Meghadeepa Maity grew up in India on the outskirts of a city that still had pockets of green space here and there, like their family’s garden. They started noticing one bird species in particular that flocked to the garden. With their sister, Meghadeepa searched the web and learned the birds were called Oriental Magpie-Robins. This species helped awaken Meghadeepa to the wider world of birds. Now birding in Massachusetts, they’ve helped create a project called The Murmuration that crowd-sources info about how to access birding spots. Contributors can share how safe they felt in a place so that other people know what to expect.
Spark Bird: Meghadeepa Maity
Written by Conor Gearin
This is BirdNote.
[Oriental Magpie-Robin song, ML 154178821, 0:02-0:03]
Meghadeepa Maity grew up in India on the outskirts of a city that still had pockets of green space here and there, like their family’s garden.
Meghadeepa Maity: And the birds would flock to it because we'd put in a lot of fruit trees.
They started paying closer attention to one species in particular.
Meghadeepa Maity: I started noticing that some of them were darker. Some of them were a bit more like olive gray. At the time I just felt like: I see these birds every single day, and I don't know anything about them. I didn't have anybody around me who was a birder.
With their sister, Meghadeepa searched the web and learned the birds were called Oriental Magpie-Robins. The dark black and blue birds were males, and the olive gray ones were females. This species living alongside Meghadeepa’s family helped awaken them to the wider world of birds.
Meghadeepa Maity: The Bengali name for them is দোয়েল (doyel.) There's a lot of poetry and music in Bengal that incorporates nature and once you start noticing those names in there, it just, like, changes your perspective.
Meghadeepa moved to Massachusetts, where they’re active in the birding community and passionate about making birding experiences more inclusive. They’ve helped create a project called The Murmuration that crowd-sources info about how to access birding spots. Contributors can share how safe they felt in a place so that other people know what to expect.
Meghadeepa Maity: There've been a lot of barriers I've experienced in trying to get outside birding. And I feel really strongly about making sure that everyone who wants to has access to the outdoors and to birds.
Learn more about the Murmuration on our website, BirdNote dot org. I’m Conor Gearin.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Content Director: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Oriental Magpie-Robin ML 154178821 recorded by S. Sankar.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2022 BirdNote June 2022 Narrator: Conor Gearin
ID# sparkbird-19-2022-06-15 sparkbird-19
Meghadeepa Maity is a co-coordinator of The Murmuration, an online spreadsheet for the Massachusetts birding community "where contributors provide details about popular birding hotspots, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the barriers to local knowledge and encouraging new birders of all backgrounds to safely explore birding." View and contribute to the project here.