The annual birdwatching festival popularly known as Hakki Habba kicked off on Tuesday, at the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve in Chamarajnagar near Mysuru. The three-day festival was started in 2015 by the Karnataka Forest Department, in a bid to create awareness about the environment and to attract more people to the cause of bird conservation. The festival also aids in finding birds that are largely seen only in the region and to make note of new species that fly in.
â€śThe organisers and forest officials involved create a checklist of the species of the birds they find,â€ť said District Forest Officer Yelakundala. In the seventh edition of the Hakki Habba or Bird Festival, he said that they were hoping to revise the list as well as record new sightings.
When asked about the activities planned to engage the participants over three days, the DFO added, â€śLectures by experts have been arranged for. Before taking people on the field for bird watching, we brief the participants and other attendees. We also show films and documentaries and engage the audience.â€ť
The festival also aims to promote the biodiversity of the tiger reserve. The Director of the BRT Tiger Reserve, Dr Santoshkumar G, through the Hakki Habba, also aims at showcasing the unique and rich biodiversity of the sanctuary. The attendees are made aware of the speciality of the landscape by the movies and tours organised. The tiger reserve is located at a crucial link between the Eastern and Western Ghats complex. From semi-arid to evergreen forests, the reserve boasts of diverse landscapes and wildlife within its limits.
â€śThe activities are mindfully planned so that people can spend more time on the field and engage. We believe this will inculcate interest towards bird and wildlife conservation,â€ť added the DFO.
The BRT Tiger Reserve has multiple variants of forest environments like moist deciduous, evergreen, semi-evergreen, scrub and so on, which attracts many types of birds including migratory species. The vegetation is ideal for birds breeding, officials said.
In 2020, the Hakki Habba was hosted from January 17 to January 19 at Nandi Hills, Chikkaballapur.