Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

India

The Peacock is the National Bird of India

India is probably the only country in the world that can boast of harbouring as varied and rich a birdlife as it does. Home to well over a thousand species, of which about 100 are to be found only in India, this country is a veritable paradise for any birdwatcher. The reason for this treasure-trove of species is undoubtedly the fact that India encompasses almost all the ecosystems to be found on the planet, ranging from the hot and humid evergreen forests of the north-east and south-west to the scorching deserts making up most of the western state of Rajasthan, providing habitats for variously adapted species, both residents and migrants, the latter numbering about 250 species. Two species, the Pinkheaded Duck and the Mountain Quail are now considered extinct whereas the Jerdon's Courser and the Forest Owlet were rediscovered recently after a gap of more than a century.

Even a cursory glance at the Indian countryside will reveal roughly 150 very common species, ranging from the ubiquitous House Sparrow and Indian Myna to such birds as the Red-vented Bulbul, Black Drongo and White-breasted Kingfisher. Common raptors include Black and Brahminy Kites, Honey Buzzard, Shikra and Egyptian Vulture. Waterbirds also offer quite a spectacle, especially in the winter, when the migratory waders arrive. Common resident species are White-breasted Waterhen, Indian Moorhen and Black-winged Stilt.

The main birding habitats in India can be broadly classified into forests, scrub, grassland & farmland, deserts and wetlands, each of these is home to a characteristic population of bird species, quite different from those found in other habitats. Notable exceptions are some species to be met with in any of these areas, such as the national bird, the Indian Peafowl, the Blue Rock Pigeon and the Hoopoe. See these habitat types in the Top Sites section below.

The best time to visit India from an ornithological standpoint is no doubt the months between October and April as, in addition to the variety of resident species, migratory waterfowl, raptors, starlings & other passerines and a host of other species are also to be seen all around the Indian countryside.

Top Sites

Deserts

India not only has the hot Thar desert in the west but also the cold and wind-swept deserts in the northernmost state of Kashmir. The hot deserts do not house a very rich avifauna, the only endemic bird being the Stolicza's Bush Chat. The cold deserts support such species as the Tibetan Lark and several types of accentors.

Forests

India's forests are of several types and as such, forests are an important habitat, especially in terms of conservation as most of this country's threatened species and over two-thirds of its endemic birds live in forests.

Forests - Coastal Mangrove

These are typified by those of the Sunderbans in the east, and are a shelter for such species as the Mangrove Whistler and several species of Pittas.

Forests - Dense Evergreen

Dense Evergreen Forests are one of the most rewarding spots for field ornithology in India, although these forests don't yield their rewards readily to the impatient birdwatcher, unless one comes upon a blossoming or fruiting tree. The evergreen forests in India occupy what are known as the Western Ghats in south-west India as well as the north-eastern corner of the country, in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. The birdlife of these regions shows a marked tropical character, with frogmouths, laughing-thrushes and the breathtaking Fairy Bluebird being some of the species to be seen. A host of endemic and rare birds also thrive in this habitat; the Great Pied and Wreathed Hornbills and two species of Cochoas are four of the more uncommon species.

Forests - Tropical Deciduous

These account for most of the forest cover of India's plains and the plateau of the Deccan and offer a delightful array of avifauna for the enthusiastic birder, ranging from several species of pigeons, parakeets and babblers to exotic and flamboyant species like the Paradise Flycatcher and Racket-tailed Drongo. Other common woodland birds are the ioras, leafbirds and several woodpecker species. Many raptors are also to be met with in these jungles and birds like the Collared Scops Owl are commonly sighted.

Grassland

This habitat also supports several endemic species and is represented by the terai, a belt of grassland at the foot of the Himalayas (which is extremely rich in wildlife) as well as several pockets of grassland, primarily in central and peninsular India. The Great Indian Bustard and the Bengal Florican are both distinctive species of this habitat and are both facing certain extinction unless drastic measures are taken to safegaurd their existance.

Mountain Ranges

The mountain ranges of the Himalayas lining the north of the country support Coniferous & Sub-Alpine Forests, home to a variety of characteristic Himalayan species like the colourful Tragopans and Bamboo partridge, tits etc. Other birds typically found here are the finches, grosbeaks and parrotbills.

Open and Cultivated Land

Openland & Cultivation is the easiest place to go to, to see birds, especially for raptors, as many species of resident and migratory eagles,hawks, falcons and harriers are commonly met with in these hunting grounds. The Short-toed Snake Eagle and the Tawny Eagle are commonly seen residents, as are migratory birds like Old World Kestrels, Red-headed Merlin, Booted Eagle and Montagu's Harrier. Cultivation and openland are also host to a variety of larks, pipits and in wetter areas, wagtails.

Scrubland

Scrub jungle is found all over the area, interspersed often with heavier jungle and most of the birds found here are also met often in crops and cultivation and in forest habitats. Species that are common in thia region are several types of wren-warblers and cuckoos, the Crow-Pheasant and the Indian Robin.

Wetlands

India has abundant wetlands in almost all of its areas, barring some parts of the west and they are a major wintering ground for many species of waterfowl, which seasonally augment the resident populations. Ducks and Geese spread far inland and birds like the Shoveler, Garganey and Wigeon are very common. The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the best sites in the world for observing large poulations of migratory waterfowl. Migratory waders also arrive in large numbers and the shanks, sandpipers and stints are not hard to find. Three species of cranes (including the endangered Siberian Crane) visit the India wetlands in the winter months, as do several types of stork, herons, egrets and plovers. The two species of jacana - the Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed are common residents.

