Salim Ali, famously known as the Birdman of India, was an Indian ornithologist and naturalist who made significant contributions to the field of ornithology. He was one of the earliest pioneers in the field of ornithology in India and is widely regarded as the Father of Indian Ornithology.
The Birdman of India
Salim Ali was born in Mumbai in 1896 and developed a keen interest in birds from a young age. He was largely self-taught and he spent much of his childhood observing and studying birds. He eventually became an expert on Indian birds and wrote several books on the subject. He was also the first Indian to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Indian Ornithologist and Naturalist
Salim Ali was a passionate advocate for the conservation of birds and their habitats. He conducted extensive surveys of the avifauna of India and the surrounding region, and was instrumental in the establishment of several bird sanctuaries in India. He also wrote several popular books on birds, including The Book of Indian Birds and Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. He was also a prolific writer and wrote several articles for journals and newspapers.
His work was widely recognised and he was awarded several awards and honours, including the Padma Bhushan in 1958 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1976. He was also posthumously awarded the J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership in 1996.
Salim Ali’s legacy lives on in the form of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, which works to promote the conservation of birds and their habitats in India. He is remembered as one of the most influential figures in Indian ornithology and his work has helped to shape the field of ornithology in India.