State and Union Territory Birds of India

“The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life…. The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds — how many human aspirations are realised in their free, holiday-lives — and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!”

John Burroughs

For decades, India has been synonymous with a few notable national symbols including the Tiger, Peacock, the Indian Banyan Tree and the Lotus Flower. But did you know that the nation even has a few select species of birds seen in the country allotted to each an everyone of its states and union territories?

Before we dive into the list, it’s worth mentioning why India has a host of winged wonders associated with its political regions.

Why does India have state birds?

The advent of naming birds as an insignia of the state was recorded in the year 1972 with the Wild Life Protection Act. As a part of wildlife preservation the central government had issued guidelines for all of its states to declare a bird or an animal that would represent the state. With growing concerns of poaching, habitat degradation and human encroachment, there was a need to instil a certain sense of pride in the country’s natural heritage. With India harbouring pockets of several biodiverse regions of the subcontinent, protecting endemics and other species by tagging them as state representatives is an attempt at conservation that has created an impact for the majority of states around India.

Here’s the complete list –

State/Union TerritoryBirdDescription
Andhra PradeshIndian RollerOne of the most visually captivating birds with blue splashed across its body apart from its cream coloured throat, cheeks and nape. It keeps a watchful eye from preferred vantage points such as dead trees, overhead wires preferably around farms and grasslands and even forest clearings. Their diet comprises of insects, frogs, lizards and times even small crustaceans.
Arunachal PradeshGreat Pied HornbillA fairly large and industrious bird, it is known as the farmer of the forest predominantly because of its copious fruit intake. It exhibits a big yellow bill with a casque on top. The face is black, with black wings and a black breast while the belly is white along with a black bar on its white tail.
AssamWhite Winged DuckOne of the most sought after species in Assam, the white winged duck has a white head speckled with black. The white patches on the wings are usually seen when the duck is in flight. It prefers pools of water within the forest as its habitat.
BiharIndian RollerOne of the most visually captivating birds with blue splashed across its body apart from its cream coloured throat, cheeks and nape. It keeps a watchful eye from preferred vantage points such as dead trees, overhead wires preferably around farms and grasslands and even forest clearings. Their diet comprises of insects, frogs, lizards and times even small crustaceans.
ChhattisgarhCommon Hill MynaBlessed with an impressive medley of calls, this species is predominantly seen in tropical forests. The body is completely black with conspicuous yellow patterns around the nape and the cheeks along with a red bill transitioning into a yellowish tip
DelhiHouse SparrowSporting a black throat, white cheeks, a grey crown with a reddish brown back, the House Sparrow is a grain eating bird that used to be prolific around the city. They were usually seen in big flocks around houses and farmland. They are known to be voracious grain eaters
GoaFlame Throated BulbulPreviously known as the Ruby Throated Bulbul, the bird is endemic to the Western Ghats of India. With a yellow body and black head, it gets its name from a bright red coloured patch on its throat
GujratGreater FlamingoExhibiting an S shaped neck with long stilt like pinkish legs and a whitish body with a splash of deep pink on its closed wings, the Grater Flamingo is remarkable bird that prefers lagoons and lakes, probing the shallow waters with its kinked pink bill.
HaryanaBlack FrancolinActive mostly in the morning, the black francolin is usually well concealed within the tall grasslands or cultivated land. This partridge has a black head with white cheeks and a chestnut collar, while the body is speckled with brown and white spots and bars.
Himachal PradeshWestern TragopanPredominantly terrestrial, this pheasant is wondrous specimen of nature. It is mostly dark with an orange breast, an iridescent blue throat with a reddish face lined with black ears and a black crest.
Jammu & KashmirBlack Necked CraneA resident of wetlands, these storks are pied in colour with a prominent glossy neck and bright yellow eye. Though predominantly fish eaters, they subsist on crustaceans and frogs .
JharkhandAsian KoelHighly vocal during the summer months, this cuckoo bird is a well-known brood parasite that prefers the nest of crows to lay its egg. Their bodies are glossy black with a striking red eye with a yellowish green bill. Their diet comprises of figs, small insects, nectar and at time small reptiles.
KarnatakaIndian RollerOne of the most visually captivating birds with blue splashed across its body apart from its cream coloured throat, cheeks and nape. It keeps a watchful eye from preferred vantage points such as dead trees, overhead wires preferably around farms and grasslands and even forest clearings. Their diet comprises of insects, frogs, lizards and times even small crustaceans.
KeralaGreat Pied HornbillA fairly large and industrious bird, it is known as the farmer of the forest predominantly because of its copious fruit intake. It exhibits a big yellow bill with a casque on top. The face is black, with black wings and a black breast while the belly is white along with a black bar on its white tail.
