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Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Long-tailed Parakeet Psittacula longicauda ©Laurence Poh Website

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands pronunciation is a union territory of India. Informally, the territory's name is often abbreviated to A & N Islands, or ANI. It is located in the Indian Ocean, in the southern reaches of the Bay of Bengal, near Myanmar and Indonesia.

It comprises two island groups - the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands - which separate the Andaman Sea to the east from the Indian Ocean. These two groups are separated by the 10° N parallel, the Andamans lying to the north of this latitude, and the Nicobars to the south. The capital of this territory is the Andamanese town of Port Blair.

The territory's population as per the most recent (2001) Census of India was 356,152. Added together, the total land area of the territory is approximately 6,496 km² or 2,508 sq mi.

There are 572 islands in the territory, of which only some 38 are permanently inhabited. Most of the islands (about 550) are in the Andamans group, 26 of which are inhabited. The smaller Nicobars comprise some 22 main islands (10 inhabited). The Andamans and Nicobars are separated by a channel (the Ten Degree Channel) some 150 km wide.

The reserves and protected forests extend over 86% area of the territory and forest covers more than 92%. About half of the forests has been set aside as Tribal Reserves, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, which are inviolate. Mangroves occupy nearly 12% of the territory. There are more than 150 endemic plant and animals species. It is a birding paradise with around 271 species of which 39 are endemic.

ANI has also 270 species of birds (including endemics); the Nicobar island group has a higher endemicity than the Andamans and there are a total of 14 species endemic to ANI. The State Bird of the Andamans is the Andaman Wood pigeon.



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Number of endemics: 17

Species endemic to the Andaman islands:

Andaman Serpent-eagle Spilornis elgini
Andaman Crake Rallina canningi
Brown Coucal Centropus andamanensis
Andaman Scops-owl Otus balli
Narcondam Hornbill Aceros narcondami
Andaman Woodpecker Dryocopus hodgei
Andaman Drongo Dicrurus andamanensis
Andaman Treepie Dendrocitta bayleyi

Species endemic to the Nicobar islands:

Nicobar Serpent-eagle Spilornis minimus
Nicobar Sparrowhawk Accipiter butleri
Nicobar Parakeet Psittacula caniceps
Nicobar Bulbul Hypsipetes nicobariensis

Species endemic to the two island groups:

Nicobar Scrubfowl Megapodius nicobariensis
Andaman Woodpigeon Columba palumboides
Andaman Cuckoo-dove Macropygia rufipennis
Andaman Hawk-owl Ninox affinis
White-headed Starling Sturnia erythropygia


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Useful Reading

* Field Guides & Bird Song

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

Guides & Tour Operators

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Asian Adventures

Tour Operator

This tour is designed to see the endemics of Andaman Islands. One can expect to see Andaman crake, Andaman coucal, Andaman treepie, Andaman serpent eagle, Andaman wood pegion, Andaman scops owl, Andaman brown hawk owl, Andaman cuckoo dove, Andaman woodpecker, Andaman drongo, white-headed starling, Black-headed Bulbul, Andaman Shama…

Sinclairs Bird Watching

Tour Operator

Hotel Sinclairs offers three exotic destinations for bird lovers, namely Dooars, Portblair and Ooty. A pursuit for families, groups and individuals, birdwatching is becoming increasingly popular today. Birding is easy and inexpensive, requiring minimal equipment, skill and physical fitness. With their diverse habitats and hospitable climate, it is easy to see why the three destinations among the best for birdwatching in the Indian sub-continent…

Trip Reports

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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.

2009 [02 February] - Garima Bhatia


After two years of vacationing in Goa – most satisfactorily, I might add – we decided that our beach vacation for 2009 would be to the Andaman Islands instead. Of course, my interest in going to Andamans was very far from beach bumming…

2010 [11 November] - Steve Lister


I visited South Andaman for four days in November 2010 along with Les Colley and Andrew and Ann Duff. The visit was arranged for us as part of a more extensive southern India trip…

2013 [02 February] - John & Jane Hopkins

Report PDF

Annotated list…

2013 [02 February] - New Horizons


…By 7.30am we were at a feeding station set up by Eldhose, almost immediately enjoying fabulous views of Malabar Grey Hornbills, White-cheeked Barbets, a couple of little Black-throated Munias, a dozen or so fabulously smart Grey Junglefowl and a male Black-rumped Flameback, as well as Jungle Babbler, Common Myna, Ashy Drongo, an iridescent blue Bronzed Drongo and the extravagantly coiffured Red-whiskered Bulbul….

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.)…

2016 [03 March] - James Eaton - Kashmir, Andamans & Western Ghats

PDF Report

From the north-westernmost tip of the subcontinent to the south-east islands of the Andamans and finishing off in the southwest of the peninsula, this custom tour covered a vast area of India in search of some of the most sought-after endemics.

2016 [10 October] - Oscar Campbell

PDF Report

... Only Walden’s Scops-Owl was calling on the north side of the forest and none were close; two very early mornings both produced good looks at Hume’s Hawk-Owl (common on voice up until 0500) but only a distantly vocalising Andaman Hawk-Owl. Buses stopped running at about 1800 and the road through the forest was rather busy with traffic between dusk (1700) and then, meaning a long pre-dawn walk was necessary. However, this did yield singing Andaman Nightjars....

2016 [11 November] - Dave Farrow

PDF Report

A wonderful suite of endemics were seen, beginning with our extension to the Andaman Islands where we were able to find 20 of the 21 endemics, with Andaman Scops and Walden’s Scops Owls, Andaman and Hume’s Hawk Owls leading the way, Andaman Woodpigeon and Andaman Cuckoo Dove, good looks at 2 BirdQuest Tour Report: South India and Sri Lanka 2016 www.birdquest-tours.com Andaman Crake, plus all the others with the title ‘Andaman’ (with the exception of the Barn Owl) and a rich suite of other birds such as Ruddy Kingfisher, Oriental Pratincole, Long-toed Stint, Long-tailed Parakeets and Mangrove Whistler. In Southern India we birded our way from the Nilgiri Hills to the lowland forest of Kerala finding Painted and Jungle Bush Quail, Jungle Nightjar, White-naped and Heart-spotted Woodpeckers, Malabar Flameback...

Places to Stay

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Andaman Resort


Unlike some resort hotels, where palm trees are artificially planted, the Andaman Resort is situated in an environment that is natural. The number on the map represents the area where the animal, bird or reptile was sited. Click on the number to see a picture of the animal.

Other Links

Andaman & Nicobar Islands


It is a birds paradise - more than 271 varieties of birds inhabit the idyllic landscape, out of which 39 are endemic. Megapode, Swiftlet, Hornbill and Nicobar Pigeon are some of the specialties of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands…

Andaman Bird Watching


Known for its rich, unique and endemic biodiversity, Andaman and Nicobar Islands have always been an attraction for bird watchers and ornithologists. As many as 241 species and subspecies of birds are reported from these islands, 106 of them being endemic to these islands. Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been declared as two of the 218 Endemic Birds Areas of the world. Includes Photo gallery of Andaman birds…