Top 10 Birding Locations in India

Top 10 Birding Locations in India

India is home to approximately 1300 bird species, and the varied ecosystems at various altitudes provide a wide range of birding experiences. In India what I can count and search on google India has more than 400 Important Birding Areas. There are 25 Ramsar sites in total. Ramsar sites are the protected wetlands habitat protected for wetland birds.

There are around 1300 different bird species, both resident and migrating. In the Indian Subcontinent, there are 79 endemic bird species and in India there are around 53.

Every state in India has great birding grounds, and this includes select cities and their suburbs. The number of endemics is large, and some areas, such as the south of India and the Andaman-Nicobar Islands, have a large number of native endemics.

We look at the top 10 birding hotspots in India, as well as some of the species that may be found there:

 

specie Coracias benghalensis family of Coraciidae

 

  1. South India’s Western Ghats and Nilgiri Mountains:

The Western Ghats, India’s oldest mountain range and one of the world’s most biogeographically rich areas, is located in Peninsular India, particularly in the southern states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Its biomass is comparable to that of the Amazon, and its species diversity is comparable.

Tropical Rainforests, Deciduous Forests, Shola Grasslands, Scrub Forests, and Montane Forests all together creates the huge biodiversity hotspot what we called as the Western Ghats’ ecosystem, which is bordered on the north by the Deccan plateau of Central India.

In Southern India, there are 22 indigenous species.

Key Birding Spots in South India:

  • Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary – Goa
  • Nagarhole National Park – Karnataka
  • Thattekad Bird Sanctuary – Kerala
  • Erivakulum National Park – Kerala
  • Munnar – Kerala
  • Valparai – Tamil Nadu
  • Top Slip – Tamil Nadu
  • Ooty – Tamil Nadu

Key Bird species of South India:

Black-chinned Laughingthrush or Nilgiri Laughingthrush

  • Wayanad Laughingthrush
  • Nilgiri Blue Robin
  • White Bellied Blue Robin
  • Nilgiri Flycatcher
  • White Bellied Blue Flycatcher
  • Nilgiri Wood Pigeon
  • Black & Orange Flycatcher
  • Nilgiri Flycatcher
  • White-bellied Treepie
  • Malabar Grey Hornbill
  • Malabar Parakeet
  • Nilgiri Thrush
  • Yellow Throated Bulbul
  • Flame Throated Bulbul
  • Square-tailed Bulbul
  • White Browed Bulbul
  • Broad-tailed Grassbird
  • Grey Headed Bulbul
  • Malabar Barbet
  • White-cheeked Barbet
  • Malabar Lark
  • Malabar Woodshrike
  • Southern Hill Myna
  • Blyth’s Starling
  • Heard-spotted Woodpecker
  • Grey Junglefowl
  • Indian Blue Robin

 

Nilgiri Woodpigeon - bird watching in India

 

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Andaman and Nicobar Islands)

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of around 300 islands in the Bay of Bengal. It is located to the south-east of India and to the west of Myanmar.

Despite the archipelago’s numerous islands, about 90% of them are uninhabited, and tropical rainforests cover the majority of them, as well as the archipelago’s lengthy coasts — a wildlife haven.

It is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating sites on the planet for birders, since it is home to 27 indigenous bird species and subspecies, as well as 250 or so other species, providing abundant opportunity for a fantastic birding itinerary.

Key Bird species of Andaman and Nicobar:

  • Narcondam Hornbill
  • Sunda Teal
  • Nicobar Scrubfowl
  • Hume’s Hawk Owl
  • Andaman Woodpecker
  • Andaman Hawk Owl
  • Andaman Scops Owl
  • Great Nicobar Serpent Eagle
  • Andaman Wood Pigeon
  • Andaman Crake
  • Nicobar Drongo
  • White-headed Starling
  • Andaman Treepie
  • Andaman Coucal or Brown Coucal
  • Edible Nest Swiftlet
  • Andaman Green Pigeon
  • Nicobar Sparrowhawk
  • Andaman Masked Owl
  • Nicobar Parakeet
  • Andaman Shama
  • Andaman Flowerpecker
  • Andaman Cuckooshrike
  • Nicobar Bulbul

 

A Sunda Teal - Birding locations in india

 

  1. Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary – North East India:

In India if we ask any vivid birder about the best place to see the beautiful birds or the dream bird-watching destinations, they will always say “Eaglenest”! The Bugun Liochichla, an endemic bird of Eaglenest named after the local Bugun tribe, was discovered in 2006 and quickly became well-known. Now every birder who visit Eaglenest are after the glimpse of Bugun Liochichla.

The Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh is bordered by two other protected areas, Pakke Tiger Reaserve to the East and Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary to the south. Its relative isolation and low population density have ensured that it remains one of India’s last significant untouched forest expanses.

The accessible birding areas are located between 500 and 2800 meters above sea level and include Lowland Evergreen Forest, Temperate Broad-leaved Forest, Bamboo, Coniferous, and Scrub habitats. Walking through the forest Pugdundee is best way to explore the areas looking for birds.

Nearly 500 species have been identified, and the area has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA).

Key Bird Species of Eaglenest:

  • Bugun Liocichla – endemic
  • Blyth’s Tragopan
  • Temminck’s Tragopan
  • Snow Partridge
  • Ward’s Trogon
  • Fire-tailed Myzornis
  • Beautiful Nuthatch
  • Grandala
  • Hodgson’s Frogmouth
  • Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler
  • Chestnut-breasted Partridge
  • Winter Wren
  • Bar-winged Wren Babbler
  • Long-billed Wren Babbler
  • Rufous-throated Wren Babbler
  • Pygmy Wren Babbler
  • Rufous-necked Hornbill
  • Wreathed Hornbill
  • Yellow-rumped Honeyguide
  • Bhutan Laughingthrush

 

Winter-Wren

 

  1. Mishmi Hills – North East India:

Located in the North-eastern tip of India in north-eastern Auranachal Pardesh. Mishmi hill the area can be divided into two different parts. One the flood plains made by tributary of Bhramaputra, River Dibang. The other part is the rising hills to snow-capped mountains. Tropical Evergreen, Tropical Semi-evergreen, Sub-tropical broad-leaved, Sub-tropical Alpine, Temperate broad-leaved, Temperate Conifer, Alpine Meadow, Bamboo, Sub-alpine Woody Shrub, and, of course, Grasslands are among the forest types found in Mishmi hills.

The dense vegetation of prestine forest of Mishmi hills has around 600 species of birds, among all Mishmi Wren Babbler is indigenous to the place.

 

Key Birds of Mishmi Hills:

  • Mishmi Wren Babbler – endemic
  • Hodgson’s Frogmouth
  • Chevron-breasted Wren Babbler or Cachar Wedge-billed Wren Babbler or Wedge-billed Wren Babbler
  • Sclater’s Monal
  • Ward’s Trogon
  • Blyth’s Tragopan
  • Temminck’s Tragopan
  • Marsh Babbler
  • Fire-tailed Myzornis
  • Black-breasted Parrotbill
  • Jerdon’s Babbler
  • Bengal Florican
  • Long-billed Wren Babbler
  • Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler
  • Bar-winged Wren Babbler
  • Pygmy Wren Babbler
  • Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler
  • Purple Cochoa
  • Green Cochoa
  • Rufous-necked Hornbill
  • Hill-blue Flycatcher
  • Beautiful Nuthatch
  • Pale-capped Pigeon

 

Bengal Florican

 

  1. Maguri Beel Wetland – North East India:

Maguri Beel is a huge wetland in Assam produced by the confluence of two Brahmaputra rivers, the Lohit and Dibru Rivers. It is the entrance to the Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve and a World IBA (Important Bird Area).

A “Beel” is a native term for “lake,” while “Maguri” means “catfish.” It is a fishing-oriented location, but the catfish are no longer seen here owing to overfishing. Thousands of birds, on the other hand, flock to this location. It is a key winter migratory stop for a variety of waders, as well as a home to a variety of grassland species and resident waders.

