The health of an ecosystem can perhaps be best assessed by the species of birds present in it. Among all known terrestrial vertebrates birds are the richest in species. Any scheme for the protection of wild life would be incomplete without due provision for the protection of birds. Quite apart from a sentimental value, birds render incalculable service to man. While certain species may damage crops, such harm as is done by birds is overwhelmingly offset by the benefits we derive from them. Through their sheer diversity, numbers, mobility and functional roles as predators, prey and dispensers of pollen and plant seed, are necessary for the survival of natural ecosystems. Without their protection, our crops, our orchards our food supplies would be devoured or destroyed by hordes of ravaging insects. Birds are the principal agency that controls the bewildering multiplication of insect life; which if unchecked, would overwhelm all life forms on this planet.
Bird-watching is an educative, exciting, healthy, inexpensive and rewarding hobby enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. It requires no formal training. It needs only keen interest, patience and practice. The abundant bird life of this country is one of its valuable possessions. Those who appreciate its value cannot but strive for its conservation. Due to their remarkable utility as biological ‘thermometers’ or indicators the study of changes in communities of birds has given us great insights in the related fields of conservation biology. The proposed course will train students in field identification of birds, various survey methods and how to document the data and analyze it by simple statistical methods.