Birding Factoids

1,214 species
in 81 families

 34 endemic species plus
17 shared only with Sri Lanka
113 speciality species
77 endangered species
3 week trip expectation -
about 440 species

Checklist of Indian BirdsTours and GuidesEco-LodgesSpeciality BirdsPrint and Other ResourcesMap and General Information

For more information on Indian Birds, see the Journal of Indian Bird Records and Conservation
or join the chat at the Bangalore Birds discussion group.
Also, the Northern India Bird Network has ID help, information on sightings, and an e-discussion group.
For galleries of Indian birds, see Sumit Sen's Birds of Kolkata, Ronald Saldino's Bird Gallery
Dipanker Ghose's Gallery, Christian Artuso's images of South-East Asian and Indian Birds
the Delhibird gallery, Tony Coatsworth's Indian Bird Images page.
Also see the Photo Gallery of Indian Birds by R.S.Suresh
and Vijay Cavale's Indian Birds page
and Amber Habib's Bird Photos (also trip lists linked to photos of birds seen)

India's Specialities
(Pause your cursor on the photo to see the species name.....)
Peacock - India's National Bird - Photo by Tina MacDonald
Photo copyright Tina MacDonald
...Green Peafowl - ENDANGERED - Photo copyright Dipanker Ghose
Photo copyright Dipanker Ghose

Yellow-throated Bulbul - ENDANGERED - Photo copyright M. Venkataswamappa

Photo copyright M. Venkataswamappa
Chestnut-Tailed Starling - Photo copyright Tom and Maire Tarrant
Photo copyright Tom and Marie Tarrant
Little Heron - Photo coyright Pun Ritai
Photo coyright Pun Ritai
Black Drongo - Photo copyright Tom and Marie Tarrant
Photo copyright Tom and Marie Tarrant
Stork-billed Kingfisher - Photo copyright Laurence Poh
Photo copyright Laurence Poh
Black-naped Monarch - Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Dollarbird - Photo copyright Lawrence Poh
Photo copyright Lawrence Poh
Indian Courser - Photo copyright R. S. Suresh
Photo copyright R. S. Suresh
Indian Roller - Photo copyright Vijay Cavale
Photo copyright Vijay Cavale
Golden-fronted Leafbird - Photo copyright Ronald Saldino
Photo copyright Ronald Saldino
Little Green Bee-eater - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
White-cheeked Bulbul - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Paddyfield Pipit - Photo copyright Sumit Sen
Photo copyright Sumit Sen
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater - Photo copyright Lawrence Poh
Photo copyright Laurence Poh
White-rumped Shama (immature) - Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Verditer Flycatcher - Photo copyright Ronald Saldino
Photo copyright Ronald Saldino
Spot-billed Duck - Photo copyright Jan Harteman
Photo copyright Jan Harteman
Indian Nightjar - Photo copyright R. S. Suresh
Photo copyright R. S. Suresh
Indian Pitta - Photo copyright Clement Francis and Vijaykumar Thondaman
Photo copyright Clement Francis and Vijaykumar Thondaman
Dusky Eagle-Owl - Photo copyreight Dave Behrens
Photo copyreight Dave Behrens

White-spectacled Warbler - Photo copyright Sujan Chatterjee

Photo copyright Sujan Chatterjee

Oriental Pied Hornbill - Photo copyright Laurence Poh

Photo copyright Laurence Poh
Lineated Barbet - Photo copyright Sumit Sen
Photo copyright Sumit Sen
Greater Adjutant - ENDANGERED - Photo copyright Soon-Chye Ng
Photo copyright Soon-Chye Ng
Greater Flameback - Photo copyright Ronald Saldino
Photo copyright Ronald Saldino
Bank Myna - Photo copyright Sumit Sen
Photo copyright Sumit Sen
Malabar Grey Hornbill - Photo copyright Tom and Marie Tarrant
Photo copyright Tom and Marie Tarrant
Red Spurfowl - Photo copyright Kristin Cowell
Photo copyright Kristin Cowell
Greater Painted-Snipe - Photo copyright Ron Saldino
Photo copyright Ron Saldino
Blood Pheasant - Photo copyright Tragopan Pheasantry, Belgium
Photo copyright Tragopan Pheasantry, Belgium
Malabar Parakeet - ENDEMIC - Photo copyright Ronald Saldino
Photo copyright Ronald Saldino