Contributor

Umesh Srinivasan

hakimali82@hotmail.com

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 1171

National Bird: Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus

Endemics

Number of endemics: 42

Rock Bush-Quail Perdicula argoondah Painted Bush-Quail Perdicula erythrorhyncha Manipur Bush-Quail Perdicula manipurensis Red Spurfowl Galloperdix spadiceaPainted Spurfowl Galloperdix lunulata Himalayan Quail Ophrysia superciliosa Grey Junglefowl Gallus sonneratii Pink-headed Duck Rhodonessa caryophyllacea White-cheeked Barbet Megalaima viridis Crimson-throated Barbet Megalaima malabarica Malabar Grey-Hornbill Ocyceros griseus Intermediate Parakeet Psittacula intermedia Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides Forest Owlet Athene blewitti Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon Columba elphinstonii Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps Jerdon`s Courser Rhinoptilus bitorquatus White-bellied Treepie Dendrocitta leucogastra White-spotted Fantail Rhipidura albogularis

Number of endemics: 42

Malabar Whistling-Thrush Myophonus horsfieldii White-bellied Shortwing Brachypteryx major Black-and-rufous Flycatcher Ficedula nigrorufa Nilgiri Flycatcher Eumyias albicaudata White-bellied Blue-Flycatcher Cyornis pallipes White-naped Tit Parus nuchalis Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus Yellow-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus Broad-tailed Grassbird Schoenicola platyura Wynaad Laughingthrush Garrulax delesserti Rufous-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax cachinnans Grey-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax jerdoni Marsh Babbler Pellorneum palustre Rusty-throated Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis badeigularis Tawny-breasted Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis longicaudatus Snowy-throated Babbler Stachyris oglei Rufous Babbler Turdoides subrufus Rufous-tailed Lark Ammomanes phoenicurus Malabar Lark Galerida malabarica Tawny Lark Galerida deva Crimson-backed Sunbird Nectarinia minima Nilgiri Pipit Anthus nilghiriensis Green Avadavat Amandava Formosa

Checklist

Checklist

WebBirder Checklist

Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder

Useful Reading

* Field Guides & Bird Song

For a comprehensive list of recommended titles covering Asia as a whole - please see the Asia page of Fatbirder

A Field Guide to Birds of the Indian Subcontinent

Krys Kazmierczak, Ber van Perlo (Illustrator) Hardcover - 336 pages (30 May, 2000) The Pica Press

ISBN: 1873403798

Buy this book from NHBS.com

A Photographic Guide to Birds of India

[Including Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Bhutan] Bikram Grewal, Bill Harvey and Otto Pfister 512 pages, 850 col photos, 800 maps. Christopher Helm

ISBN: 0713664037

Buy this book from NHBS.com

A Photographic Guide to the Birds of India

Including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh - Amano Samarpan 160 pages, colour photos. Wisdom Tree

ISBN: 8183280293

Buy this book from NHBS.com

A Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent

Salim Ali & Dillon Riply Centenary OUP (1995)

ISBN: 0195637321

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the Indian Subcontinent

By Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp & Tim Inskipp | Christopher Helm | Softcover | 2012 | Edition: 2 | 528 Pages | 226 Colour Plates | Colour Distribution Maps | Black & White Illustrations

ISBN: 9781408127636

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Collins Field Guide to the Birds of India

by Norman Arlott | Harper Collins | 2015 | Paperback | 400 pages, plates with colour illustrations, colour distribution maps

ISBN: 9780007429554

Buy this book from NHBS.com

DVD - Birding Northern India

Buy direct from the filmmaker:
Part One - Corbett, Koshi & beyond: http://www.wildlifevideos.net/birding_northern_india1.html
Part Two - Foothills to Rajasthan: http://www.wildlifevideos.net/birding_northern_india2.html

Endemic Birds of India

Edited by JM Dasgupta et al Series: RECORDS OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA 200 44 pages, plates. Zoological Survey of India

ISBN: 8185874808

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Field Guide to the Birds of Northern India

by Richard Grimmett and Tim Inskipp Helm Field Guides 2003 RRP ?19.99p
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0713651679

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Field Guide to the Birds of Southern India

by Richard Grimmett and Tim Inskipp 240 pages, 87 col plates, illus, 1 map. Christopher Helm 2005

ISBN: 0713651644

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan, Volume 1

Divers to Hawks - Salim Ali and S Dillon Ripley Series: HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN 444 pages, col plates, b’w plates, illus, maps. Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195659341

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan, Volume 2

Megapodes to Crab Plover - Salim Ali and S Dillon Ripley Series: HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN 347 pages, 147 col illus, b’w illus, maps. Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019565935X

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan, Volume 6

Cuckoo-Shrikes to Babaxes - Salim Ali and S Dillon Ripley Series: HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN 247 pages, 76 col plates, b’w illus, maps. Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195629787

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan, Volume 7

Laughing Thrushes to the Mangrove Whistler - Salim Ali and S Dillon Ripley Series: HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN 236 pages, 6 col plates, line illus, maps. Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195635906

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan, Volume 9

Robins to Wagtails - Salim Ali and S Dillon Ripley Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195659422

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Important Bird Areas in India - Priority sites for conservation

Compiled & edited by M Zafar-ul Islam and Asad R Rahmani published by IBCN: Bombay Natural History Society in conjunction with OUP, BirdLife & others
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0195673336

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Prion Birdwatchers' Guide to India

Krys Kazmierczak and Raj Singh Series: PRION BIRDWATCHERS' GUIDE SERIES 334 pages, line drawings, maps throughout. Prion Distributed by NHBS

ISBN: 1871104084

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of India: A Guide to Indian Ornithology

HE Barnes 449 pages, col & b/w plates. Cosmo Publications

ISBN: 8170205123

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Breeding Birds of Kashmir

R.S.P. Bates, E.H.N. Lowther Hardcover - 390 pages (27 June, 1991) OUP India

ISBN: 0195625625

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

National Bird

Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

All India Birding

Tour Operator

Gurudongma Tours & Treks etc.

