Sunday, January 28, 2007

Infy greens beckon them

Infy greens beckon them
The Times of India

Bangalore: The average Bangalorean thinks of IT bellwether Infosys Technologies as many things — a business that makes millionaires out of people who write codes; a company with buildings with glass facades straight out of a sci-fi film. But as a home to a group of committed greens?
Yes, that’s what the ‘The Green Team’ is all about. And what they’ve figured out is the company that attracts talent from all the world over, also draws flocks of the feathered kind. On the thickly wooded 80-acre Infy campus in Bangalore, members of the Green Team have spotted some 55 species of resident and migrant birds.
Among them aer the rosy starlings, which migrate from Europe in the winter, flying to southern Asia and parts of Africa. “Towards the end of winter, flocks of 100-200 birds migrate to these parts,’’ says an Infosys spokesperson. “They used to travel in thousands. But, now their numbers are declining.’’
One of the earliest birds to arrive in winter is the blyth’s leaf warbler, which makes a long journey from the Himalayas where it breeds. If you happen to take a walk at this time, you could also come across slender white crane-like birds, the cattle egrets. The Green Team has spotted these and more, all of which have been documented and photographed.
According to the spokesperson: “We have seen barn owls trapped in the building, confused by the architecture and unable to fly. They are beautiful, pale white birds with sharp black eyes. If you stay back late on the campus, you can see their ghostly shapes drifting in the sky, looking for rodents. We also have spotted owlets on campus.’’
If the bamboo thicket near the water treatment plant is a favourite roosting place for common mynas and jungle mynas, then the big banyan tree is home to rose-ringed parakeets, whitecheeked barbets, red-vented and red-whiskered bulbuls, spotted doves, black drongos, spotted owlets, jungle crows, house crows, and crow-pheasants.
While the shaded enclave near the Heritage Building is the chosen spot of tiny yellow white-eyes and nectar-drinking sunbirds, the tickell, one of India’s smallest birds, is virtually married to the Singapore cherry trees near the basketball court.
The Green Team has been birdwatching at Infosys for the last two years. Most of the walks are undertaken based on interactions between employees, especially if someone has sighted something rare. The team’s mailing list has about 150 members who constantly exchange information and views on their hobby.
Infy could conduct birdwatching sessions for the public some time perhaps?


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