 

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Key Birds of Maguri Beel:

  • Baikal Teal
  • Falcated Duck
  • Eurasian Curlew
  • Bar-headed Goose
  • Baer’s Pochard
  • Ferruginous Duck
  • Baikal Bush Warbler
  • Jerdons Babbler
  • Marsh Babbler
  • Striated Babbler
  • Chestnut-capped Babbler
  • Yellow-bellied Prinia
  • Black-throated Parrotbill
  • Swamp Francolin
  • Bluethroat
  • Striated Grassbird
  • Pied Harrier
  • Hen Harrier
  • Pheasant-tailed Jacana
  • Bronze-winged Jacana

 

Sarus Crane top 10 birding locations in india (3)

 

  1. Nameri National Park – North East India:

Nameri National Park is a wildlife haven at the foothills of Assam’s Eastern Himalayas, adjoining the Pakke Tiger Reserve to the north.

The park is bisected by the glacier-fed Jio-Bhoreli River, which provides sediment and fresh water to the area.

The rivers that discharge their waters here have created tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, as well as moist deciduous forests and grasslands.

Cane and Bamboo patches can be found all through the forest, which are home to a diverse variety of species.

Nameri is unquestionably one of India’s birdwatching hotspots, with approximately 400 bird species documented.

 

Key Birds of Nameri:

  • White-winged Wood Duck
  • Ibisbill
  • Wreathed Hornbill
  • Rufous-necked Hornbill
  • Blyth’s Kingfisher
  • Blue-eared Kingfisher
  • Crested Kingfisher
  • Ruddy Kingfisher
  • Green Cochoa
  • Ferruginous Duck
  • Pallas’ Fish Eagle
  • Long-billed Plover
  • Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher
  • Daurean Redstart
  • Black Baza
  • Jerdon’s Baza
  • Pied Falconet
  • Oriental Hobby
  • Amur Falcon
  • Blue-naped Pitta
  • Slender-billed Oriole

 

top 10 birding locations in india (2)

  1. The Sundarbans – East India

The Sundarbans is the world’s largest delta. The Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers, and also the river Meghna, all pour their waters into the Bay of Bengal, establishing the world’s largest mangrove forest and a biodiversity hotspot.

Sundarbans is derived from the mangrove species Heritiera minor, often known as Sundari locally. This environment is made up of 56 mangrove islands that are habitat to a diverse range of animals whose behaviour can be influenced by the area’s tidal patterns.

The Sundarbans delta is home to about 4 million people in West Bengal, many of whom enter the forest on a routine basis for firewood and honey harvesting. Encounters with man-eating Royal Bengal Tigers are horrifying, and the tiger’s generally magnanimous reputation suffers the consequences.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Tiger Reserve, and a World Important Bird Area, has over 300 bird species, 40 mammal species, 35 reptile species, and eight amphibian species identified in its 10000 square kilometres of forest.

 

Key Birds of Sundarbans:

  • Masked Finfoot
  • Mangrove Whistler
  • Mangrove Pitta
  • Spoonbill Sandpiper
  • Collared Kingfisher
  • Brown-Winged Kingfisher
  • Black Capped Kingfisher
  • Ruddy Kingfisher
  • Stork-billed Kingfisher
  • Greater Adjutant
  • Black-necked Stork
  • Buffy Fish Owl
  • White-bellied Sea Eagle
  • Pallas’ Fish Eagle
  • Whimbrel

 

  1. Pangot, Nainital and Sattal– North India

The Kumaon region, nestled in the foothills of the West-Central Himalayas, was made notable by Jim Corbett’s renowned Tiger Books.

Sattal, Nainital, and Pangot are part of the Shivalik range and are covered in Rhododendron, Pine, and Oak forests, which seem to be home to over 250 Himalayan bird species — a sea of serenity and a paradise for bird enthusiasts.

Sattal, “Sat” means Seven “Tal” means Lakes, literally is a picturesque confluence of seven freshwater lakes from the Himalayan Mountains. These magnificent forests in Uttarakhand offer excellent birdwatching opportunities along with breathtaking rural and wilderness surroundings.

