Beginning of Birdwatching

It’s one of the first eye-openers for people who are just starting to pick up birdwatching: the experience of hearing a birder call out names of birds in quick succession as a flock passes by, seemingly without looking. But like anything, it’s mainly practice—and it’s surprisingly easy to learn. You can watch (and listen to) birds pretty much anytime you’re outside. You mainly just need patience, careful observation, and a willingness to let the wonder and beauty of the natural world overtake you. Here are some tips on how to get started:

1. Binoculars. Your enjoyment of birds depends hugely on how great they look through your binoculars, so make sure you’re getting a big, bright, crisp picture through yours. In recent years excellent binoculars have become available at surprisingly low prices. So while binoculars under $100 may seem tempting, it’s truly worth it to spend $200 to $300 for vastly superior images as well as better warranties, waterproof housing, and a great feel.

2. Field Guide. Once you start seeing birds, you’ll start wondering what they are. An informal poll of my coworkers showed a clear field guide favorite: the Sibley Guide, in either its full North America version or smaller, more portable Eastern and Western editions. Other useful guides are Kaufman’s, Peterson’s, and the National Geographic guide. Don’t forget that on the Web you can get information and sounds.

3. Bird Feeders. With binoculars for viewing and a guide to help you figure out what’s what, the next step is to bring the birds into your backyard, where you can get a good look at them. Bird feeders come in all types: we recommend starting with a black-oil sunflower feeder. Add a suet feeder in winter and a hummingbird feeder in summer (or all year in parts of the continent). From there you can diversify to millet, thistle seeds, mealworms, and fruit to attract other types of species.

4. Spotting scope. By this point in our list, you’ve got pretty much all the gear you need to be a birder… until you start looking at those ducks on the far side of the pond, or shorebirds in mudflats, or that Golden Eagle perched on a tree limb a quarter-mile away. Though they’re not cheap, spotting scopes are indispensable for getting those last few clues about a species ID—or to simply revel in intricate plumage details that can be brought to life only with a 20x to 60x zoom. And scopes, like binoculars, are coming down in price while going up in quality.

6. Skills. Once you’re outside and surrounded by birds, we recommend practicing a four-step approach to identification. First you judge the bird’s size and shape; then look for its main color pattern; take note of its behavior; and factor in what habitat it’s in. 

7. Records. Birders like the ones who inspired the 2011 movie The Big Year are called listers—people who love (or are obsessed with) compiling lists of the species they’ve seen. But you don’t have to be a lister to reap benefits of writing down what you see—think of notes as a kind of diary with a focus, chronicling the days of your life through the birds you’ve seen and places you’ve been. Many people keep their records online in our free eBird project, which keeps track of every place and day you go bird watching, allows you to enter notes and share sightings with friends, and explore the data all eBirders have entered.


Environmental ecology

The problem of population is the main cause of ecological environment damage. As the population grows up and economic develops, the increasing demand of resources is becoming more and more severe. Because of deforestation, unreasonably overgrazing dykes to reclaim land from a lake, marsh reclamation, excessive usage of land and water resources, which leads to the destruction of biological environment or even disappearance, the normal survival of the species is affected a lot. There is a large number of species which have not yet been detected by human beings. They have quietly become extinct, thus leading to destruction of biodiversity.

Land is the material basis of human survival. In the demand of the food sources of the survival of human beings, crops cultivated land accounts for 88%, 10% of grasslands and pastoral areas and 2% counted for marine. With the development and utilization of ocean, energy applied by sea food for human beings will increase. At present, the cultivated land of the world is about 1.37 x 109 hm2, which shows per capital is about 0.26 hm2. But due to the increase of the non-agricultural land land desertification, soil erosion, soil pollution and so on, it prompts the contradiction between population increase and reduce land resources becoming more and more sharp. What’s more, the pressure of increase in population on land is becoming bigger and bigger. According to the United Nations food and agriculture organization, nowadays, about 500 million people around the world are in a state of super land bearing capacity.

So the fresh water is going to run out. To discover and to make use of new sources are necessary within two aspects. One is to find fresh water resource which hasn ‘t been found or used. The other way is to thoroughly look for fresh water from where other than the fresh water resource it self. This is mainly asked to turn which is not fresh water purification into fresh water. Since sea water accounts a lot of the total water resources of the earth. The key means to turn them into the water we can drink is to purify and desalinate. Although it is not because that there is no water desalination plant in the world, why we still worry about water resources drying up? That is mainly due to the desalination technology which is not very mature and completed. Not to mention, the cost is very high as well. Ordinary people can not afford such high price. That explains why this technique is not popularized worldwide, but most concentrated in the developed countries. That is to say, if we want to fade in seawater batches, the most important is to rely on science technology to improve the efficiency of desalination, reduce the desalination cost and let ordinary people be able to use the desalinate water under a proper price.

Organisms of this ecosystem may generally be divided into three categories:

1. Producers, 2. Consumers, 3. Decomposers.

Producers mostly belong, to the category of plants that make their food by the inorganic substances by themselves in the presence of light.Consumers particularly include animals including human being, that de­pend for their food on other organism including plants, and the decomposers come in the category of bacteria and fungus etc. that decompose the organic substances present in dead plants and animals.

The system is useful to man. A perfect ecological balance cannot be expected in the wake of growing industrialisation as owing to this, pollution of environment becomes inevitable.The environment has “carrying capacity”, or the amount of pollution or damage an environment can sustain without further degradation.

A lake that is 5 times larger than another one can carry roughly 5 times the pollution load. If the loads of pollution are not minimised or environment upgraded to an extent that it will be able to carry them, the environmental degradation will inevitably worsen.