Asian Adventures

Tour Operator

e.g.Karapur Gateway to the wildlife wealth of Karnataka, Kabini River Lodge is nestled in the famous Nagarhole National Park. Once the hunting lodge of the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore, Kabini is today rated by the British Tatler`s Travel Guide as one of the top 5 wildlife resorts in the world.

Birding Ecotours

Tour Operator

Birding in the Himalayan foothills is of the best on planet earth. Our guides never cease to be amazed by the diversity and numbers of spectacular birds. We visit Ranthambore National Park for our first Tiger tracking adventure. Bird Keoladeo National Park – India’s most famous birding reserve, take a boat down the Chambal river, and much more…

Birding in India

Tour Operator

We are Indian Birding Website providing one stop solution to all Birding Requirements in India!

Birding in Kumaon Himalayas and Corbett National Park

Tour Operator

The tour is customised for the serious-minded birder. A spectacular variety of Himalayan birds and wildlife is spotted in some of these most exotic locales. The itinerary focuses on the Central Himalayas at Binsar, Nainital, Betalghat and Corbett National Park.

Birding in South India

Tour Operator

Eldho Bird Tours arranges Birding Expeditons to Kerala and other bird-rich areas of South India- Tamilnadu & Karnataka. We want all of our clients to share in the excitement and fun of a top-notch birding adventure, and we want to provide the best service possible to both our tour participants and our independent travel clients. We are delighted by what seems to be success in both categories. we have a large and loyal following, many of whom have been more than couple of times or in some cases, dozens of tours with us, and these clients,in turn, are our greatest advertising--most of our new clients come to us by word of mouth via a friend who suggested they "must" try Birding with Eldhose…

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Eco India

Tour Operator

This website contains the ecotourism information in India including the information on the wild animals in India, birds information, famous wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and zoos in India…

Himalayan Holidays

Tour Operator

Birding Trails in the Lower Himalayas - The best time to visit India from an ornithological standpoint is no doubt the months between October and April as, in addition to the variety of resident species, migratory waterfowl, raptors, starlings & other passerines and a host of other species are also to be seen all around the Indian countryside…

India Birding Adventures

Website

Personalised bird watching and wildlife holidays in India. We offer flexible itineraries on our India birding adventures to suit your specific requirements as a traveling birder. All our birding trips are lead by professional naturalists…

India Travel Club

Tour Operator

Our Jungle Lodge is situated inside the park and has its own elephants and resident naturalists. Large two-Man huts are built round Jungle Hotel. All meals are included, as are the elephant safaris and canoe trips…

India Wildlife Resorts

Tour Operator

Birdwatching tours based in resorts around India…

Indian Adventures

Tour Operator

The largest chain of Wildlife Resorts in India, offers an entire gamut of Action, Wildlife and Adventure holidays at its resorts.The locations are exquisite, at the periphery of some of the major National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, in India and add to this the deluxe cottage style properties with all modern amenities, airconditioned and aircooled rooms, yet rustic architecture blending with the locales in natural surroundings…

Indian Wildlife Adventures

Tour Operator

Indian Wildlife Adventures provides wildlife and adventure sports experience to travelers visiting this land of tigers and unlimited adventure. Our motto to "Conserve nature for Future" drive our philosophy of providing international exposure to Indian Wildlife with an aim to impart the importance of conservation not only for us but for our future generations to come…

Jungle Lore

Tour Operator

Our tours will appeal to the serious birder as well as to the beginner or intermediate bird watcher and some are suitable for the non-birding spouse. A spectacular variety of Himalayan birds and wildlife is spotted in some of these most exotic locales. The itinerary focuses on the Central Himalayas at Binsar, Nainital, Betalghat and Corbett National Park.

NEST Birding Tours

Website

Conservation, Bird Watching & Photography - Birding tours in Ecuador, India and Panama & community based conservation

Rockjumper Birding Tours

Tour Operator

Home to the world’s richest cultural kaleidoscope, India is also justly famous for its rich and impressive avifauna. Our fascinating and multi-faceted tours are conducted at a leisurely pace and are enjoyable for birders and non-birding spouses alike. Birding highlights include Sarus Crane, Grey Junglefowl, White-bellied Treepie and India’s national bird, the resplendent Indian Peafowl.

