MigrantWatch: A five-year journey

This entry was posted Tuesday, 12 March, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Since 2007 MigrantWatch has brought together hundreds of birders across India to pool their observations of migratory birds. Over the years, our enthusiastic participants have collectively contributed more than 20,000 records of nearly 250 bird species. The idea of collecting all this information in one place is to document patterns of bird migration in the Indian subcontinent.

To mark the completion of 5 years of MigrantWatch, we have put together a brief summary of the migration patterns that are emerging. We hope you will enjoy it, and will tell your other birding friends about it too.

You can download a soft copy of the summary here [PDF, 2.9 MB; right-click to save it]. We have also printed a set of copies, and if you would like a hardcopy of the summary, just mail your postal address to us at mw@migrantwatch.in, and we will be happy to send you a copy.

A big ‘Thank You!’ to all participants and contributors, and we look forward to working with you for the next five years!

MigrantWatch 5-years summary report 2013-03-cover

41 Comments to MigrantWatch: A five-year journey

  1. Prashanth says:

    March 12th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Wow. Congrats. Cannot believe that it is already five years since it started! I hope that the contributions increase in spread and number!

  2. Kaajal Dasgupta says:

    March 12th, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Congratulations! I would like to contribute by providing Data/Images on a Regular basis.
    Best Wishes

    Kaajal Dasgupta

  3. Joby Joseph says:

    March 12th, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Congratulations for what I think is an unparalleled initiative of this kind in India. Waiting for all the exciting things that that can come out in the future.

  4. migrantwatch says:

    March 12th, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Thank you, Prashanth, Kaajal and Joby. Contributions of sightings during the current migration season (the 6th season, and therefore not included in the summary) are 80% higher than last season — and we hope very much that this increasing trend continues.

    Your help in participating and spreading the word is much appreciated!

    Suhel (for MigrantWatch)

  5. Arun M K Bharos says:

    March 12th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Congratulations , It is a great achievement in raising interest in birds & their migration.From the various maps & list of contributors , I find many parts of the country , still remain uncovered. Hopefully With the time it will also be done.

    Many Thanks for the mail

    A M K Bharos & all CG Contributors

  6. sivakumar says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Great effort! Well done! Very impressive indeed!

  7. Sachin shurpali says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Dear Suhel,
    I have sent quite a few hurdles / bugs as we call it in software terms, which are preventing us from uploading data easily, Had also indicated some recommendations. I hope you are considering getting them fixed as I did not get any response to them.
    Anyways it is good to see that the contributions are increasing and hopefully are credible too.


  8. anil mahajan says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 3:18 am

    congrats! and thank u for sharing this valuable information .
    Anil Mahajan.
    Founder President
    Chaatak Nature conservation Society,Varangaon dsit-Jalgaon, Maharashtra.
    Mob: 8806198040

  9. Mitesh Punjani says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 3:19 am

    This is really a great achievement in todays times. With somany enthusiastic members the migrant watch is here to surely be around here for a long time in future. Congratulations to all.

  10. Gopinathan Maheswaran says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 4:09 am


  11. Aneesh Kotwal says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Congrts! Its really good to see some one like you is concerned about nature. I am with you and will remain with you.

    Only request is to improve on migration recording form and make it more user friendly and make enable on smart phones.


  12. migrantwatch says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Thank you all, for your good wishes. @Aneesh and @Sachin, very sorry that we have not been able to make further improvements to the MigrantWatch web interface — our constraint is in getting suitable help in web development. We don’t have a budget for this, and all that you see on the website has been done through a series of volunteer developers. What they have done is superb, but of course there is much room for improvement. We are working on this, and hope to have an updated, more user-friendly site by the start of the next migration season – July 2013.

    Suhel (for MigrantWatch)

  13. Kapil Paliwal says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 4:54 am

    A superb effort!!!
    This is a very good scientific work, brilliantly presented. My own contribution is a little bit and that makes me happy and proud!

  14. shantilal varu says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Nice Documentation,Congrats.

  15. Vivek M says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Kudos to the Migrantwatch team and all the contributors. 5 years and >20,000 records is a fabulous feat. Wishing more birders join hands and more sightings are uploaded :).

  16. BW Shirolkar says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Nice report, excellent compilation. I want to add two points for your consideration.

    1. Effort to be made to elicit inforation from other states which have not reporting. Then the migration pattern will become more lucid.
    2. Is it possible to fix migratory route for birds. For Wind Energy this is needed.


  17. Swati Shinde says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Hearty congrats for completion of 5 years. Thanks for the information and support you are giving to the bird watchers. I wish to be associated with the group for many more years ahead.

  18. Tilroy Fernandes says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 6:25 am

    5 years is a milestone. it is like a small step for man but a giant leap for the birds. Keep up the good work. It was an enriching experiance to be part of the project.

  19. Santhosh Krishnamoorthy says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Congratulations on the milestone and all the hard work has reaped in the results. Keep on going….


  20. Gaurav MIisra says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Great work. I’m happy to see such evidence-based enthusiasm!

  21. migrantwatch says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Thanks again to all of you for your kind words. Shirolkar-ji, you are absolutely right that we need to get more participation from different States.

    In the summary report you will see graphs that show sightings of different species through the seasons — but this is clubbed for all of India, because there is not enough information from different regions separately, let alone for different States.