By the misuse, abuse and uncontrolled use of resources both natural and otherwise have upset the equilibrium between human activity and nature.

Over-exploitation of natural resources in the name of industrialization is posing a great danger to the ecosystem. This danger may be understood in following two ways:

1. Physical Environment. 2. Human Environment.

Physical Environment consists of all constituents of natural origin like physiography-, climate, vegetation, soil, water bodies, wild animals and minerals.

Human Environment consists of all elements having a human touch in their origin. Such elements include all manifestations of human activities.

Of course natural resources cannot be confined to the physical mani­festation of nature, it also includes the entire environmental scenario-the carrying capacity of nature, the extent up to which the nature can accommo­date.

Can we predict the ecological effects of pollution and climate change?

Governments and citizens around the world are increasingly aware of the consequences of atmospheric pollution and climate change. In large-scale experiments, plants and animals are exposed to carefully controlled atmospheres and different ecological conditions. Scientists use this information to understand how they respond to pollution levels, and make predictions about future climate change.

Can we fish the ocean without depleting its riches?

It is possible, but does depend on where we are in the world. In the Antarctic, the marine ecosystem is currently managed as a whole under an international agreement to conserve living resources. This makes it easier to understand marine communities and their interactions, as well as help monitor threatened species more closely.

Can we conserve a habitat and its biodiversity?

Yes. Ecology provides the essential basis for nature conservation. Maintaining a mosaic of habitats ensures the survival of a rich variety of species. For instance, heathland is a valued landscape that is fast disappearing throughout much of Western Europe, but studies have helped identify how to preserve its ecological characteristic.



-Aastha Joshi

The last 50 years have seen rapid growth in population, urbanization and human Consumption resulting in usage of most of the earth’s resources to an extreme level. A recent report by WWF states that the population size of mammals, reptiles, fishes, birds and amphibians have decreased by 68 percent on a average from 1970 to 2016, which makes us astonished about the biodiversity we have lost. The report pinpoint’s this biodiversity loss to a variety of factors, but mainly land-use change,particularly the conversion of habitats, like forests, grasslands and mangroves, into agricultural systems. Animals like sharks and seahorses are significantly affected by the illegal wildlife trade, and pangolins are critically endangered because of it. It has been found that the sixth mass extinction of wildlife on Earth is accelerating. More than 500 species of land animals are on the brink of extinction and are likely to be lost within 20 years. The species that are endangered will go extinct whereas the species that are readily available will fall into endangered category. Without such harsh actions of humans on the environment this loss of biodiversity would have taken thousands of years. The living planet report 2020 shows that population sizes in Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced the highest decline, at 94%, while globally, freshwater species have been disproportionately impacted, declining 84% of average. Humans have been openly criticised for using up the earths resources and not giving them time to replenish. Since the industrial revolution, human activities have increasingly destroyed and degraded forests, grasslands, wetlands and other important ecosystems. local varieties and breeds of domesticated plants and animals are disappearing. The best example to it is crows and pigeons, early generations have seen the being on their rooftops but now days we can hardly find some around us. Several wildlife conservation techniques have now been adapted by the mankind to tackle this loss of biodiversity and maintain an ecological balance. Many wildlife centuries and biosphere reserves have been made to provide a natural habitat to these endangered species as the loss of natural habitat has been reported one of the major reasons for the loss of these species. The alarming ratios of decrease in the species has made the people around globe a little more concerned. Several projects have been initiated by the counties and also at the global level to converse these species and stop them from getting extinct. Harsh treatment to animals have strongly been prohibited, also hunting has now came in the negative light and strict actions are taken upon people practicing it without the permission of government. All on the world Biosphere reserves have been created to promote the well being of these animals and providing them a secured environment as well as a habitat that is originally meant for them. Humans have created a ruckus all over the earth disturbing the balance around and lifestyle of the species. If optimal measures are not taken at the right time these acts of humans can have a disastrous impact on them itself.

Sri Lanka’s one of the worst ecological disasters in History

Burnt-out Container Vessel is sinking in Sri Lanka, which has already endangered the marine life and affected the life of people who depend on the sea in Colombo. X-Press Pearl Singaporean Super Eco 2700-class Container ship on 20th may 2021 caught on fire in the cost of Colombo, Sri Lanka. There were 25 crew members on board and they were evacuated safely.

The vessel, which is 186-meter, carried 1486 containers which includes 25tonnes of nitric acid, other chemicals and plastic raw material. The mv left Hazira port in India on 15th may and was travelling to Singapore via Colombo, where the disaster occurred.

The vessel was on blaze for straight 13 days, it was put off after two weeks of struggle by Sri Lankan Navy, experts from Dutch salvage Company and the Indian Coast Guard. The burnt-out ship is sinking off in the coast with the danger of Oil spill that may occur, the vessel carries 350tonnes of oil in its fuel tank. Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) said, they are assessing environmental damage and collecting evidence.

Damage Done:

  • The wreckage is greatly affecting the aqua habitat causing several marine creatures to die, fishes and turtles were found dead on the shore.
  • Plastic pellets from the ship deposited along the country’s beaches and these LDPE( Low-density polyethylene) pellets have also washed off to the nearby island.
  • Health experts and Environment Authority have warned that, the emission of nitrogen dioxide could possibly cause mild acid rain in Sri Lanka.
  • Sri Lankan authorities banned Coastal Fishing because of the pollution, and about 5600 boats are unable to sail. This will affect 4600 families.
  • The Cargo loss of X-Press Pearl could range between $30 million -$50 million in addition to the loss of vessel.


The Disaster brought severe harm, the water region is highly polluted. Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA), termed the incident to be one of the Sri Lanka’s worst ecological disasters in history.