Shine Gold Tours

Tour Operator

SGTI Birding Tours specialise in Northern India and Goa bird-watching sites. Ground transport and inspected accommodation with expert local birding guides are features of our tours. The following are a selection of tours, priced for 2 and 4 people. If your party is larger (or smaller) or if you have other bird-watching sites in India that you would like to visit please ask for a quote for your specific needs…

Sita Tours

Tour Operator

India covers a total are of 3,287,263 sq. km. The north of the country is decisively bordered by the long sweep of the Himalayas, the highest mountains on earth…

Wild About Travel - India

Tour Operator

We specialise in bird watching and wildlife tours to India for independent travellers (offering tailor-made trips) and operate several small group fixed date tours each year. Contact us for details of affordable tours that include birding the best sites in the Himalayas, the Nilgiri Hills and Kerala, Kaziranga and many more fabulous destinations…

Wildlife India

Tour Operator

The text on this site is all embedded so I couldn't lift any to give people an idea of what they offer…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2003 [03 March] - Brian Anderson - Northern India - dba trip

Report

…There were 11 of us on the dba trip: Ron Bartlett, Brian & Joanna Anderson, Selina Cook, Bo & Maggie Crombet-Beolens, Megan Hall, Steve Lister, Lawrence & Anne Robinson, & Sue Sayers. We ranged from the fully able-bodied through those with minor mobility problems to those needing to use wheelchairs full-time… 2003 [March] dba Northern India. A report on the dba trip to Northern India - details of access problems for disabled birders etc…

2007 [01 January] - Chris Bradshw - Northern India

Report

This was the fourth tour of the classic northern Indian birding circuit operated by Birdwatching Breaks, and it was yet another superb birding experience. Although the mornings and evenings were chilly as usual, we were blessed with warm and sunny conditions throughout the tour and there was invariably barely a cloud in the sky. Such conditions are in marked contrast to my recent January trips, which have seen snow and generally colder conditions…

2007 [01 January] - Richard Munns - Southern Indian Endemics

Report

…It was good to see so many local people and Indian tourists appreciating the bird sanctuary but they may have caused a bit of disturbance. Nevertheless we saw several birds Little Cormorant, Large-billed Crow, Pale-billed Flowerpecker, Köel, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Rufous Treepie, Darter, Loten’s or Long-billed Sunbird (singing his socks off at the top of a tree), heard Blyth’s Reed Warbler, heard Greater Coucal, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Asian Paradise Flycatcher (white form), Darters nesting and better seen and not sniffed, Marsh Harrier, Bronze-winged Jacana, Barn Swallow, Whiskered Tern and Grey Heron. Other sightings Terrapin, Lesser Fruit Bat or Flying fox, Monitor Lizard, Smooth Indian Otter, and lots of butterflies including Glassy Tiger, Crimson Rose, Plain Tiger and Common Grass Yellow…

2007 [01 January] - Uffe Gjøl Sørensen - S India & Gujarat

Report

…Spot-billed Pelican, Black Baza, Mountain Hawk-Eagle (southern subspecies), Painted Bush-Quail, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Blue-faced Malkoha, Brown Fish Owl, Malabar Trogon, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, White-bellied Woodpecker, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Indian Pitta, Malabar Lark, Hill Swallow, Nilgiri Pipit, Forest Wagtail, Grey-headed Bulbul, Yellow-throated Bulbul, White-bellied & Nilgiri Blue Robin, Black-and-Orange Flycatcher and many others. A Tawny Eagle at Munnar, a new site for Yellow-throated Bulbul (close to Top Slip) and three records of the ‘Phillipine’ Shrike – the eastern subspecies of Brown Shrike – are unusual records…

2009 [12 December] - Keith Barnes

Report

Our Northern India tour is one of our most popular Asian trips – not only does it provide some of the highest bird lists for an Asian destination (we found around 383 species this year alone on a shorter 2-week trip), but also adds a number of impressive mammals to the equation. Not least among these is the World’s best cat – Bengal Tiger…

2010 [03 March] - Chris Bradshaw

Report

The North-eastern Indian states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have become more and more accessible over recent years with increasing numbers of birders now visiting this remote and exciting region…

2010 [12 December] - Chris Hall

Report

…This is just an appetiser for a mouth-watering feast of exotic birds which appear almost too quickly to digest. The ingredients for this spicy blend include Purple Sunbird, Indian Roller, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Ashy Prinia, Hoopoe, White-eared and Red-vented Bulbuls, Indian Peafowl, Brahminy Starling, Greater Coucal, Rufous Treepie, Long-tailed Shrike, Black Drongo and Large-billed Crow with a ravenous beak, plus a generous portion of squawking Rose-ringed Parakeets, and its still only 9am!…

2013 [02 February] - Charles Harper - Northwest India

Report

…over 80 species, including White-rumped Vulture (at the nest), Stork-billed Kingfisher and Brown Fish Owl. During lunch, I even found another Wallcreeper on the river bank at the foot of the Tiger Camp property. Most birders elect to go into Jim Corbett National Park but then become frustrated when too much time is spent looking for tigers or riding an elephant…

2013 [02 Feburary] - Greg Roberts - India & Sri Lanka

Report

…We spent the morning again birding the acacia scrub of the Phot Mahadeo area, connecting with Grey-necked Bunting and flushing a Rock Eagle-Owl from its day-time roost in a rocky gorge, but failing to see Rock Bush-Quail. We returned to the Banni Grasslands and Chhari-Dhand in the afternoon, notching up all three races of Variable Wheatear…

2013 [03 March] - Judith Hoyle

Report PDF

2013 [03 March] - Martin Birch

Report PDF

…Our popular India tours once again proved to be a great success with 408 species seen overall, with 239 on India 1 and 319 on India 2. But it is not all about numbers as we saw many sought-after species as the list above shows, and also these tours are full of variety with a superb boat ride on the Chambal River, jeep safaris at Ranthambhor and Corbett, an Elephant ride and a visit to the incomparable Taj Mahal as well…

2013 [03 March] - Mike Watson

Report PDF

…These were probably the most productive photo sessions of the whole tour with many of us taking well over 1,000 photos of numerous different subjects. Very soon we caught up with the number one target here, the amazing Indian Skimmer, with its ‘snapped-off’ shorter upper mandible, bouncy flight and from time to time living up to its name with some skimming…

