Hide Photography (Birdwatching), an Ethical Conflict!

A hide and constant feed especially around the habitats, some water for them to bathe or drink,
is a great way to attract birds. Green covers, a few benches in front of such a set-up, you are good to go. Charge people on per person basis to sit and click pretty pictures of the birds. Best mantra used by all major bird guides and birding resorts/camps for earning. Even bird photographers are more than happy to visit such places, since is a convenient way to click pictures rather than walking up a trail or forest. More and more hides are coming up in different birding hotspots as a result of this. 

Have we birders given it a thought the affects these set-ups may have on the birds and their habitats? First of all,
such artificial set ups disturb these habitats. Consumption of humanly grown crops, which are the usual feed to birds are dangerous too. Secondly, ability to search for their own food changes in long term if animals/birds are fed on a regular basis. Isn’t it ironic how we are destroying their natural habitats and food yet feeding them with the grains grown by man? It is no less than domesticating them. We are somehow contributing in reducing their foraging, looking for their own food kind of skills, we are disrupting their process of evolution on a whole. 

It is believed that when wildlife is observed in their natural habitat, people realize the significance of conservation. But disturbing them in order to conserve them makes less of a sense. Hence,
anything that’s practiced to attract birds’ like- feeding , attracting them through artificial set up, through playback of calls or nocturnal birding using torches just to click their photographs has always been an ethical dilemma for naturalists. Send in your views and suggestions on the same by writing to us. 

Steppe Eagle

Contributed by Ashish Singh via FB gorup- “Birds and Birders”

Shot this beautiful raptor up close in Lansdowne,Uttarakhand during a short trip in March 2019. 
The steppe eagle like all eagles,belongs to the family of Accipitridae. Steppe eagle’s diet is largely fresh carrion of all kinds, but it kills rodents and other small mammals up to the size of a hare, and birds up to the size of partridges. It also steals food from other raptors.
A crop in throat allows Steppe eagle to store food for several hours before it moves down to the stomach.

Let nature be part of your growth!

It’s summer, your kids are staying home, always couching around watching TV or playing with android devices? Its time they enjoy and come to life rather than the school books and routine. Let nature and wildlife become part of their upbringing. When they learn to respect nature, they learn to adapt, they learn to respect everything that is a reason for their existence and survival. Their horizons of thinking expand when they come across different trees, flowers, fruits, birds and creatures in the nature. Kids will build a curiosity in these elements of nature, once nature becomes part of their growing up, they will also learn not to harm instead conserve them. Its time you escape the summer heat, get away to the mountains and forests enjoy the climate as well as the scenic beauty. Camp Sparrow is a pleasant and appropriate place to learn, adapt and live in peace!

The Scaly Bellied Woodpecker.

-contributed by Shuvadip Som (member of facebook group Birds and Birders)

It was early morning and I had checked in a resort in Binsar, just an evening earlier and I was too tired after traveling the zigzag 120 kms from Kathgodam.  
The fast and continuous tap-tap-tap sound woke me up. Took a look outside my window and saw this beauty. My camera was ready, shot immediately. Incidentally, this is my first bird Photography before brushing my teeth … Lol. 
And the best part this guy was just 9-10 metres away from me, see exact details below. 

Name – The Scaly Bellied Woodpecker 

Location – Binsar, near Almora, Uttarakhand 

DoP – 05/04/2019 (April – 2019) 

EXIF – 1/2000, f/6.3, ISO1600 at 550 mm 

Places of Interest near Jeolikote-Nainital!

This surely is a destination to visit for any age group or for people with varied kind of interests. After bountiful of nature and birds in Jeolikote, you can head around for more natural or man-made wonders.

Nainital, Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchiatal and Mukteshwar are the nearest excursions from the town which are famous for their natural beauty along with the lakes making it amazingly picturesque. In addition to this they are also famous for some adventure activities like trekking, rock climbing, rappelling or some water sports.  

Nature and wildlife enthusiasts? Pangot- Killbury sanctuary, Jim Corbett national park, Almora, Kausani, Ranikhet,Bageshwar and many more are the places of interest near Nainital. Then comes the pilgrimage destinations which is a must visit in Uttarakhand, known as Dev Bhoomi in itself.  So, Jageshwar, Kaichi Dam, Hanumangarh, Pitoragarh, Rishikesh are all definetely worth a visit. 