    ....Directory of Wildlife Protected Areas in India - organized by state, 

      with additional information for some sites.
    ....All India Birding - this commercial site has excellent information 
      on the various key birding sites in India and the birds to be see at each one, including an Indian Birding Map!
    ....Birding in and around Madras - by Radhika Vathsan. 
      This page has a list of all birds sighted in and around Madras in Tami, Nadu, India, along with information about the best birding sites here. The page is continually updated (nearly once a week!) as we discover more sites and more species. More detailed information is provided on Lake Pulicat, Kalpakkam, and Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary. 
    ....Birding India - A great report from Martin Tribe about birding in 
      the area of Madras. 
    ...Birdwatching Sites in the Delhi Region - presented by the Northern 
      India Bird Network. This is a brief introduction to the most productive birding sites in Delhi and how to get there. Although a city of probably over 10 million people Delhi has a remarkable number of interesting sites within its 500 or so sq. kms. It has a birdlist (currently being updated) of over 450 species making it, after Nairobi, probably the second richest city in the world for birds. 
    ....Birding Hotspots in the Haryana Region - presented by Haryana Birds.
      This site contains a map and many links to detailed information about local sites. 
    ....Birds of Haryana - Haryana, with more than 400 species of birds, 
      is a birder's paradise. The Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary and Basai Marsh in district Gurgaon, Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary (Jhajjar), Bir Bara Ban sanctuary (Jind), Kalesar forest (Yamunanagar), Morni hills (Panchkula), Saraswati Plantation (Pehowa), the banks of the river Yamuna, Western Yamuna Canal and its channels are the main areas where most of these birds can be found.This page contains links to information on each of these "hotspots as well as a list of species with photographs and other information. 
    ....Birdwatching Sites in the Haryana Region - presented by the Northern 
      India Bird Network. Information is presented on a number of key birding locations in this area.
    ....Report on Kalimpong Area Birding Hot Spots - Details about 
      Samthar and Lava. By Peter Lobo. Based on source material from Dr Salim Ali’s book The Birds of Sikkim, and Krys Kazmierczak & Raj Singh’s A Bird Watchers Guide To India, I have been carrying out extensive ground explorations alongwith a host of local people to locate suitable birding hot spots, with a view to create tours for bird watchers. 
    ....North Sikkim Tholung Valley Birding Report: Nov 2001. By Peter Lobo.
      North Sikkim, with its Headquarters at Mangan, comprises of the valleys of Lachen, Lachung, Dzongu and Tholung. Each of these is formed by fast flowing glacier fed rivers originating from The Great Himalayan Range and its offshoots. Perhaps in no other region is so much of natures' bounty packaged by God in such a compact area.
    ....Birds of Kolkata (Calcutta) - This photo guide by Sumit K. Sen of
      the birds of the city includes a map with hotspots identified. Kolkata has a record of 118 birds. Also includes information on Sariska National Park, Kaziranga National Park and Sasan Gir National Park.
    ....A Trip to the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary - Also known as
      the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Kerala, a few kilometers from Ernakulam, this beautiful rain forest along the banks of the Periyar river is a veritable treasurehouse of birds of the Western Ghats. This is a report of a one-day trip to the Sanctuary along with information on how to get there. (Note: Beware the bus!)
    ....Birds of Kerala - A Complete Guide to Birding in Kerala, India 
      by  Basheer, Eldhose & Zaks. Kerala, a little sliver of land at the  tip  of the Indian peninsula, the land of the green magic, is a region of  tropical forests, grasslands,  rivers, lakes & lagoons  which manifests in the huge bio-diversity of its flora & fauna.  The abundant rainfall and the excessive humidity are responsible for the effects of climate and greenery which is the most distinctive part of Kerala compared to neighbouring states. Kerala is home to nearly  500 species of birds, of which 16 are endemic. Spread across the state's forests & backwaters are some of the best birding places found anywhere in South Asia. 
    ....India Wildlife - Corbett National Park - The Corbett
      National Park is located in the terai region of the state of Uttar Pradesh, straddling the undulating Shivalik foothills of the Himalayas. Located around 300 kilometres away from New Delhi, it is India's first national park. Over 50 mammals, 580 birds and 25 reptile species have been listed in the Corbett National Park. See also the excellent material found in Yogesh Wadadekar's Trip Report
    ....Bharatpur National Park - Situated in eastern Rajasthan,
      about 176 kms away from Delhi, and 50 km west of Agra, is the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, one of the most spectacular bird sanctuaries in India, nesting indigenous water- birds as well as migratory water birds and water side birds. It is also inhabited by sambar, chital, nilgai and boar. More than 300 species of birds are found in this small park of 29 sq. km. of which 11 sq. km. are marshes and the rest scrubland and grassland.
    ....Bird Sanctuaries of Rajasthan - Few places in the world have 
      such teeming diversity of winged life as the bird sanctuaries of Rajasthan. Different parts of Rajasthan have varying climatic and geographical conditions. On the one side are the Aravalis, one of the oldest mountain ranges while on the other side is the Thar desert. Marshlands and salt and fresh water lakes are also spread throughout the state. The best colony of birds in the world, Keoladeo Ghana is situated in the marshlands of Rajasthan. Jaisamand is a famous fresh water lake, while Sambhar and Pachpadra are the better known salt water lakes
    ....Kaziranga National Park - The numerous water bodies