    This is clearly unsatisfactory — obviously migration timings will be different in Rajasthan versus Assam versus Tamil Nadu. But much more information is needed to be able to look at this on a State-by-State basis.

    Suhel (for MigrantWatch)

  22. Prathamesh Desai says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Congrats to the entire Team and the contributors of Migrant Watch .Was a Part of Migrant watch since 2011 ,Great Updates ,Reports has helped Me and My fellow bird Watchers a lot .Great Documentation.
    Special Thanks to Raman, Suhel and Anushree for their efforts in Making Migrant Watch one of best sites .

  23. Aju Mukhopadhyay says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Really wonderful help to bird watchers, a great service to Nature conservation drive-

  24. Kedar Champhekar says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Congratulations Migrantwatch! It is heartening to see the initiative grow so fast! Kudos!


  25. Saurabh Pansare says:

    March 14th, 2013 at 1:07 am

    Congrats Migrant Watch!!! Its great to see the community growing. The analytics done and the software used are a need of the hour and can help many of the researchers. Contributing or not I’m always with Migrant watch. ATB!

  26. Praveen J says:

    March 14th, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Hi Suhel & team,
    Wow – A Great success ! The word citizen science was unknown in India before this initiative was started. The kind of results obtained by this programme shows what can be achieved nation-wide with a network of bird-watchers spending a little amount of their spare time.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful presentation…


  27. Dr. Hiren B. Soni says:

    March 14th, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Indeed, A Long Furlong in the Field of Ornithology of India…!
    Heartily Congrats with Hats-Off to Entire Team of Migrant Watch & All The Birdwatchers of India…!

  28. Pawan Dhall says:

    March 14th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Congrats, Team MigrantWatch! I am so glad to be part of this network and contribute whatever little bit I can. This initiative has given my life a new dimension, and it gives me great joy in motivating others also to join MigrantWatch. Salutations to the Grey Wagtail, the first migrant bird I learnt to recognize in the wild and this one is a permanent love affair!!

  29. Sarthal Awhad says:

    March 16th, 2013 at 11:11 am


  30. M Pathy says:

    March 18th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Dear Migrant Watch team:

    Congratulation and great work. It has been a fantastic learning experience and keep up the good work


  31. migrantwatch says:

    March 19th, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you so much again. We are starting to plan out the next five years of MigrantWatch. Should it continue as before, or with large or small modifications? We will need your inputs on this, and will be in touch soon. In the meantime, Happy Birdwatching!

  32. Seb says:

    March 28th, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Interesting work. Thanks for sharing the five year data. Looks like we need more people from North-east. All the best for MigrantWatch.

  33. Dr. Jayant Wadatkar says:

    March 29th, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Hearty congrats for completion of five years and thanks for sharing this valuable information, it can helpful to many of the researchers. Citizen science was not known before Migrant Watch, but now with this data we can say citizen science is also important source of scientific data. But most of this data generated from selected regions and most of the parts of country still not contribute their sighting is one of the lacunae. Hope Migrant Watch will reach up to uncovered areas in coming seasons and make this network stronger. I am so happy to be a part of this network and contribute something.
    Dr. Jayant Wadatkar
    Amravati (MS)

  34. vilas deshmukh says:

    April 2nd, 2013 at 9:36 am


  35. shyamkumar puravankara says:

    April 12th, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Its been a great pleasure to be a part of migrant watch that make us both happy about birding as well as a scientific data which we own create and have access, which otherwise lost.A big kudoos to all who are the master brains which made this possible. and have a humble request that we should also be concern about our resident species which also require a documentation and attention as migrants.

  36. Nandan Tavanandi says:

    May 11th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I have not contributed on this forum and hope to do so if I get an opportunity. Neverteless, it s very interesting to read the reports coming from all over. While we mammals are rooted to land so much, it is so heartwarming to read and know about these migrations by birds for different reasons and aso the butterflies. Thanks.

  37. deepa singh says:

    July 15th, 2013 at 6:29 am

    plzz sir can i get a records for the migrant watch as i have project for the same to be submitted on short notice……….

  38. deepa singh says:

    July 15th, 2013 at 6:30 am

    do reply for the same as soon as possible sir…..

  39. migrantwatch says:

    July 15th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Hello Deepa,

    You can download all (or a subset) of the MigrantWatch data from here: http://www.migrantwatch.in/data.php

    Good luck with your project; please do let us know what you find!

    Suhel (for MigrantWatch)

  40. Dr V R Bhagwat says:

    May 29th, 2014 at 2:51 am

    After a long gap, I browsed through the pages of Migrantwatch and found that a summery of 5 yrs is published. Congratulations to the team of Migrant watch. I have contributed earlier with reporting of Pied Cuckoo from Dhule (Maharashtra), unfortunately I find my name missing in the summery document. Hope it will not happen in future documents. I continue to regularly contribute with reporting of migrants from our area.

  41. admin says:

    May 29th, 2014 at 4:47 am

    Hello Sir, thanks for your good wishes! The five-year report covers only the period 2007-2012 (the first five years of MigrantWatch). Your valuable contributions to MigrantWatch are from after the report was brought out, and that’s why your name is missing from the report. It will certainly be included in future summaries! Thank you again for your help and support.

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