Republic of India

Peacock Pavo cristatus ©Aseem Kumar Kothiala Website
Birding 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.
  • Umesh Srinivasan


Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 1346

    (As at April 2020)

    National Bird: Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus

  • Number of endemics: 78

    (34 Non-Passerines)

    Red Spurfowl Galloperdix spadicea, Painted Spurfowl Galloperdix lunulata, Rock Bush Quail Perdicula argoondah, Painted Bush Quail Perdicula erythrorhyncha, Manipur Bush Quail Perdicula manipurensis, Himalayan Quail Ophrysia superciliosa, Grey Junglefowl Gallus sonneratii, Andaman Teal Anas albogularis, Pink-headed Duck Netta caryophyllacea, Great Nicobar Serpent Eagle Spilornis klossi, Andaman Serpent Eagle Spilornis elgini, Nicobar Sparrowhawk Accipiter butleri, Andaman Crake Rallina canningi, Jerdon's Courser Rhinoptilus bitorquatus, Nilgiri Woodpigeon Columba elphinstonii, Andaman Woodpigeon Columba palumboides, Andaman Cuckoo-dove Macropygia rufipennis, Grey-fronted Green Pigeon Treron affinis, Andaman Green Pigeon Treron chloropterus, Nicobar Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea, Andaman Masked Owl Tyto deroepstorffi, Andaman Scops Owl Otus balli, Nicobar Scops Owl Otus alius, Forest Owlet Athene blewitti, Hume’s Hawk-owl Ninox obscura, Andaman Hawk-owl Ninox affinis, Andaman Nightjar Caprimulgus andamanicus, Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus, Narcondam Hornbill Rhyticeros narcondami, White-cheeked Barbet Psilopogon viridis, Malabar Barbet Psilopogon malabaricus, Andaman Woodpecker Dryocopus hodgei, Blue-winged Parakeet Psittacula columboides, Nicobar Parakeet Psittacula caniceps ,

    (40 Passerines)
    Malabar Woodshrike Tephrodornis sylvicola, Andaman Cuckooshrike Coracina dobsoni, White-bellied Treepie Dendrocitta leucogastra, Andaman Treepie Dendrocitta bayleyii, White-naped Tit Machlolophus nuchalis, Indian Black-lored Tit Machlolophus aplonotus, Sykes's Lark Galerida deva, Malabar Lark Galerida malabarica, Grey-headed Bulbul Brachypodius priocephalus, Andaman Bulbul Brachypodius fuscoflavescens, Yellow-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus, Cachar Bulbul Iole cacharensis, Nicobar Bulbul Hypsipetes nicobariensis, Broad-tailed Grassbird Schoenicola platyura, Rusty-throated Wren-babbler Spelaeornis badeigularis, Naga Wren-babbler Spelaeornis chocolatinus, Tawny-breasted Wren-babbler Spelaeornis longicaudatus, Nilgiri Laughingthrush Montecincla cachinnans, Banasura Laughingthrush Montecincla jerdoni, Palani Laughingthrush Montecincla fairbanki, Ashambu Laughingthrush Montecincla meridionalis, Bugun Liocichla Liocichla bugunorum, Rufous Babbler Turdoides subrufa, Wynaad Laughingthrush Ianthocincla delesserti, White-headed Starling Sturnia erythropygia, Malabar Starling Sturnia blythii, Nilgiri Thrush Zoothewra neilgherriensis, Andaman Sharma Copsychus albiventris, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher Cyornis pallidipes, Nicobar Jungle Flycatcher Rhinomyias nicobaricus, Nilgiri Flycatcher Eumyias albicaudatus, Nilgiri Blue Robin Sholicola major, White-bellied Blue Robin Sholicola albiventris, Malabar Whistling Thrush Myophonus horsfieldii, Black-and-orange Flycatcher Ficedula nigrorufa, Andaman Flowerpecker Dicaeum virescens, Crimson-backed Sunbird Leptocoma minima, Vigors's Sunbird Aethopyga vigorsii, Green Avadavat Amandava formosa, Nilgiri Pipit Anthus nilghiriensis

  • iGoTerra Checklist of India

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • A Field Guide to Birds of the Indian Subcontinent

    | By Krys Kazmierczak & Ber van Perlo | Christopher Helm | 2008 | Paperback | 352 pages, 96 colour plates, b/w illustrations, distribution maps | ISBN: 9781408109786 Buy this book from
  • A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of India

    | (Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka) | By Bikram Grewal & Garima Bhatia | John Beaufoy Books | 2014 | Paperback | 176 pages, 250 colour photos, b/w illustrations, 1 colour map | ISBN: 9781909612075 Buy this book from
  • A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh

    | By Bikram Grewal, Sumit Sen, Sarwandeep Singh, Nikhil Devasar & Garima Bhatia | Princeton University Press | 2017 | Paperback | 792 pages, 4000+ colour photos, 1300+ colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780691176499 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Southern India

