-watching trail in Karnala Bird Sanctuary to track the Indian pitta and a few other species.

The Indian pitta breeds in the Himalayas and central India during the monsoon and in the winter heads towards southern India. On its way to its breeding ground, the bird passes through areas around Mumbai. It is usually seen between May 10 and June 12. “We begin by exploring the base of Karnala and looking out for the Indian pitta,” shares Asif Khan, BNHS associate officer of programs.

A previous bird-watching trail
A previous bird-watching trail

Pitta is derived from a Telugu term that means “little bird.” The bird is locally called naurang, which means “nine colours” in Marathi, because of its vibrant plumage. Khan explains, “Among the several feathered visitors to our city, the Indian pitta is one of the prettiest. It barely stays here for a fortnight, yet its secretive nature makes this bird a visual delight. We usually hear the bird before we see it since it has a distinctive two-note loud, recognisable whistle that sounds like “wheeet-tieu”.”

Asif Khan
Asif Khan

During this time, the bird sanctuary is also home to resident birds such as Tickell’s blue flycatcher, Black-naped monarch, Small sunbird, Nilgiri flowerpecker, Rufous and Heart-spotted woodpecker, Greater racquet-tailed and Bronzed drongo, Crested serpent-eagle, and Golden-fronted leafbird.

On: June 5; 6 am to 1 pm
Meeting Point: Dadar TT Circle 
Log on to: @bnhs.naturecamps on Instagram
Call: 9969798447

Cost: Rs 1,500 (BNHS members), Rs 1,700 (others)

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