2013 [04 April] - Mohamad Mahdi

PDF Report

I was about to abandon my trip to India altogether when I came across Eldhose’s birdingsouthindia website. At first it looked too good to be true (both in terms of what birders can expect to see in South India and in terms of the cost of his set trip). Nevertheless, I decided to check it out and am I glad I did !. I contacted Eldhose and he organized everything by email swiftly and seamlessly and finally I was on my way to India…

2013 [11 November] - Dave Farrow - Southern India

PDF Report

This years’ tour to Southern India and Sri Lanka was once again a very successful and enjoyable affair, with almost all endemics found, and an incredible 36 individual Owls of 13 species seen. We began in the Andaman Islands where we recorded all 21 endemics, with Andaman Scops and Walden’s Scops Owls, Andaman and Hume’s Hawk Owls leading the way, good looks at Andaman Crake, Andaman Woodpigeon and Andaman Cuckoo Dove, plus all others with the pre-fix ‘Andaman’ (although the Barn Owl was a heard only.)…

2013 [12 December] - Simon Harrap - Northern India

PDF Report

…Amongst the waterbirds Black- necked Stork and Sarus Crane were obvious stars, whilst a concentration of over 1,000 Bar-headed Geese was outstanding. The subcontinent’s great rivers gave us Black-bellied and River Terns, Indian Skimmer, Ibisbill and Great Stone Plover, and other waders included the sought-after Indian Courser and White-tailed Lapwings. Raptors were thin on the ground, but we did see Pallas’s Fish Eagle and Indian Spotted, Greater Spotted and Eastern Imperial Eagles, and the eight species of owl..

2014 [01 January] - Frank Lambert - West India

PDF Report

…After lunch we tracked down an obliging pair of Stoliczka’s Bushchats and spend more than 30 minutes appreciating these increasingly rare birds. As we did so, we found another four bustards, although these were almost certainly some of the same birds we had seen earlier. Several vultures then put in an appearance, gradually coming nearer and nearer until their identification was easily confirmed. Two huge Monk Vultures were joined by a couple of Red-headed Vultures and Eurasian Griffons, confirming that this part of India it is still possible to encounter several species of these rare birds…

2014 [01 January] - James Eaton - West India

PDF Report

…An afternoon walk along the river and reedbed was similar to the morning; pleasant general birding and great views of some particularly confiding Moustached Warblers, Baya and Black-breasted Weavers, Red Avadavats, Black-rumped Flamebacks, raucous Jungle Babblers and a Hoopoe posing in a trackside tree….

2014 [02 February] - Dion Hobcroft

PDF Report

…A pair of Spotted Owlets, disturbed from their slumbers, saw off a nosy pair of Rose-ringed Parakeets. Brown-headed Barbets gave fine views in the old growth fig trees, vocalizing with tremendous stamina, beaks closed…

2014 [03 March] - Kari Haataja - NE India

PDF

…Our bird guide, Sikkim based Lakpa Tenzing Sherpa, was waiting us with two drivers and cars. Soon we were on our way towards mandatory destination: Guwahati rubbish dump. The place is holding high number of endangered Greater Adjutants…

2014 [04 April] - Hannu Jannes - Northeast frontier

PDF

…Some of the more memorable bird highlights of the tour included White-bellied Heron, Greater Adjutant, Jerdon’s Baza, Changeable, Mountain and Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagles, the critically endangered Slender-billed and White-backed Vultures, Pied Harrier, Pallas’s and Grey-headed Fish Eagles, Oriental Hobby, a heard only Sclater's Monal, Swamp Francolin, White-cheeked Partridge at its roost, Grey Peacock- Pheasant, Watercock, great views of a male Hodgson’s Frogmouth, memorable encounters with Dark- rumped Swifts, five species of hornbill including some really obliging Rufous-necked Hornbills, a lovely male Ward’s Trogon…

2014 [12 December] - Western Ghats Endemics

Report

...As usual our tour began from Bangalore with a short drive to Kokkare Bellure, where Spot-billed Pelicans nest right in the village. The nearby rice paddies held a good variety of herons and the striking Red-naped Ibis, while isolated trees and roadside wires provided perches for White-throated Kingfishers, Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, and Black Drongos. A late-afternoon visit to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary (near Mysore) gave us our first views of Greater Coucal, Coppersmith Barbet, a lovely Tickell's Blue-Flycatcher, and the "special" here -- a pair of Great Thick-knees...

2015 [12 December] - Kent Jonsson - Bengaluru – Kochi

PDF Report

...The first days in India Kent had to go birding on his own as Håkan had to do some "real" work prior to the real tour. Hebbal Lake and Bannerghatta National Park were visited with the result that several of the more commen southern birds were seen including a Yellowbrowed Warbler....

2016 [01 January] - Andre Weiss Pryde - Northern India

PDF Report

2016 [01 January] - Birding Ecotours - Andy Walker - Northern India

PDF Report

2016 [01 January] - Frank Lambert - Western India

PDF Report

This was yet another successful Birdquest tour to the dry north western part of India involving an epic journey through the states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat with a short visit to the state of Maharashtra in Central India at the end.