Madhya PradeshAsian Paradise FlycatcherDancing about with a long ribbon like tail prominent in the males, the bird does justice to its name offering a resplendent view to any viewer. Often seen around forest patches, close to stream bed, this bird of paradise seeks its meal of insects.
MaharashtraYellow Footed Green PigeonKnown to camouflage within canopies extremely well, the name describes the bird perfectly well as they display a yellowish green body with a greyish head and yellow feet. They are fairly widespread throughout the state. Their diet comprising of fruits, figs and nectar
ManipurMrs. Hume’s PheasantDressed with a plumage to impress, this long tailed terrestrial bird has a chestnut body, an iridescent blue neck and wing patches, along with a white banded tail. Its habitat is open forest clearings, meadows and at times even the roadside.
MeghalayaCommon Hill MynaBlessed with an impressive medley of calls, this species is predominantly seen in tropical forests. The body is completely black with conspicuous yellow patterns around the nape and the cheeks along with a red bill transitioning into a yellowish tip
MizoramMrs. Hume’s PheasantDressed with a plumage to impress, this long tailed terrestrial bird has a chestnut body, an iridescent blue neck and wing patches, along with a white banded tail. Its habitat is open forest clearings, meadows and at times even the roadside.
NagalandBlyth’s TragopanSimilar in stature to other Tragopans, The Blyth’s Tragopan has a lime green throat, with a bright red colour cheek that extends to its breast, while the body is predominantly gray with white speckles. An elusive bird that is seen in the forest undergrowth of montane forests.
OdishaIndian RollerOne of the most visually captivating birds with blue splashed across its body apart from its cream coloured throat, cheeks and nape. It keeps a watchful eye from preferred vantage points such as dead trees, overhead wires preferably around farms and grasslands and even forest clearings. Their diet comprises of insects, frogs, lizards and times even small crustaceans.
PunjabNorthern GoshawkKnown to hunt some smaller mammals such as the indian hare, the goshawk is a stalky bird of prey that prefers mature forest dwellings. Sparse around the region, the bird exhibits a greyish colour with a black crown and cheek, a white eyebrow and red eye.
RajasthanGreat Indian BustardA critically endangered bird, the Great Indian Bustard prefers grasslands and abandoned cultivation fields. Sporting a black cap, a pale neck and brown wings, it can be seen in small flocks
SikkimBlood PheasantStrutting about in montane scrub, the bird looks as though it sports a war paint. With a crimson face, tail and breast, a silver grey body, the Blood Pheasant looks straight out of a myth. Making it extremely sought after by nature enthusiasts.
Tamil NaduEmerald DoveAn extremely elusive forest dover with emerald green wings, a reddish brown body, and a silver grey cap the best way to view them is when they’re in flight as they camouflage well with a green backdrop otherwise.
TelanganaIndian RollerOne of the most visually captivating birds with blue splashed across its body apart from its cream coloured throat, cheeks and nape. It keeps a watchful eye from preferred vantage points such as dead trees, overhead wires preferably around farms and grasslands and even forest clearings. Their diet comprises of insects, frogs, lizards and times even small crustaceans.
TripuraGreen Imperial PigeonA fairly large pinkish grey pigeon with an iridescent green back. The white ring around the dark eye is a unique characteristic. It predominantly feeds on fruits and prefers woodlands where it can be seen in amongst small flocks.
Uttar PradeshSarus CraneRightly termed as the world’s tallest flying bird. The Sarus Crane could match the height of a human being while grounded. With a crimson head, long yellow legs and a greyish body, they prefer grassland close to pools of water, wetlands and marshes. Their diet comprises of grains, insects, reptiles and amphibians, making them highly adaptive.
UttarakhandHimalayan MonalAa plumage that highlights iridescent colours that rival the most sunning peacocks in all its splendor, the Himalayan Monal has a green crested head, a red neck and an orange tail with its underside mostly black. Found in the forested foothills of the Himalayas, predominantly in undergrowth of bamboo. 
West BengalWhite Throated KingfisherProbably the most versatile kingfisher out there when it comes to habitat and diet. With brown head, a white breast and a blue back that very few would miss, the kingfisher can be seen perched on wires, fences, dead trees near wetlands, grasslands, cultivated land and forest clearings.
Andaman & Nicobar IslandsAndaman Wood PigeonA fairly large pigeon with grey underparts and a pale grey head. It is seldom seen in tropical forests, but chances are that one can find them in small flocks.
ChandigarhIndian Grey HornbillMostly grey in colour as the name suggest. It has a yellow bill with a dark casque on top. The bird has diet that comprises of fruits and figs but is known to hunt insects and lizards while nesting.
LakshadweepBrown NoddyThis beautiful dark brown tern with a white cap, resides close to tropical offshore waters. It hunts fish picking them up from the surface of the water unlike most terns that dive right in. It can be seen around flocks of boobies and other terns.
PuducherryAsian KoelHighly vocal during the summer months, this cuckoo bird is a well known brood parasite that prefers the nest of crows to lay its egg. Their bodies are glossy black with a striking red eye with yellowish green bill. Their diet comprises of figs, small insects, nectar and at time small reptiles.

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