Uttar Pradesh is bordered on the north side by Nepal and Tibet and in India, by Himachal Pradesh on the northwest, Haryana and the union territory of Delhi on the west, Rajasthan on the southwest, Madhya Pradesh state on the south, and Bihar on the east. Its capital is Lucknow. In the Vedic period, Uttar Pradesh formed part of the ancient country of Madhyadesha. From the 16th -18th c., it was the Mughals who remained rulers. The British gradually extended their power west from Bengal in the 19th century, and, in 1857, Uttar Pradesh became the main scene of the Mutiny against the British.
The entire state has a tropical monsoon climate. In the plains, January temperatures range from 12.5º-17.5º C and May records 27.5º-32.5º C, with a maximum of 45º C. Rainfall varies from 1,000-2,000 mm in the east to 600-1,000 mm in the west. Uttar Pradesh has a population of 167 million. Taj Mahal is the most famous landmark of Uttar Pradesh. Other memorable places to visit are the historic cities of Agra and Jhansi; the pilgrim towns of Varanasi, Allahabad, Mathura-Vrindavan; Buddhist centres like Sarnath. Uttar Pradesh (before its division that created the new state of Uttranchal) lay between latitudes 23º 45' and 31º 30' North and longitudes 77º 0' and 85º0' East and has a geographic area of about 294 lac hectare. Bounded by ranges of Himalayas in North and Vindhyas in South with the Gangetic Plains lying in between in an elongated shape in west-east direction. Physio-graphically it is divided into two regions.
The Gangetic Plains: which have highly fertile alluvial soils and flat topography broken by numerous ponds, lakes and rivers
The Southern Plateau: which have hard rock Strata and a varied topography of hills, plains, valleys and plateau.
Throughout there is limited water availability.
Some of the best hotspots for birders are set out below:
Dudhwa National Park
The park comprises of sal forests, marshes and grasslands which harbour a wide variety of wildlife. The park is famous for the swamp deer (barasingha) & reintroduced one-horned rhino. Dudhwa has the distinction of having the largest surviving population of this endangered species, their presence rendered more spectacular by the propensity for segregation of the antlered males. Dudhwa also has an abundance of birds. Its marshes are home to a range of water birds both local and migratory. There are spectacular Painted Storks, Black and White-necked Storks, Sarus Cranes and varied night birds of prey, ranging from the great Indian Horned Owl to the Jungle Owlet. It is an ideal paradise for birders to see the Lesser Bengal Florican and Swamp Francolin both on the red alert list. Woodpeckers, barbets, kingfishers, minivets, bee-eaters, and bulbuls flit through the forest canopy.
Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary
This little known sanctuary near the Nepal border sprawls over an area of 400 sq. kms and was established in 1976. Tiger, leopard, swamp deer, blackbuck, chital, barking deer, sambar, nilgai, sloth bear and wild boar are some of the inhabitants of the sanctuary. Gharial and magar can be found in the Girwa River and its tributaries…
National Chambal Sanctuary
The large area of National Chambal park is shared by the three states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The sanctuary houses many endangered inhabitants like Gangetic dolphin, Mugger crocodiles, gharial, chinkara, samber, nilgai wolf and wild boar. The nearest airport is situated at Agra, which is 90km away from the sanctuary and nearest railhead is also at Agra. It is one of the best places to see the Indian Skimmer. The sanctuary hosts more than 200 species of birds…
Patna Pakshi Vihar
About 200,000 birds of 300 different species of birds frequent the sanctuary. Pied Mynas, herons, cormorants & ducks and geese of all descriptions also frequent the Sanctuary. Patna Sanctuary is best during the winter months as most of the birds tend to leave in March…
Number of Species
State Bird: Sarus Crane Grus antigone
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Birds of Northern India
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Dudhwa National Park
Due to the topography, swamplands and location of the park, it is a haven for all kinds of bird species. An amazing 400 species and more have been recorded within it's boundaries. The park is also famous for it's variety of resident owl species. It is home to the Great Horned Owl, the Forest Eagle Owl, the Brown Fish Owl, the Tawny Fish Owl, the Dusky Horned Owl, the Brown Wood Owl, the Scops Owl and Jungle Owlets.
Jim Corbett National Park
Nestling in the foothils of the Himalayas, the tiger reserve extends over an area of 1200 sq. km. The Ramganga River flows through the park and little forest streams tumble through the ravines. While dense stands of sal cloak the higher ridges, mixed deciduous forests are found throughout the park…
Jim Corbett National Park
Corbett Park is a birdwatcher1s dream come true. The park, with its rich biogeographic diversity, is home to more than 600 species of birds - about half of the total species found in the entire Indian subcontinent! You can see parakeets, owls, orioles, drongos, thrushes, babblers, bulbuls, cuckoos, doves, bee eaters, rollers, flycatchers, warblers, robins, chats, finches, forktails, hornbills, kingfishers and many many more. It is also possibly one of the best places in the world for observing birds of prey. About 50 species out of the total 70 odd species found in South East Asia live in the park. The numerous water bodies provide an ideal habitat for ducks and waders.
Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread over an area of 400 sq. kms near the Nepal border, this little known sanctuary was established in 1976. Tiger, leopard, swamp deer, blackbuck, chital, barking deer, sambar, nilgai, sloth bear and wild boar are some of the inhabitants of the sanctuary. Gharial and magar can be found in the Girwa river and its tributaries…
Nanda Devi National Park
Nanda Devi National Park is situated in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The spectacular panoramas of peaks encircling the National Park are Trishul (7120 m) Dunagiri (7066 m) Nanda Devi (7817 m) Nanda Devi East (7430 m) Bethartoli (6352 m) etc.. The beautiful surroundings with abundant flora and fauna like Brahma-Kamal and Bharal (blue mountain goat) make this a sanctuary of nature…
National Chambal Sanctuary
The large area of National Chambal park is shared by the three states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. This sanctuary is famous for the rare gangetic dolphin…
Patna Bird Sanctuary
The sanctuary is situated near the town of Agra (of Taj Mahal fame); from the hotel district, one should head towards the River Yamuna, and take a left turn after crossing the river. The road to Patna turns right just before a building with a painted Pepsi ad…
Guides & Tour Operators
e.g. Corbett National Park, Pangot (Nainital), Sat Tal, Chambal, Bharatpur, Ranthambhor NP - This tour is designed for fast pace birding in northern region of India. This has proven to be an extremely productive tour. This tour can be customized. Best time: November to April…
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
A birdwatcher's paradise, the Sanctuary currently boasts of 264 species of resident and migratory birds including large numbers of the rare Indian Skimmer, Greater Thick-knee, Small Pratincole, and Lapwings. The Chambal is also home to Marsh Crocodiles (muggers), Gharials (gavials), eight species of Turtles, Smooth coated Otters and the rare and endangered Gangetic Dolphins…
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.
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.
2010 [08 August] - Dipu Karuthedathu
…we decided to head to Corbett National Park to give a boost to our trip list! Though the park was closed, with the help of Manoj Sharma, we fixed our base and chartered our birding trails in the surrounding forests. Just after settling in the hotel, the dying hours of the day gave us our first Dark-sided Flycatcher, lucky indeed! Next day, we birded on the Garjia-Kumeria road and around Mohan…
2013 [03 March] - Martin Birch
…I was soon enjoying my first of many Hume’s Leaf Warblers, then a winter-plumaged Taiga Flycatcher, whilst a secretive Purple Heron worked an area of reed below the path. On the marsh dozens of Garganey and Ferruginous Duck were scattered amongst the hundreds of Shoveler and Teal, whilst small groups of Black-winged Stilts, Little, Intermediate and Great Egrets worked the edge of the marsh. Pretty quickly I picked up a distant White-tailed Plover, the first of 4 birds that we saw during the day. Little Cormorants rested on bundles of floating vegetation, whilst a White-breasted Kingfisher added some colour to the morning…
2015 [04 April] - Nick Crouch - Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Agra & Delhi
Whilst not caring what birds I saw as long as I saw a Tiger, I did of course want to see as many birds as possible... Having been to Goa in 2007, I had also seen many of the available species before, but still had plenty to go it; in the end, I saw 163 species, of which 37 were new for me. I didnâ€™t take a scope (instead taking my DSLR), and most of the time didnâ€™t miss it â€“ although it would have been useful for distant waders at Okhla Bird Sanctuary, and raptors and pipits in Bandhavgarh.
2016 [05 May] - Stuart Vine - Delhi, Agra & Ranthambore
Our next stop was Agra and the Taj Mahal. Undeniably jaw-dropping, but perhaps a touch over-familiar. However, Erica turned to me and said "What's that!?" That was the scruffiest looking immature Egyptian Vulture I've ever seen. It flew on to a water spout and spent its time looking at the tourists, while occasionally trying to poo on them from a great height! The Taj is great, but that made it for me.
Places to Stay
Chambal Safari Lodge
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…
The Corbett Hideaway is concealed in the thick of a mango grove, where in season, the mangoes hang ripe and luscious right against your door! Exotic mixed shrubbery, alive with flowers, is crossed by pebbled paths lead to charming cottages with sitouts. The wonderful stillness is broken only by the sound of the Kosi river and myriad birds.
Tiger Camp - Corbett National Park
Tiger Camp is located on the eastern periphery of Corbett National Park surrounded by thick jungles on one side and river Kosi on the other. The advantage of staying here is that you get comfortable lodging and it is the base for visits to some of the best areas of the park such as Jhirna, Bijrani, Dhikala and Lohachaur. …and very nice it is too, good food, comfortable accommodation and terrific birds… Fatbirder