2016 [01 January] - Niels Poul Dreyer - Southwest India

PDF Report

2016 [02 February] - Dick Meijer - NE India

PDF Report

EagleNest, Kaziranga, Nameri, Sela pass, Sangti valley and Mandala road

2016 [02 February] - Dion Hobcrofy - Southern India

PDF Report

2016 [02 February] - Rich Lindie - Northern India

PDF Report

...There, we were thrilled to spend time with several common but delightful species, including three species of parakeet, Red-whiskered and Red-vented Bulbuls, scores of Black Kites, Jungle Babblers, Indian Peafowl and a Brown-headed Barbet, many of which were also new birds for all of the group members...

2016 [02 February] - Stig Jensen - Central India

PDF Report

2016 [03 March] - Dick Filby - North India

PDF Report

2016 [04 April] - Wendy Newnham - North East India

Report

...the trip was very successful with most of us seeing (or hearing) just under 400 species. At Firmbase Camp in the Namdapha NP we had a flyover of a pair of globally threatened White-bellied Herons. We had excellent views of several pairs of Mountain Bamboo Partridge a glimpse of Common Hill Partridge & we heard Rufous throated, White-cheeked, Chestnut-breasted Partridges as well as Grey Peacock Pheasant. Two of us saw Blyth's Tragopan...

2016 [11 November] - Wayne Jones - South India

PDF Report

...In the afternoon, we visited the Bodi Ghats at the far end of Munnar. We had scintillating sightings of the shy Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, with Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Ashy Woodswallow and Square-tailed Bulbul, among others, as support acts.....

2016 [12 December] - Aseem Kothiala - Western Ghats

Report

...We spent our early morning trying to photograph the Brown-Hawk Owl and the entire afternoon session looking for the Sri Lanka Bay Owl but in vain. On the last day we spent some time birding with Sudha Ma'am, who was also a very keen birder and showed us the Vernal Hanging Parrot, Malabar Woodshrike, Malabar Grey Hornbill and Sunbirds. At a distant we could hear the calls of Jungle owlet and Treepie's....

2016 [12 December] - Dave Farrow - Northern India

PDF Report

...We found plenty of Slaty-headed and Plum-headed Parakeet, Black-headed Jay, a Rufous-tailed Lark, Indian Bush Lark, the holy trinity of Nepal, Pygmy and Scaly-bellied Wren-Babblers, plus Brook’s Leaf Warbler, Black-faced and Booted Warbler, Black-chinned Babbler, six species of Laughingthrush including Rufous-chinned, Chestnut-bellied and White-tailed Nuthatch, Wallcreeper, Chestnut and Black-throated Thrushes, White-tailed Rubythroat, Golden Bush Robin, dapper Spotted Forktails, Blue-capped Redstart, Variable Wheatear, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Black-breasted Weaver, Altai Accentor, Brown Bullfinch, Blyth’s Rosefinch (a write-in), Crested, White-capped and Red-headed Bunting....

2016 [12 December] - Dibyendu Ash - North Bengal & East Sikkim

Report

...Rufous-bellied Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle and Crested Serpent Eagles are worth mentioning. Otherwise for three Brown Bullfinches we had spent nearly an hour to see them and photograph them properly. We got all three Yuhinas on that day too - Rufous-vented Yuhina, Striated Yuhina and Whiskered Yuhina (the most common one in Himalayas and South Assam Hills)....

2016 [12 December] - Wayne Jones

PDF Report

...Between the hotel garden and our little walk down the road, we found Grey Francolin, Indian Peafowl, the ubiquitous Black Kite, Red-wattled Lapwing, Eurasian Collared Dove, six lovely Yellow-footed Green Pigeons, Asian Koel, Green Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Brown-headed and Coppersmith Barbets, Rose-ringed and Plumheaded Parakeets, Black Drongo, Red-vented Bulbul, Greenish Warbler, Ashy Prinia, Common Tailorbird, Jungle Babbler, Indian Robin, Oriental Magpie-Robin, a female Black Redstart and Purple Sunbird....

2017 [01 January] - Devaram T - TamilNadu and Kerala

Report

...Talking of surprises Eravikulam came up with a huge bundle. First was a flyby Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, the size and the color was hard to miss. Being dipping the target birds, we were tired physically and mentally. We rested at the hilltop canteen and while sipping the hot coffee, a Nilgiri Pipit was walking through the leaf litter right below the canteen dump site. All of the sudden, it became a busy dumpsite. A huge family of Painted Bush Quails joined the fray along with Nilgiri Flycatcher, White-bellied Blue Robin, Indian Blackbird, Common Rosefinches, Kerala Laughingthrushes. We then bid good bye to Munnar and headed to Valparai. Overnight at Valparai...

2017 [01 January] - James Eaton - Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra

PDF Report

A region long neglected has now become a popular destination due to the large number of very rare and, in many cases declining, subcontinent endemics reliant on the natural grasslands of Central and West India. We managed a clean-sweep of all of the specialities of the region, with pride of place going to the regal Great Indian Bustard after just an hour of searching. Among the 344 species recorded, the list of megas was impressive; Rufous-vented Grass-babbler, Jerdon’s Babbler, Mountain Chiffchaff, Yellow-eyed Dove, Green Avadavat, Macqueen’s Bustard, Hypocolius, Sociable Lapwing, Sykes’s Nightjar, White-naped Tit, Crab Plover, Stoliczka’s Bushchat, Mottled Wood Owl, Vigors’s Sunbird and to finish off, the critically endangered Forest Owlet. Add in some impressive mammals and some of the finest food in Asia, and this was a wonderful visit to one of India’s most exciting areas....

2017 [01 January] - Oliver Simms - Western India

PDF Report

...As we had seen most the key species, we set off on the three hour drive to Agra just before midday. This drive was amazingly productive as we saw 2 Wooly-necked Stork, Long-legged Buzzard, many Egyptian Vulture, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon and an excellent total of 9 Sarus Crane....