Key Birds of Pangot, Nainital and Sattal:

  • Cheer Pheasant
  • Koklass Pheasant
  • Chukar Partridge
  • Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture
  • Himalayan Griffon
  • Black-headed Jay
  • Rufous-bellied Woodpecker
  • Brown-fronted Woodpecker
  • Himalayan Woodpecker
  • Grey-headed Woodpecker
  • Greater Yellownape
  • Lesser Yellownape
  • Speckled Piculet
  • Bar-tailed Treecreeper
  • White-tailed Nuthatch
  • Slaty-headed Parakeet
  • White-browed Shrike Babbler
  • Blue-winged Minla or Blue-winged Siva
  • Rufous-bellied Niltava
  • Hill Partridge
  • Chestnut-headed Laughingthrush
  • White-throated Laughingthrush
  • Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush
  • Black-throated Tit
  • Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler
  • Black-chinned Babbler
  • Green-tailed Sunbird
  • Gould’s Sunbird
  • Maroon Oriole
  • Slaty-backed Forktail
  • Spotted Forktail
  • Brown Dipper

 

  1. Little Rann of Kutch – West India

The Little Rann of Kutch is a 5000-square-kilometre area of arid and muddy salt-flats located inland from the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat. It is part of a geographical context that used to be part of the Arabian Sea about 66 million years ago.

The protected areas of the Little Rann of Kutch are ecological hotspots and incredibly productive birdwatching areas for spotting Raptors, Waders, and several species of ground birds. It gets its name since it is a southern extension of the larger salt marsh known as the Greater Rann of Kutch; however, the protected areas of the Little Rann of Kutch are ecological hotspots and extremely fruitful birdwatching areas for spotting Raptors, Waders, and several species.

Around 300 bird species have been reported, along with 42 mammal species, including the uncommon Indian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus khur), which can be found in the Dasada area.

 

Key Birds of Little Rann of Kutch:

  • Short-eared Owl
  • Greater Hoopoe-Lark
  • Lesser Flamingo
  • Cream-coloured Courser
  • McQueen’s Bustard or Houbara Bustard
  • Crested Lark
  • Greater Short toed Lark
  • Indian Courser
  • Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin
  • Greater Flamingo
  • Sociable Lapwing
  • White-tailed Lapwing
  • Variable Wheatear
  • Syke’s Lark
  • Collared Pratincole
  • Demoiselle Crane
  • Pied Avocet
  • Red Necked Phalarope
  • Spotted Sangrouse
  • Marsh Harrier
  • Pallid Harrier
  • Montagu’s Harrier
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Greater Spotted Eagle

 

  1. Keoladeo National Park –North West India

Keoladeo – Ghana National Park or Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is India’s most well-known bird-watching destination.

Over 400 bird species feed and nest in this little marsh of 29 square kilometres, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Ramsar Site, and an IBA (Important Bird Area).

Scrub woodland, Savanna grassland, and huge Wetlands with naturally created earthen mounds provide perching areas for the millions of birds that feed on the variety of fish, invertebrates, and aquatic plant species in the rain and Yamuna river-fed waters of the wetlands.

The misty winters and breaking sunlight are a birdwatcher’s and photographer’s dream, and thousands of birdwatchers and photographers go to Bharatpur each year to visit the birding shrine.

Waterbirds, waders, ground birds, and raptors abound at Bharatpur, providing something for every wildlife enthusiast.

 

Key Birds of Bharatpur:

  • Sarus Crane
  • Indian Courser
  • Siberian Rubythroat
  • Demoiselle Crane
  • Dusky Eagle Owl
  • Marsh Harrier
  • Pallid Harrier
  • Greater Spotted Eagle
  • Imperial Eagle
  • Common Crane
  • Dalmation Pelican
  • Rosy Pelican
  • Great-white Pelican
  • Spot-billed Pelican
  • Greater-painted Snipe
  • Black Bittern
  • Painted Stork
  • Woolly-necked Stork
  • Eurasian Spoonbill
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Bar-headed Goose
  • Comb Duck or Knob-billed Duck
  • Tufted Duck
  • Ferruginous Duck
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Ruff
  • Pheasant-tailed Jacana
  • Bronze-winged Jacana
  • Brown Crake
  • White-tailed Lapwing
  • Marshall’s Iora
  • Large-tailed Nightjar
  • Collared Scops Owl

 

If you have just a few days in Delhi and birder would find a way to see birds around the places you visit. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in the outskirts of Delhi and also the Okhla Bird Sanctuary are the two known Important Bird Areas.

 

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