Manipal is a small but fast-growing university town located in the Udupi district. Situated atop a laterite plateau along the coastal plains, it is located favorably between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. The proximity to two such diverse ecosystems, as well as the laterite scrub-grassland complex in the surrounding landscape makes Manipal a hub for bird activity.
The 1st edition of A Birder’s Handbook to Manipal, published in February 2013, covered the 204 species documented by the author over 4 years within Manipal’s limits. The 2nd edition of the book was released in February 2016, and now covers 253 species of birds that have been documented in the same region. A distribution map, seasonality chart and notes accompany each species page on identification, habitat and behavior. The book comes with a waterproof fold-able ID guide for use in the field.
Published by the Manipal University Press and supported by the Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences, the latest edition also includes the data collected by the team of students, faculty and others who are members of the Manipal Birders’ Club. The author, Ramit Singal, is an ex-student of Manipal Institute of Technology and the founder of the Manipal Birders’ Club. The first edition of the book contributed largely to the growth of birding as a hobby and as a tool for awareness about the birds in the region. It is hoped that this edition furthers the same and results in tangible conservation action.