2017 [01 January] - Oscar Campbell - Northwest India

PDF Report

...Stork colony sensational, with hundreds of young Painted Storks about to fledge, or having just done so, plus a few Woolly-necked and Asian Openbill. Black-necked Stork proved tricky but was eventually seen by taking a boat trip into the flooded meadows (boats start from the second checkpoint)....

2017 [02 February] - Machiel Valkenburg

PDF Report

...The forested zones were very interesting, and we came across many feeding flocks holding great numbers of species and individuals. We had good looks at some interesting passerines like White-throated Fantail, Yellow-bellied Fairy-Fantail, Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher, Indian Nuthatch, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Gray-hooded Warbler, Whistler´s Warbler, Oriental White-eye, and a stunning Orange-bellied Leafbird. Along the river birding was good with a gorgeous full adult Pallas’s Fish-Eagle coming overhead while River Lapwing, Crested Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Brown Dipper, Plumbeous Water Redstart, White-capped Water Redstart, and White-browed Wagtail all showed very well....

2017 [02 February] - Max Breckenridge

PDF Report

...A mixed flock of gulls and terns feeding over the water included Whiskered Terns with Black-headed, Brown-headed and Pallas's Gull. Just before entering the reedbeds we locked on to a Blyth's Reed Warbler along with an obliging Greenish Warbler and Bluethroat...

2017 [02 February] - Mike Nelson

PDF Report

...Great and Indian Cormorant were common and out in the grasses loads of Red-wattled Lapwing were visible. Our main target here, Jerdon’s Babbler skulking in the grasses was very responsive but reluctant to show, but eventually we found a pair that were more obliging and showed very well before we headed back. Another bonus here was a little Jack Snipe that flushed from the fields as we were walking around....

2017 [02 February] - Terry Stevenson - Northern India

Report

...at the world-famous wetland of Bharatpur. Water levels have been low in recent years, but this time was just fantastic, with flocks of hundreds of Graylag and Bar-headed geese, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, the Eurasian form of Green-winged Teal, and lesser numbers of Indian Spot-billed Ducks, Ferruginous Ducks, and Red-crested Pochards. We also saw hundreds of Painted Storks, along with Asian Openbill, Indian Cormorant, Dalmatian Pelican, Black Bittern, Black-headed Ibis, and Eurasian Spoonbill. Displaying Sarus Cranes were a real treat, and Greater Spotted Eagles were often in the bare trees around the water, while on the floating vegetation we watched both Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed jacanas. Our local guide helped us find Dusky Eagle-Owl at a nest, and Oriental Scops-Owl at a day roost. On a day trip to the Bund Baretha and Bayana area we added the critically endangered Indian Vulture, plus Brown-headed Barbet, our first Wallcreeper, Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Orange-headed Thrush, and Red Avadavat. We also saw several hundred Indian Flying-Foxes, and troops of Rhesus Monkeys and Common Langurs that were to become a daily feature of the tour.....

2017 [03 March] - Peregrine Rowse - Western Ghats

PDF Report

...had a nice Drongo Cuckoo. We walked in a degraded secondary forest patch near a tourist resort appropriately called Sparrow Valley quickly finding Grey fronted Green Pigeons and a couple of lovely Orange headed Thrush. Jijo had a staked out Brown wood Owl nest with a well grown chick; we had great views of both the chick in its nest hole and an adult bird. We found the striking Large billed leaf Warbler, gorgeous Blue throated blue Flycatcher and a Paradise Flycatcher....

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Chambal Safari Lodge - Uttar Pradesh

Accommodation

The Chambal Safari Lodge ‘Mela Kothi’ is an oasis of calm and tranquillity, nestling in the midst of a 35 acre plantation of large shady trees. The birds of course are quite noisy, especially the Parakeets and the Babblers (called ‘gossip mongers’ in the local dialect, after their habit of gathering in large groups and all babbling at the same time!). The resident Brown hawk owl and Flying foxes (fruit bats) don’t seem to mind though, and slumber on regardless…

Jungle Lore Birding Lodge

Accommodation

The lodge has 2 well-furnished and tastefully designed cottages with double beds and attached baths which provide all modern amenities. The design provides good ventilation and the roofs give good insulation in cold weather. The sit-out of each cottage has valley view. The bird feeders are kept outside each cottage to attract local birds. We do not host more than 6-8 birders at a time.

Lazy Days - (Goa)

Accommodation

In the pages on this web site there is a range of privately owned villas, cottages and apartments for short-term holiday rental in the tiny West Coast Indian State of Goa. You will find a small number of select properties that have been personally hand-picked ranging from delightful 1 bedroom apartments to large 4 bedroom villas on private estates.

Travel made easy

Accommodation

A portmanteau site with some good info and advice and a way to book hotels on line for Indian destinations…

Organisations

Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History

Website

SACON or the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History was formally inaugurated on 5th June 1990 and registered as a society under the Society Registration Act 1860. SACON, an autonomous organization is a national centre for studies in Ornithology and Natural History. The centre was named befittingly after Dr. Sálim Ali in appreciation of his life long services to India's bird life and conservation of natural resources…

Sanctuary Asia

Website

Sanctuary Asia, India`s leading wildlife, conservation and environment magazine, was started by editor Bittu Sahgal in 1981 to raise awareness among Indians of their disappearing natural heritage.