      are rich reservoirs of food for the 300 bird species recorded in the park and approximately 100 species of migratory birds visit the park seasonally from as far afield as Siberia. There is a grey pelican Pelecanus philippensis rookery near Kaziranga Village.Amongst the birds, the crested serpent eagle is common while Pallas's Fishing Eagle and gray headed fishing eagle are requently seen. Others include the Bengal floricab, bar-headed goose, whistling teal, and pelican.
    ....Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India. - 
      Endowed with a combination of different ecosystems (mangroves, seagrasses and coral reefs), the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve  supports over 3,600 species of plants and animals. The first of its kind in India, the Reserve encompasses a group of 21 small islands along the coast of the Gulf of Mannar in southern India. 
    ....Rajasthan: Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, India -
      Highlight of this sanctuary is the annual visit by Siberian Cranes in winter months. It is also house to great variety of resident species of birds and is considered as the ornithologist's paradise. It is 57 km from Agra on Delhi-jaipur highway.  Bharatpur is better known today for one of the finest water bird sanctuaries in the world and is spread on 40 sq. km area of swampy, lightly wooded terrain.
    ....Manas Wildlife Sanctuary - Over 450 species of
      birds have been recorded (Deb Roy, 1990) including the threatened Bengal florican, great pied hornbill, wreathed hornbill and other hornbills.
    ....The Sundarbans (partly in Bangladesh) - is the only
      remaining habitat in the lower Bengal Basin for a great variety of faunal species. The Sajnakhali area contains a wealth of water birds, waders, birds of prey, terns and kingfishers.
    ....The Sundarbans - The area is known for its wide range of
      fauna including 260 bird species, the Royal Bengal tiger (largest concentration of tigers anywhere in Asia - birders beware!) and other threatened species, such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian Python. More information on the Sundarbans.
    ....The Sundarbans - by Sumit Sen. Where the land meets the sea 
      at the southern tip of West Bengal lies the Indian Sunderbans, a stretch of impenetrable mangrove forest of great size and bio-diversity. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sunderbans is a vast area covering 4264 square kms in India alone, with a larger portion in Bangladesh. 2585 sq. kms of the Indian Sunderbans forms the largest Tiger Reserve and National Park in India. The Sunderbans is inhospitable, dangerous and monotonous. It is difficult to approach and even more difficult to spend time in. But for those who dare, it must be one of the most attractive and alluring places remaining on earth.
    ....Nanda Devi National Park - Some 546 species are
      reported from the proposed biosphere reserve. Species richness was found to be highest in the temperate forests, with a significant decline in richness as elevation increased.
    ....Keoladeo Ghanna Sanctuary, India - formerly known as the 
      Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, boasts of being one of the finest heronries in the world. For ages the rich aquatic plant and animal life in the fresh-water shallow marsh of Bharatpur has been attracting resident and migratory birds in millions. There are over 353 species, belonging to some 56 different families. More information on Keoladeo
    ....A Photographic Journey through Keoladea National Park
      by David Behrens. Late Nov '01, I made a trip to Bharatpur, India for a 3 day weekend visit to Keoladeo National Park - a world class park known as a winter sanctuary for the endangered Siberian Crane (of which there is one pair present this year). This was my first trip there and I highly recommend it for birding and wildlife photography.
    ....The Birds of Karnataka - by Ameen Ahmed. Includes the first ever 
      checklist to the birds of this south indian state, also has colourful and rare images of Birds of this state, as well as the best birding 
    ....The Nanmangalam Reserve Forest - by A. Rajaram and P.  ....Wildlife: sanctuaries and national parks in India
    ....India - Directory of Wetlands of International Importance
      includes information on all India's Ramsar designated sites, including:
      • Chilka Lake
      • Keoladeo National Park
      • Wular Lake
      • Harike Lake
      • Loktak Lake
      • Sambhar Lake
    ....Trip Report: North Bengal & Sikkim, India, November 2003, by 
      Mike Prince. A preliminary week was spent birding in North Bengal by Sujan Chatterjee and Mike Prince before meeting up with Bikram Grewal, Bill Harvey, Alpana Khare and Sumit Sen for a week in Sikkim followed by a few more days in North Bengal. The first week was mostly an exploratory visit to sites not generally known for birding but still easily accessible. The rest of the trip visited better known sites, although there are relatively few reports available for this time of year.
    ....Trip Report:18 Days Himalayan Birding Tour April 2003, by Niels Poul
      Dreyer. This tour was tailor- made to the requirements of the birding group, and has been evolved after exchange of 56 e-mail messages over a period of more than a year. The design of the tour was focused on Himalayan upper altitude species with special attention to pheasants. Thus the trip was mainly a birding tour with little sightseeing. 
    ....Trip Report: India 2002, by Simon Plat, Bernard Oosterbaan, and 
      Willem Oosterbaan. Tall stories go around about India, and a lot of them are true: India is crowded, dirty and full of birds. Nevertheless we did not have the toughest vacation ever. A lot depends on how you prepare and plan the trip.  There’s one peculiar aspect about this report we’d like to mention before we start with the relevant items. This might be one of the few reports you read in which the authors did not succeed in finding all or most of the targets. As a result of the recent drought, there was little or no open water that we could find.
    ....Trip Report: North Bengal, November 2002 - by Mike Prince. We 
      spent nine days there in total, our itinerary involving three main areas: the lowland Gorumara National Park and nearby Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, the hill areas of Lolaygaon, Lava, Rishyap and Neora Valley National Park, and the Sandakphu trek (Singalila National Park) on the Nepal border.This .pdf trip report contains a trip list of over 250 birds. 
