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Bihar

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia ©Laurence Poh Website

Bihar, pronunciation is a state in eastern India. Bihar is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size 38,202 sq mi (99,200 km²) and 3rd largest by population. Close to 85 per cent of the population lives in the rural countryside. Almost 58 per cent of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest in India. Bihar lies mid-way between the humid West Bengal in the east and the sub humid Uttar Pradesh in the west which provides it with a transitional position in respect of climate, economy and culture. It is bounded by the country Nepal in the north and by Jharkhand in the south. The Bihar plain is divided into two unequal halves by the river Ganga which flows through the middle from west to east. Bihar has notified forest area of 6,764.14 km², which is 7.1 per cent of its geographical area. Hindi and Urdu are the official languages of the state, whilst the majority of the people speak one of the Bihari languages (once considered to be dialects of Hindi) - Bhojpuri, Magadhi, Maithili or Angika. Ancient Bihar, known as Magadha, was a center of power, learning and culture in ancient and classical India. From Magadha arose India's first empire, the Maurya empire as well as one of the world's greatest pacifist religion, Buddhism. Magadha empires, notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule. Its capital Patna, earlier known as Patliputra, was an important center of Indian civilization.

Geography: Bihar is mainly a vast stretch of very fertile flat land. It is drained by the Ganges River, including northern tributaries Gandak and Koshi originating in the Nepal Himalayas and the Bagmati originating in the Kathmandu Valley that regularly flood parts of the Bihar plains. The total area covered by the state of Bihar is 94,163 km². the state is located between 21°-58'-10" N ~ 27°-31'-15" N latitude and between 82°-19'-50" E ~ 88°-17'-40" E longitude. Its average elevation above sea level is 173 feet (53 m). The Bihar plain is divided into two unequal halves by the river Ganga which flows through the middle from west to east. Other Ganges tributaries are the Son, Budhi Gandak, Chandan, Orhani and Falgu. The Himalayas begin at foothills a short distance inside Nepal but influence Bihar's landforms, climate, hydrology and culture. Central parts of Bihar have some small hills, for example the Rajgir hills. The Himalayan Mountains are to the north of Bihar, in Nepal. To the south is the Chota Nagpur plateau, which was part of Bihar until 2000 but now is part of a separate state called Jharkhand. Bihar has notified forest area of 6,764.14 km², which is 7.1 per cent of its geographical area.

Bihar is mildly cold in the winter (the lowest temperatures being around 5 to 10 degrees Celsius; 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit). Winter months are December and January. It is hot in the summer (with average highs around 35-40 Celsius; 95-105 Fahrenheit). April to mid June are the hot months. The monsoon months of June, July, August, and September see good rainfall. October & November and February & March have pleasant climate.

Bihar has notified forest area of 6,764.14 km², which is 7.1 per cent of its geographical area. The sub Himalayan foothill of Someshwar and Dun ranges in Champaran district another belt of moist deciduous forests. These also consists of scrub, grass and reeds. Here the rainfall is above 1,600 mm and thus promotes luxuriant Sal forests in the favoured areas. The hot and dry summer gives the deduous forests. The most important trees are Shorea Robusta (Sal), Shisham, Cedrela Toona, Khair, and Semal. This type of forests also occurs in Saharsa district and Purnia district. Shorea Robusta (sal), Dispyros melanoxylon (kendu), Boswellia serrata (salai), Terminalia tomentose (Asan), Terminalia bellayoica (Bahera), Terminalia Arjuna (Arjun), Pterocarpus Marsupium (Paisar), Madhuca indica (Mahua) are the common flora across the forest of Bihar.

The Ganges River dolphin, or “susu” occur in the Ganga and Brahmaputra, south Asia’s largest river systems. It can now be considered amongst the most endangered mammals of the region.

The Ganges River dolphin ranges from 2.3 to 2.6 meters in length. The tail fluke is on average 46 cm in width. females are larger than males. The color of this dolphin varies from lead-colored to black. The undersides are lighter in color. The rostrum is 18 to 21 cm in length and the forehead is steep and rises abruptly from the base of the snout. The dorsal fin is rudimentary and ridge-like, and the ends of the pectoral fins are squared instead of tapered. The neck is visibly constricted and the blowhole is a longitudinal slit. There are 28 to 29 teeth on either side of the jaw. The eye and optic nerve of the Ganges river dolphin are degenerate. The eye lacks a lens and is therefore incapable of forming images on the retina. However, it functions in light-detection. It is believed that the lack of a true visual apparatus in the river dolphin is related to its habitat; the water in which it lives is so muddied that vision in essentially useless.

Valmiki National Park, West Champaran district, covering about 800 km² of forest, is the 18th Tiger Reserve of India and is ranked fourth in terms of density of tiger population. It has diverse landscapes, sheltering rich wild life habitats and floral and faunal composition, with the prime pro tected carnivores.

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Wikipedia

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bihar

Number of Species

State Bird: House Sparrow Passer domesticus Will be replaced (2013) by: Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis

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

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State Bird

Indian Roller

Trip Reports

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.

Reserves

Betla National Park

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Palamu shot to fame as early as 1932 for its tiger census - the first of its kind in the world. In 1974 it became one of the countrys earliest tiger reserves. Endowed with thick tropical forests and a rich variety of fauna, the core area of the sanctuary has been declared as Betla National park (232 sq. kms.).

Chotanagpur Plateau

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The Chotanagpur plateau falls in the southern part of the Indian state of Bihar and forms the eastern end of the Vindhya ranges. The wild animals and plants inhabiting the region share their residence with the indigenous people and live a harmonious and symbiotic life.

Hazaribahg Sanctuary

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An abundance of wild animals is a very pleasant sight. Wild bear, Nilgai, Chital and Kakar can be seen at dusk and dawn, gambolling and enjoying themselves in the waters of the lake. The tiger and panther, exclusive attractions at this sanctuary demand extreme patience from the viewer. Hazaribagh perhaps holds more Sambhars than any other area of comparable size. The 1970 census has established the presence of 14 tigers, 25 Panthers and 400 Sambars.

Palamau Tiger Reserve

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There are good motorable roads inside the park that offer the motorists a close view of the wild in the dense forests. Providing excellent opportunities for observing the animals, without causing any disturbance, There are two towers and a tree top tower.

Valmiki National Park

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At present 241 bird species have been reported from VTR. Some of the interesting birds of VTR are Nepal kaleej pheasant, three-toed quail, flycatcher, grey shrike, green willow warbler, tree pipit, white eye, green barbet, waders, ibises, storks, pitta, plovers, snipes, pied hornbill, emerald dove. Mammals include Tiger, Rhinoceros, Black bear, Leopard, Wild dog, wild buffalo, wild boar etc. There are several species of deer and antelopes found in VTR which are barking deer, spotted deer, Hog deer, Shambhar, Blue bull.

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Bengal Birds

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Bengalbirds is an initiative made by some amateur birders who aims to guide common people to identify local birds, know about different types and helps to understand bird conservation…