Indian Skimmer count - Phase II


After the successful first phase of the Indian Skimmer Count, Bombay Natural History Society in association with Bird Count India announces the second phase of the coordinated global Indian Skimmer Count. This second phase will be conducted on 30th-31st January 2021. Like the first phase, participants are encouraged to visit any of the short-listed sites or other potential sites of their choice where Indian Skimmers are likely to be recorded on the count dates. This will help in conserving this incredible species.


Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis was formerly distributed widely across the Indian Subcontinent, along the major rivers of Myanmar and the Mekong in Indo-China. At present maximum population is confined to India, Bangladesh and Pakistan along with few records in Myanmar and Nepal. BNHS has identified Indian Skimmer under priority list of birds which needs immediate conservation interventions. Indian Skimmer is also included in the India’s National Action Plan for Conservation of Migratory Birds and their habitats along Central Asian Flyway (CAF) by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India.  As the species action plan is underway for conservation of this species and their habitats, this count is one such initiative to fill the knowledge gap of the species.


  • Visit any of the short-listed sites from here List of Potential sites for Indian Skimmer or other sites of your choosing
  • Participants can choose any of the day (30th-31st January 2021) or both the dates whichever is feasible for them.
  • Count total number of Indian Skimmer at the selected site. For more details on how to count skimmers CLICK HERE
  • Upload your counts to the eBird mobile app,  Please see this PDF that provides step by step procedure to upload your skimmer counts using the eBird Mobile app.
  • If possible, undertake a careful count of birds to identify the number of Juvenile, Immature and Adults to make it more meaningful. For understanding age classification see here. To learn about how to edit and add additional information in your checklists, see here
  • To add photos and call recordings to your eBird checklist, use the “add media” link. See here to know about how to upload media in your checklist.
  • If you are not comfortable using the app, then upload your sightings through And then share the checklist with the user ID-Indian Skimmer or email ID Refer to this article on how to share a checklist. 
  • We encourage participants to contribute their observations/data through eBird platform. However, participants can also use Google form OR MS word fill-in data-sheet to contribute their observations. Email the MS word filled data-sheet to For details on using datasheet CLICK HERE.

General Instructions:

  • Counts should ideally start around 0700 hours for the inland wetlands/rivers. For the sites where the movement is tide depended, in that case the counts could be conducted when the congregation is highest. Evening counts in good light conditions are also encouraged in case the morning hours are not suitable owing to tide time.
  • For those new to eBird, read the brief description, and go through the detailed beginner’s guide; create an account and start using eBird right away to get used to the platform.
  • Ethics and etiquette: Avoid stressing birds and be cautious around roosting, nesting and feeding sites. Always be careful and restraint when photographing, recording, or otherwise approaching birds.

Important Notes:

  • Please submit all your counts before the 10th February 2021.
  • While birding, please ensure that you adhere to COVID-19 related instructions by central and local authorities 
  • Photographs of the count, team, site and species can be sent along with the filled data sheet with due captions to the Coordinator at
  • We also encourage participants to look out for other bird species at these sites and upload a Complete Checklist.
  • Please look out specially for the Black-bellied Tern Sterna acuticauda during this count. Participants using Google form can add this data in the 'Other Red List bird species observed'tab and others using the downloadable datasheet can use the tab ‘Other observations' to add this data.
  • If you have any queries regarding use of eBird, please email at

For any queries and clarifications, please contact

Ms. Parveen Shaikh

Coordinator- Indian Skimmer count

Bombay Natural History Society,

Hornbill House, Opp. Lion Gate, S.B. Singh Road,

Mumbai-400 001, India.

Phone No: -+91-22-22821811 (Office)


Header Image: Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis by Urmil Jhaveri