    ....Trip Report: Goa, plus Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, India
      February 8 - 28, 2002, by Mike Prince. The whole trip proved an excellent and successful mix of birding and sightseeing, the former producing 273 species (24 of which were lifers for me) with some very
      welcome large mammals in the wildlife sanctuaries.
    ....Trip Report: Birding in Upper Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh,
      India - Early Nov. 2001. By Kanwar B Singh. I stayed and did extensive birding near Katrain in the Kullu Valley (H.P., India) for more than a week till 08 Nov. This place is about halfway between the Kullu and Manali towns. Most of my birding was within two hours walking distance from where I stayed - involving walks along the river Beas , orchards, light forested areas and some remnant broadleaved forest 
      along the streams pouring from the right side into the river.
    ....Trip Report: Northwest and Northeast India - by Don Roberson. 
      This is an account of a trip to northwest and northeast India from 11 March-4 April 2001.
    ....Trip Report: North West India - 26 January - 10 February 2001, 
      by John Martin. This report describes a two-week trip to Bharatpur and Ranthambore. The aim was to bird the most famous wetland in Asia for a week and then spend a few days in the more arid Ranthambore area with the possibility of seeing tiger and some semi-desert birds, as well as taking in the Taj Mahal and some of the sights of Delhi. 
    ....Northern India Trip Report - January 27 - February 12, 2000 - by 
      Steve Dark, Dave Hanford and Richard Herbert. Our aim was simply to taste first hand the unique birding experience that India can offer. See as many bird species as was possible, which would hopefully include a very high percentage of ‘lifers’. There was also the little matter of seeing Tigers and visiting the Taj Mahal. Several birds became targeted species these included: Siberian Crane, Ibisbill, Indian Skimmer, and a couple of new genera were also high on the wanted list. We therefore choose the usual site options Bharatpur, Corbett, Ranthambhor, Nainital, Delhi. 350+ species recorded plus tiger as a huge bonus.
    ....Trip Report: Rajasthan - 18 February - 10 March 2000, by Mike Prince. 
      This report describes a two-week tour of Rajasthan in late winter 2000. This was our honeymoon, following a wedding in Bombay, and was generally a sightseeing trip rather than a birding trip. We chose our own itinerary based around the main sightseeing destinations, but with a few birding excursions included. The main target for the birding was to visit the Desert National Park, a restricted area close to the Pakistan border and home to Indian Bustard, amongst other species.
    ....India Birding Diary - Bill & Doreen Stair, November 15, 2000 - January
      15, 2001. The continuing saga of our year-long, theoretically low budget, round the world birding trip. Birding the Corbett area is complicated by bureaucracy, topography, and tigers. We would have done things a little differently if we'd know more in advance, so I'll try and explain some stuff here that may hopefully make things easier for anyone planning a trip here in the future.
    ....Trip Report: Ranthambhor and Keoladeo Ghana (Bharatpur) National
      Park, Northern India - 20 February - 7 March 1999, by Mike Prince. This trip was a combined birding and sightseeing visit to India. The first week was entirely spent birding, with two full days at Ranthambhor National Park and four at Keoladeo Ghana National Park (or Bharatpur).
    ....1999 India Trip Reports - by Tony Coatsworth. Includes three trip
      reports (as well as some useful travel tips) from: 
      • Keolado Ghana Sanctuary (Bharatpur) 9/1/99 - 16/1/99
      • Kaziranga National Park (Assam) 17/1/99 - 22/1/99
      • Periyar National Park (Kerala) 28/1/99 - 30/1/99
    ....Trip Report: Bombay and Poona (India). This trip report is provided 
      courtesy of Urs Geiser's Trip Report Archive.  January 5-18, 1996 - 
      by Ignaz Wanders. In January 1996 my work brought me to Poona in India. Though I did not have a lot of time to do much serious birding I kept my eyes open all the time. This is a report of the 102 species of birds I saw (and where I saw them) in a two-week period in the Bombay and Poona urban areas. 
    ....Indian Bird Trip Reports - this site, maintained by Vivek Tawari, 
      contains links to 12 trip reports from India.
    ....Birding Notes and Trip Report for Northeast India - February 20, to
      March 13, 1998 - by Jon Hornbuckle. Northeast India has possibly the highest diversity of birds in the Oriental region, and although I had been to Kaziranga NP in Assam and the Darjeeling area before, I jumped at the offer of a place on Krys Kazmierczak's trip, as the main objectives were to go to the rarely visited Namdapha Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh and undertake a survey of forest administered by the Indian Oil Corporation in eastern Assam. 
    ....Birding Trip to North West India - (January 1997) by Venkatesh
      Iyengar.  In the winter of 1997, my wife, Leena and I went on a birding and sightseeing trip to North West India. These notes cover the birding and natural history part of our trip.
    ....Trip Report: Keoladeo N.P. (India). This trip report is provided ...
    ....Trip Report: Northwest India. This trip report is provided courtesy 
      of Urs Geiser's Trip Report Archive December 14, 1996 - January 10, 1997 by Phil Benstead, Cath Jeffs and Guy Shorrock. The authors state that this report is not meant to be a comprehensive bird-finding guide. "Phooey!" says Tina. It covers 12 of northern India's best birding sites.
    ....Trip Report: Northern India. November 9-23, 1997 by Rob and Evelien ...
    ....Trip Report: Keoladeo N.P. (Bharatpur), India. This trip report is ...
    ....Trip Report: The Birds and Mammals of India and Nepal (With 
      special reference to Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks, Madhya Pradesh State), October 21, 1998 - April 10, 1999, by Chris Cook. This tour was made possible by working as a volunteer naturalist/guide with Tiger Resorts Pvt. of New Delhi. 
    ....Trip Reports to Goa - various authors. These trip reports are 