Festivals

Indian Bird Fair

Website

The Indian Bird Fair (IBF) is held every year in the city of Jaipur (Rajasthan). It is the only event of its kind in India. Conducted on the shores of Man Sagar Lake (Jal Mahal), in the city of Jaipur, during winter when the migratory species are present, the Fair presents an opportunity for education and awareness activities that benefit the bird resource in India…

Reserves

Wildlife Sanctuaries

Website

India has a network of about 80 national parks and 440 sanctuaries dotted around the country.While some are inaccessible, many have excellent facilities for visitors. Depending on the area and terrain, wildlife watching provides its own excitement.

Forums & Mailing Lists

Birds of Bombay

Mailing List

To post to list: birdsofbombay@yahoogroups.com

List contact: birdsofbombay-owner@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe to list: birdsofbombay-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Discussion Group "Bombay City has coastline, marshes, wetlands , forests and hills. Consequently, several species of birds have been recorded. There are several birders staying in different parts of the city .Due to the distances and the traffic jams, find it difficult to assemble at one place and exchange notes. This e-group seeks to provide such a meeting place."

bngbirds

Mailing List

To post to list: bngbirds@yahoogroups.com

List contact: bngbirds-owner@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe to list: bngbirds-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Discussion Group Intended to be a forum for the exchange of informationincluding notices, etc. pertaining to the birds and otherwildlife of the city of Bangalore in India, and its environs.

DelhiBird

Mailing List

To post to list: delhibird@yahoogroups.com

List contact: delhibird-owner@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe to list: delhibird-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Discussion Group - a group of nature lovers who meet at different locales for birding in Delhi and Northern India…

Blogs

On the Indian Bird Trails

Blog

There are 1200 bird species in India this website will attempt to record a sighting and photograph every one…

The Indian Birding Experience

Blog

A compilation of trip reports of birding in India along with pictures from Deepak - A Doctor by education, Nature lover by birth, Gardening in my free time, Music lover, Birder, Trekker….

Other Links

AVIS-IBIS

Website

An Avian Information System - Indian BioDiversity Information System - Welcome to AVIS (Avian Information System of India), an internet-based and peer-reviewed resource devoted to Indian Birds. India is one of the 17 "mega diverse" countries of the world. The endeavour behind this portal is to disseminate comprehensive info…

Birding India 2000

Website

November 5th was a Sunday and was our day off. Our hosts kindly arranged for a trip to the Taj Mahal near Agra going via Bharatpur. It took us five hours to get to Bharatpur where we had two hours, then we drove to Agra and the Taj…

Birds of Kolkata

Website

This web site is aimed at introducing the birds of Kolkata in their natural environment, the city of Kolkata. The key to this web site will be a photographic guide to the birds of the city. All pictures appearing on this site will be shot in the 250 square kilometers of the city depicted in the accompanying map, the actual Kolkata as the residents know it.

Books on Ornithology published in India

Website

Please find below a selection of books on Ornithology published in India. Many of these titles are further linked to provide the complete table of contents of the books along with excerpts from the jacket/preface. If you do not find a title you are looking for in the list below, please e-mail us at vedams@vedamsbooks.com and we shall do our best to procure it. We can supply you any title published in India.

British Birdwatcher in Pune

Website

From 22nd January to 26th February 1998 a birdwatcher (Ornithoscopus binoculus) showing characteristics of the race britannicus was present in and around Pune, Maharashtra.On the basis of the bare parts on the head, it was adjudged to be a male.During the week it was exclusively to be found in the offices of Mahindra British Telecom in Pune, but on weekends and public holidays it was catholic in its choice of habitat, frequenting lakes, rivers, marshes, dry-deciduous and evergreen forest, scrub and scattered woodland, dry grassland, semi-desert and urban areas.On one occasion it even visited a sandy sea-shore. Friends, I was that birdwatcher.

Checklists Of Birds For National Parks And Sanctuaries In India

Website

…some suggestions for sources other than JBNHS, Hornbill, Newsletter for Birdwatchers…

delhibird - The Northern India Bird Network

Website

Site guide, recent sightings, photo gallery, checklists and more…

India Birds

Website

In this website, I have attempted to bring to you birds found in India, in the wild, in their natural habitat, as God made them. Enjoy yourselves & thanks for dropping in! - Vijay Cavale

Indian Birds Club

Website

The site of Indian Birds fans from Russia...

Indian Wildlife

Website

The following trip reports are either my own, or they are reproduced with the permission of the author. All reports dealing with the Natural History of the Indian subcontinent are appropriate for this site.

Indian Wildlife

Website

India has a network of about 80 National Parks and 441 Sanctuaries, covering four per cent of its land area. Most of them have excellent facilities for visitors. India has a network of about 80 National Parks and 441 Sanctuaries, covering four per cent of its land area. Most of them have excellent facilities for visitors.

Journal of Indian Bird Records

Website

The Journal of Indian Bird Records and Conservation is the pioneering gratis internet-based ornithological publication of the Harini Nature Conservation Foundation. The Journal welcomes original articles, scientific papers, field checklists, sighting records, habitat notes and conservation recommendations about bird species known from the Indian Subcontinent.

Walk The Wilderness

Website

Wildlife in India in pictures…

Photographers & Artists

Birds of India

Gallery

Photographs of Indian Birds by Sandipan

Gallery - India Birds

Gallery

In this website, I have attempted to bring to you birds found in India, in the wild, in their natural habitat, as God made them. Enjoy yourselves & thanks for dropping in! - Vijay Cavale

Photographer - Mic Clark - Wildlife Photography

Gallery

Some very beautiful work here - particularly from Southern India…