Certificate Course in Basic Ornithology by Ela Foundation Pune

Ornithology or study of birds is an overriding passion for many. Authority in this segment, the late Dr Salim Ali is an example. He was the most respected bird watchers and had identified many rare and near-extinct bird species, and he has written several books about his finds. When the passion becomes your vocation, then you cannot ask for more. Rightly so, if a basic course is available for you, it is a shot in the arm for you.

The Pune, Maharashtra based Centre for Ornithological Study and Research, under Ela Foundation, is offering the 15th Certificate course in Basic Ornithology. Billed as the only interactive course in basic Ornithology, according to the varsity, this course will also be held Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. This course is recognised by the Savitribai Phule University, Satish Pande, Director, Ela Foundation, told PTI.

Course Details

The Basic Course in Ornithology comprised of 40 lectures at AV Hall of Garware College and imparted on a no-profit no-less principle, and the classes are held every Monday and Thursday between 6.30 PM and 9.30 PM. “This is the only interactive course in basic ornithology and includes more than 40 power point lectures, films and field visits. The subject covers conversation of birds that provide ecological services and are indicators of the health of our environment”, Pande said.


Topics include fundamentals like bird identification, anatomy, physiology, flight, migration, behaviour, feeding habits, evolution, ecological role of birds, birds as bio-indicators, habitats, cultural aspects, bird architects, bird photography, bird call recording, avian diseases, first aid, conservation, field study methods, technology for conservation, and applied ornithological aspects, Pande said.

The course has special simplified talks on bird flu, wind-farms, vultures, owls, seabirds and house sparrow among other currently relevant topics. There are four field visits to introduce the participants to various bird habitats and techniques for observing birds from a scientific perspective. Participants will study the primary methods of avian biometry and data documentation, Pande said.

It is timed with the winter migration of birds that have started arriving. Participants are taken to the field under expert guidance for habitat and bird watching to experience and understand how birds are studied, and data is collected, he said. Ornithology is also recognised by the Savitribai Phule Pune University as a credit course, he said.

Ela Foundation is a non-government registered charity devoted to nature education and conservation. Some of the major projects executed by us are:

Educational Activities

  • The Foundation conducts the unique ‘Certificate Course in Basic Ornithology’ jointly with MES Abasaheb Garware College, Pune
  • The course is running since 2003, and more than 600 participants have completed the course successfully
  • It conducts lectures, workshops and audio-visual presentations in urban and rural schools, colleges and institutions to promote nature conservation through education
  • Sanskrit article कृषिवलमित्रम् (‘Krushivalmitram’) written by Dr Suruchi Pande about the importance of owls was included in the 9th grade textbook of Maharashtra State board schools.

Collaborative Works

The Foundation is involved in extensive collaborative works with organisations such as Zoological Survey of India, Indian Coast Guard, Forest Department, Maharashtra, Bombay Natural History Society, National Institute of Virology, Pune, Ecological Society, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, Governments of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh; Tata Power Company and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

For more details  about the course, the candidates can visit their official website – http://www.elafoundation.org/

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