    ....Trip Report: Goa - 23rd-30th January 2004, by Dave Ferguson, Mike

      Collard and Jim Rose. This trip report describes a one week birding trip to Goa. The good reports of other birders decided us to spend three of these days at the Backwoods Camp in the foothills of the Western Ghats. While essentially a birding trip, all three have digiscoping and/or camcorder equipment so a significant number of birds were caught on "digital media". The report contains pictures of over 90 species of birds that were taken during the week. 
    ....Trip Report: India - Goa, 20th December 2003 - 4th January 2004, 
      by Mark Easterbrook. This was our first visit to the Indian Sub Continent and served as an excellent introduction to the kind of species that may be encountered. It was not intended to be a 24/7 birding holiday, but we gave it a good go none-the-less. Gary Hulbert and I saw a total of 209 species.
    ....Trip Report: Goa 2001 - by Jim Willson. This is a small sample
      of the great birding we had in Goa during November/December 2001. We stayed at the Marinha Dourada near Baga,and as usual were treated to some very good service, and met many friends, old and new.
    ....Trip Report: Goa - November 2002 - by Paul Wetton. Goa is an
      excellent birding location. Most people managed over 250 species during a two week stay, whilst in three weeks a total of around 300 species was possible. The Goans are extremely friendly and will go out their way to help you. This site contains an excellent interactive site map of key birding locations.
    ....Trip Report: Goa - 25 December 1999 - 08 January 2000. By Rob
      Goldbach. The reason to visit Goa was that we wished to celebrate our 25 year marriage with our family in an environment interesting for all of us (e.g. 1 birder and 4 non-birders). According to other birders' experiences, and having read a number of bird trip reports on Goa, we
      agreed that Goa would provide a good compromise between those who are primarily interested in birding, and those more interested
      in sightseeing, daily Indian lifestyle and culture, as well as visiting remote beaches and have an ocean swim (water temperature 24
      degrees) from time to time. Goa did not disappoint us in all these aspects, and is greatly recommended for other birders with their
      spouse and family. Good birds, good food, easy travelling, friendly people, good climate in winter (30 degrees Celsius, low humidity,
      bright blue skyes).
    ....Trip Report: Birding in Goa (India) January 28th till February 19th,
      2000, by Willy Aelvoet. 
    ....Trip Report: Goa - by Bo Boeleans, the "Fatbirder". The purpose
      of this brief guide is to help people, like ourselves, who are keen, not very fit and can, at best, only afford a package deal rather than a guided tour from a specialist birding holiday company. Being arthritic I tend to "walk by car" and cannot set off on long hikes - I have rarely found this a major drawback and, at home, consider my car to be a mobile hide. It also makes me very good at spotting tiny birds whilst travelling at speed. My wife who is as keen  as me and a bit fitter has been known to flush the occasional jack snipe or grouse out of pity, or check out a likely spot to avoid me wasting my limited mobility on a wild goose chase (forgive the pun). See also the Fatbirder's Site Guide to Goa. 
    ....Birding Trip to Goa in 1997 - by Tom and Marie Tarrant.
      This trip report identifies the key birding spots as well as the birds seen (with some pictures). 
    ....Trip Report: Northern India - November 9 - 23, 1997. By Rob Goldbach.
      The visit took place in autumn, the dry season. Temperatures were at Delhi and Corbett N.P. max. 25-28°C, and minimum 10°C. At Naini Tal it was significantly cooler, with 20 to 22°C during noon, and light frost at night, but no snow on the surrounding mountains which would drive more birds down to the valleys.
    ....India Trip Report - you can find an India trip report on John
      Girdley's BirdTours website by following the Asia/India link from the main page.
    Factoids taken from Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley

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Conservation, Biodiversity

and Environment

Purple Sunbird - Photo copyright Vijay Cavale
Photo copyright Vijay Cavale
    **..Releasing Birds: Killing with Kindness? By Abrar Ahmed. More
      than a million birds are released each year in India by people who have deep religious beliefs or who simply want to show kindness. But these "humane" individuals do not realize that, far from helping the cause of wildlife, they are supporting a cruel and often deadly trade in birds.


Tours and Guides

...>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Indian Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher - Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Indian Pond Heron - Photo copyright Trident Press
Photo copyright Trident Press
Indian Black-headed Munia - Photo copyright Sumit Sen
Photo copyright Sumit Sen
Little Spiderhunter - Photo copyright Christian Artuso
Photo copyright Christian Artuso
    **..Birding Eastern India - with Help Tourism and guide Sujan Chatterjee
      Eastern India is home to more than 850 species of birds and is considered as being the richest birding area in the country. The area comprises of the Eastern Himalayas, represented by a stretch of extremely rugged mountain country along the northern border of India. This birding tour is meant for the adventurous as the lodging will be at places very basic, often in village huts and in tents.
    **..Birdwatching Tours with Asian Adventures - Hundreds of species 
      of birds that comprise the sub-continent’s avifauna are visitors from the north of the Himalayan barrier. Wildlife experts and our long years in the field come together to acquaint you with the lesser known aspects of Indian wildlife. Destinations include Corbett National Park in Uttar Pradesh, Kaziranga National Park in Assam, Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Rajasthan, Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, the Ranganthitoo Sanctuary in Karnataka and the Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh. For a specific example of a birding tour, check out Birding in the Kumaon Himalayas and Corbett National Park. Asian Adventures is an environmentally-responsible organisation, seeking to create an understanding of the cultural heritage and natural history of India.
    **..Gurudongma Tours & Treks Birdwatching Adventures - The Eastern
      Himalayan region in India comprising the Darjeeling District of West Bengal, and the states of Sikkim, is a tiny area with fantastic variations. The telescoping of terrain from near sea level to 8000 meters, has created marked altitudinal zonation in the humidity, rainfall, climate and vegetation. This factor provides for great variety and abundance of the resident bird life, making this area arguably one of the richest for its size anywhere in the world.
      Dr Salim Ali - one of India's foremost ornithologists - has recorded 527 species of resident birds. In addition there are vagrants, and transients on migration. It is estimated that more than 30% of the species of the Indian sub-continent can be spotted in this region.

      Peter Lobo has researched birding sites on the ground with a host of local guides, to create tours for bird watchers. Exciting itineraries have been evolved, and new hot spots located in Tholung Valley in Sikkim – a virgin area for birders. Joining hands with expert birders, tours have been extended to Kaziranga, and Nameri National Parks in Assam and Namdhapa in Arunachal Pradesh. 

      Gurudongma Adventures believe that "small is beautiful", catering for individuals, couples, and small groups, in order to build a rapport with our guests. Conversations, varied cuisine, carefully chosen accommodation, knowledgeable and caring escorts, interesting itineraries, and reliability, are the basis of a truly personalized service.