Refresh your Mind Body and Soul!

What refreshes your mind, body and soul? A laidback vacation? A walk in the nature? Sometime off with family and friends? Just a book and a coffee all by yourself? A good session of Yoga or meditation with fresh air and greenery around? If your definition and our solution of “peace & relaxation” are similar, we can create wonders together.

Camp Sparrow has what is required for a healthy lifestyle. Nature all around, plenty of sun and wind, calm countryside yet dense forests, no noise nor pollution of any sort, books to read and plenty of coffee,teas and beverages to sip on.  In addition, its proximity to famous hill stations and adventure hubs around- Nainital, Almora, Bhimtal, Sattal, Kasardevi, Mukteshwar makes it irresistable.

You want to be a tourist but not stay in the touristy, over-crowded accommodations amidst too many other regular tourists, then Camp Sparrow- Jeolikote is the place for you. So, come and explore a
place so admirable at a price so affordable! 🙂 

Something to learn from every season of Nature!

Conversations with wise and knowledgeable people are always fruitful. In one such conversations, I came to know about this flower fondly known as “Simbhal” in the local language. It is found in plenty around the region.Ask any local person, they will point out the tree for you. It is a flower which is useful at every stage of its growth cycle. Initially, in the bud form it is of a great medicinal and nutritional value. It is of utmost beauty attracting many birds and bees for its nectar at the flowering stage. Then comes the fruits which are very much similar to ladies’ finger and used in local dishes.  

This made me realize when such a flower can be of so much use at every stage of its lifecycle, how useful can our lives be. This one is just an example, wherein that’s how every element of nature is useful to another. Understanding this and living in total harmony with our environment is the key to sustainability. So,we are giving our possible best towards the cause, you too can be part of it. Experience our sustainable living and practices by staying at Camp Sparrow,Jeolikote-Nainital, or even by taking part in our frequent workshops.   

Basic, Raw and Natural is what we believe in!

Lifestyle in cities these days are mundane and routine. Even while people look for something different all they end up doing is party or eat something unhealthy. Why don’t you try something out of the box, get out of comfort zones, get adventurous, seek out and learn new skills.

Camp Sparrow believes in basic, raw and natural kind of lifestyle.  Pull yourself out of comfort zones,feel the dramatic conditions of the mountains by choosing to stay in the tents. Earthbag houses give out a feel of raw and natural with all the basic amenities yet not losing out on comfort levels. New skills can be acquired by bird watching and taking up nature walks to connect to the nature. Food we serve is freshly cooked and basic with a hint of local cuisine. So, Camp Sparrow neither burns a hole in your pocket nor on your appetite. Try the place so admirable with prices so affordable. 

Lakes of Kumaon!

Waterbodies in the mountains are always scenic. May it be a stream flowing or a lake that is calm and still. They are like add on accessories to the existing beauty of the place. While you are in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, it is a must to visit these Lakes or so called “tals”. Nainital, Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchiatal
and Krupatal are all within a proximity to each other. Lakes and rivers have always attracted birds, wildlife and civilizations alike. They are one of the major reasons these areas are rich in bird life too. This has led to flocking of birdwatchers and photographers in numbers. Jeolikote Is one such town which has a stream of its own flowing through in addition to being in proximity with these lakes. Jeolikote is in a seclusion yet rich in civilization and nature going hand in hand!! 

Healthy Experiences and Happy Thoughts!

Thoughts of countryside, people working on farms, fetching water, good air, good food must brighten up your day isn’t it? Villages, that too in and around the forests and mountains are something way more beautiful than those on plains. They aren’t just picturesque but also reflect a healthy and coordinated living. Camp Sparrow gives you an opportunity to witness and experience such a lifestyle along with trying your hands-on organic farming. We have our own small farm in the premises of camp, peach and pear orchards in the backyard and happy vibes everywhere. We also organize nature walks in and around Jeolikote which go through villages, their farms along with some beautiful landscapes. This introduces you to the local authentic food, organic farming at variated altitudes. This way we encourage people to live healthy, eat healthy and travel happy. 

for birds & birders!