Known as the "Birdman of India", Dr. Salim Ali, as he is better known name was synonymous with birds. To his many associates however, he was much more than that. A great visionary, he made birds a serious pursuit when it used to be a mere fun for the most.
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He lost both his parents and was orphaned by the age of three. Later he joined the St. He then went to Burma now Myanmar to assist his family in their business of tungsten mining. There he got ample opportunities to study birds and indulge in hunting. Father Ethelbert Blatter of St.
After two years, he took a study leave and went to Germany where he worked under Professor Erwin Stresemann at the Berlin Zoological Museum. He returned to India in and got an opportunity to conduct bird surveys of the princely states of Hyderabad, Cochin, Travancore, Gwalior, Indore and Bhopal which were all sponsored by the rulers of those states. In , he published The Book of Indian Birds, which popularised ornithology among the common man.
He later collaborated with the famous ornithologist S Dillon Ripley to write the extensive volume Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan, which took 10 years of research to complete. He was the first non-British citizen to receive the honour. In addition, Ali also received honorary doctorates from the Aligarh Muslim University , the University of Delhi and the Andhra University The volume work covers the birds of the subcontinent, their appearance, habitat, breeding habits and migration pattern among other things.
In , his wife passed away. The tragedy drove him deeper into the world of birds. Ali passed away on June 20, , at the age of At 10, Salim shot a bird with his toy gun.
Unable to identify the bird,he was introduced to the secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society, WS Millard who offered to train him in ornithology.
One of his childhood playmates included his distant cousin, Iskandar Mirza, who later became the first President of Pakistan. They often participated in shooting contests in their neighbourhood. Several species of birds, bird sanctuaries and institutions have been named after him.
Ali also had a fascination for motorcycles from an early age. Instead of keeping the money, he donated all the money to Bombay Natural History Society. Sources: Wikipedia, mapsofindia.
Salim Ali: India’s birdman, lover of nature
Shelves: bird-watching I would put it as just sufficient for starting out. It does not overwhelm you with innumerable similar looking birds and you feel quite in control. And best of all is the language The description for the common babbler just makes you smile at the precisely put words.
The Book of Indian Birds
Biografie  [ bewerken brontekst bewerken ] Indische rotsmus Hij groeide op als jongste in een gezin van negen. Hij verloor beide ouders toen hij drie jaar oud was en werd opgevoed door de broer van zijn moeder en zijn vrouw. Een andere oom was de onafhankelijkheidsstrijder Abbas Tyabji. Hij volgde onderwijs aan het Sint-Xaviercollege in Bombay Mumbai. De jonge Salim schoot een mus met zijn speelgoedpistool en kwam zo in contact met Walter Samuel Millard , de secretaris van de "Bombay Natural History Society" voor de determinatie van de vogel. Het bleek een niet zo algemene Indische rotsmus.