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Brown-winged Kingfisher - Photo copyright Tetsu Sato
Photo copyright Tetsu Sato
Jungle Bush-Quail - Photo copyright Vijay Cavale
Photo copyright Vijay Cavale
    **..Mayuram Farmstead - Mayuram is situated at the foothills of the
      Western Ghats, adjoining the Kalakkad-Mundanthurai sanctuary near Thenkasi in South Tamil Badu. The jheels (ponds) surrounding the estate, the savannah parkland of the farm, and the forests surrounding it have ensured a breathtaking variery of avifauna. Indeed, this place makes a perfect getaway for a birding or trekking holiday.
    **..Tiger Camp in Corbet National Park - an Asian Adventures EcoLodge.
      The Tiger Camp is an Eco-lodge at the periphery of Corbett National Park, one of the best birding parks of India. While staying at the Tiger Camp, one can take a jeep safari for birding within the jungle. Or, one can take a number of good birding trails in the radius of 25 km through the nearby forested areas and river beds.
    **..Jungle Lore Birding Lodge  - an Asian Adventures EcoLodge. This 
      Lodge lies 15 kilometers away from Nainital in Pangot. Nainital, Kilbury and Pangot have the richest oak, pine and rhododendron forest in the area. This green belt supports an enormous variety of Himalayan bird life. It begins at Corbett National Park and extends right up to Binsar covering Pangot & Kilbury areas. More than 580 species of birds have been recorded in this belt. 

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Endemics and Specialities

in India

White-bellied Treepie - ENDEMIC - Photo copyright Ronald Saldino
Photo copyright Ronald Saldino
Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.05, supplemented by material found in Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley. Asian speciality birds, while not endemic, are those that can only be found in three or less countries of Asia. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in India. 

Endemics in India
___ Black-and-rufous Flycatcher
___ Broad-tailed Grassbird
___ Forest Owlet
___ Green Avadavat
___ Grey Junglefowl
___ Grey-breasted Laughingthrush
___ Grey-headed Bulbul
___ Intermediate Parakeet
___ Jerdon's Courser
___ Malabar Grey-Hornbill
___ Malabar Lark
___ Malabar Parakeet
___ Malabar Whistling-Thrush
___ Nilgiri Flycatcher
___ Nilgiri Pipit
___ Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon
___ Painted Bush-Quail
___ Red Spurfowl
___ Rock Bush-Quail
___ Rufous Babbler
___ Rufous-breasted 
___ Laughingthrush
___ Rufous-tailed Lark
___ Rusty-throated Wren-Babbler
___ Snowy-throated Babbler
___ Spot-breasted Fantail
___ Tawny Lark
___ Tawny-breasted Wren-Babbler
___ White-bellied Blue-Flycatcher
___ White-bellied Shortwing
___ White-bellied Treepie
___ White-cheeked Barbet
___ White-naped Tit
___ Wynaad Laughingthrush
___ Yellow-throated Bulbul
Endemics in India shared only with Sri Lanka
___ Black-throated Munia
___ Blue-faced Malkoha
___ Crimson-fronted Barbet
___ Dark-fronted Babbler
___ Hill Swallow
___ Indian Scimitar-Babbler
___ Indian Swiftlet
___ Jerdon's Nightjar
___ Jungle Bush-Quail
___ Long-billed Sunbird
___ Malabar Pied-Hornbill
___ Malabar Trogon
___ Painted Francolin
___ Sri Lanka Frogmouth
___ White-browed Bulbul
___ Yellow-billed Babbler
___ Yellow-browed Bulbul
Endangered Birds in India
(endemics are printed in bold italic)

Breeding Birds

Non-Breeding Birds

___ Andaman Crake
___ Beautiful Nuthatch
___ Bengal Florican
___ Black-bellied Tern
___ Black-breasted Parrotbill
___ Black-necked Crane
___ Blyth's Kingfisher
___ Blyth's Tragopan
___ Bristled Grassbird
___ Brown-capped Laughingthrush
___ Cheer Pheasant
___ Chestnut-breasted Partridge
___ Dark-rumped Swift
___ Ferruginous Pochard
___ Forest Owlet
___ Greater Adjutant
___ Greater Spotted Eagle
___ Green Avadavat
___ Green Peafowl
___ Himalayan Quail
___ Indian Bustard
___ Indian Skimmer
___ Intermediate Parakeet
___ Jerdon's Babbler
___ Jerdon's Courser
___ Kashmir Flycatcher
___ Lesser Adjutant
___ Lesser Florican
___ Long-billed Bush-Warbler
___ Marsh Babbler
___ Masked Finfoot
___ Mrs. Hume's Pheasant
___ Narcondam Hornbill
___ Nicobar Bulbul
___ Nicobar Scrubfowl
___ Pale-capped Pigeon
___ Pallas's Fish-Eagle
___ Pink-headed Duck
___ Red-faced Malkoha
___ Rufous-necked Hornbill
___ Rufous-throated Wren-Babbler
___ Rufous-vented Prinia
___ Rusty-bellied Shortwing
___ Rusty-throated Wren-Babbler
___ Sclater's Monal
___ Snowy-throated Babbler
___ Spot-billed Pelican
___ Swamp Francolin
___ Tibetan Eared-Pheasant
___ Ward's Trogon
___ Western Tragopan
___ White-bellied Heron
___ White-browed Bushchat
___ White-naped Tit
___ White-winged Duck
___ Wood Snipe
___ Yellow Weaver
___ Baer's Pochard
___ Baikal Teal 
___ Black-necked Crane
___ Brown-chested 
___ Jungle-flycatcher
___ Dalmation Pelican
___ Grey-sided Thrush
___ Hooded Crane
___ Lesser Kestrel
___ Lesser White-fronted Goose
___ Imperial Eagle
___ Marbled Teal
___ Nordmann's Greenshank
___ Oriental Stork
___ Pale-backed Pigeon
___ Siberian Crane
___ Sociable Lapwing
___ Spoonbill Sandpiper
___ White-headed Duck
___ White-throated Bushchat
___ Wood Snipe

Other Speciality and Near-Endemic Birds in India
(adapted from Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley.)

___ Bar-winged Wren-Babbler
___ Beautiful Rosefinch
___ Beautiful Sibias
___ Black-and-yellow Grosbeak
___ Black-breasted Parrotbill
___ Black-chinned Babbler
___ Black-crested Tit
___ Black-headed Jay
___ Black-lored Tit
___ Black-winged Snowfinch
___ Blanford's Rosefinch
___ Brown Parrotbill
___ Brown-capped Laughingthrush
___ Brown-cheeked 
___ Laughingthrush
___ Brown-fronted Woodpecker
___ Blyth's Tragopan
___ Chestnut-backed 
___ Laughingthrush
___ Chestnut-vented Nuthatch
___ Chinese Babax
___ Collared Myna
___ Crimson-backed Sunbird
___ Crimson-browed Finch
___ Dark-rumped Rosefinch
___ Derbyan Parakeet
___ Firetailed Myzornis
___ Firethroat
___ Fulvous Parrotbill
___ Giant Babax
___ Gold-naped Finch
___ Great Parrotbill
___ Grey Sibias
___ Grey-crowned Prinia
___ Grey-headed Bullfinch
___ Grey-sided Laughingthrush
___ Himalayan Woodpecker
___ Hoary-throated Barwing
___ Hume's Pheasant
___ Indian Bustard
___ Indian Chat
___ Indian Courser
___ Indian Grey Thrush
___ Jungle Prinia
___ Kashmir Nuthatch
___ Large Grey Babbler
___ Ludlow's Fulvetta
___ Manipur Bush-Quail
___ Mottled Wood-Owl
___ Moustached Laughingthrush
___ Nepal Fulvetta
___ Olive Bulbul
___ Orange Bulfinch
___ Painted Sandgrouse
___ Painted Spurfowl
___ Pale-chinned Blue-Flycatcher
___ Pied Thrush
___ Pink-browed Rosefinch
___ Purple-rumped Sunbird
___ Red Spurfowl
___ Red-headed Bullfinch
___ Robin Accentor
___ Rufous-breasted Accentor
___ Rufous-breasted Bush-Robin
___ Rusty-fronted Barwing
___ Rufous-fronted Prinia
___ Rufous-necked Laughingthrush
___ Rufous-necked Sunbird
___ Rufous-tailed Lark
___ Rufous-vented Laughingthrush
___ Rufous-vented Yuhina
___ Rusty-tailed Flycatcher
___ Satyr's Tragopan
___ Scarlet Finch
___ Sind Sparrow
___ Slender-billed Babbler
___ Smoky Warbler
___ Spectacled Finch
___ Spotted Wren-Babbler
___ Streak-throated Barwing
___ Streak-throated Swallow
___ Streaked Rosefinch
___ Striated Laughingthrush
___ Striped Laughingthrush
___ Swamp Prinia
___ Sykes Nightjar
___ Szecheny's Partridge
___ Tawny-bellied Babbler
___ Temminck's Tragopan
___ Tibetan Eared-Pheasant
___ Tibetan Ground-Jay
___ Tibetan Partridge
___ Tibetan Lark
___ Tibetan Sand-grouse
___ Tibetan Serin
___ Tytler's Leaf-Warbler
___ Variegated Laughingthrush
___ Wedge-billed Wren-Babbler
___ Western Crowned-Warbler
___ White-backed Thrush
___ White-bellied Drongo
___ White-bellied Minivet
___ White-cheeked Nuthatch
___ White-cheeked Partridge
___ White-cheeked Tit
___ White-naped Woodpecker
___ White-naped Yuhina
___ White-rumped Snowfinch
___ White-tailed Iora
___ White-throated Tit
___ White-winged Tit
___ Yellow Weaver
___ Yellow-throated Laughingthrush

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Print and Other Resources on Birds

and Birding in India

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Yellow Bittern - Photo copyright Karl Ng

Photo copyright Karl Ng

Streaked Spiderhunter - Photo copyright Laurence Poh

Photo copyright Laurence Poh

Black-rumped Flameback - Photo copyright R. S. Suresh

Photo copyright R. S. Suresh

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