    | By Richard Grimmett & Tim Inskipp | Christopher Helm | 2005 | Paperback | 240 pages, 87 colour plates, illustrations, 1 map | ISBN: 9780713651645 Buy this book from
  • Birds of the Indian Ocean (Two volumes)

    | By B Narainsamy Ramen | Narainsamy Ramen (privately published) | 2020 | Hardback | slipcase | 1068 pages, 1000+ colour photos | ISBN: 9789994905874 Buy this book from
  • 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
  • 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
  • Important Bird Areas in India

    | (Priority Sites for Conservation) | Edited by M Zafar-il Islam & Asad R Rahmani | Oxford University Press | 2005 | Hardback | 1133 pages, Tabs, photos | ISBN: 9780195673333 Buy this book from
  • Indian Bird Migration Atlas

    | By S Balachandran, Tuhina Katti & Ranjit Manakadan | Oxford University Press | 2018 | Hardback | 216 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps, tables | ISBN: 9780199485949 Buy this book from
Birding Aps
  • Birds of the Indian Subcontinent

    Apple iOS | Android
    | eGuide | | 133 MB | Requires iOS 9.3 or later |

    The eGuide to Birds of the Indian Subcontinent is an interactive companion to Birds of the Indian Subcontinent – the definitive guide for birdwatchers visiting the region. It covers India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This application has specific features that will enhance your birding experience.
  • Indian Birds

    | NATURE WEB | Requires Android 4.1 and up |

    Indian Birds app is the only application available on android market which displays bird names in regional languages (vernacular names) such as Marathi [मराठी], Hindi [हिन्दी], Sanskrit [संस्कृत], Gujarati [ગુજરાતી], Bengali [বাংলা], Kannada [ಕನ್ನಡ], Assamese [অসমীয়া], Bhojpuri [भोजपुरी], Nepali [नेपाली], Malayalam [മലയാളം], Tamil [தமிழ்], Punjabi [ਪੰਜਾਬੀ], Oriya [ଓଡ଼ିଆ] and Telugu [తెలుగు]. Indian Birds app works in offline mode and can be moved to SD Card. "Indian Birds" app is very easy to use as a field guide at birding sites as it has various information like bird's relative size, sexual differences, wildlife schedule, habitat, food, interesting facts, nesting period, etc. captured for each bird. In addition to this, the app allows to create checklists (offline) to capture on-the-field observation.
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Indian Bird Fair

    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…
  • Indian Bird Club

    Mostly a huge gallery resource
  • Indian Wildlife Club

  • Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History

    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. S
  • Sanctuary Asia

    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.

Abbreviations Key

  • Protected areas of India

    InformationSatellite View
    As of May 2004, the protected areas of India cover 156,700 square kilometres (60,500 sq mi), roughly 4.95% of the total surface area. There are four categories of Protected areas in India Constituted under the provisons of Wildlife ( Protection) ACT, 1972. Tiger Reserves are constituted by including the areas of National park sand sanctuaries. There are 50 tiger reserves in India.
Sightings, News & Forums
  • Birds of Bombay

    Mailing List
    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 yahoo-group seeks to provide such a meeting place.Please feel free to post your notes and observations regarding Birds of Bombay.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • 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 South India

    Facebook Page
    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…
  • Bluetail Birding

    Tour Operator
    Bluetail Birding is a dedicated bird tour operator offering both scheduled departure (small group) and custom travel worldwide. We specialise in bird tours across South Asia, to destinations throughout India, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka where we have been operating since 2009 as India Nature Tourism, which now acts as our ground agent in this regio
  • 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
  • India Birding Adventures

    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 Wildlife Resorts

    Tour Operator
    Birdwatching tours based in resorts around India
  • 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

    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.
  • Soar Excursions

    Tour Operator
    We specialise in designing birding trips, bird and wildlife photo tours that will make your visit to Indian Subcontinent an unforgettable experience. The Founders of Soar Excursions are passionate wild lifers, birders, and wildlife biologists. Our experts personally choose birding location, best guides and naturalists to ensure sighting of targeted birds.
  • 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
  • 2014 [02 February] - Bo Beolens

    PDF Report
    The trip was an ‘add on’ to a two week tour of southwest India ‘cleaning up’ some Western Ghats’ endemics prior to a short visit to the UAE (hence a built in rest day). Both couples have mobility issues and the youngest participant was just under 65 years old.
  • 2014 [12 December] - Western Ghats Endemics

    ...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 withthe result that several of the more commen southern birds were seen including a YellowbrowedWarbler....
  • 2016 [01 January] - Andre Weiss Pryde - Northern India

    PDF Report
  • 2016 [01 January] - Andy Walker

    PDF Report
    The tour connected with numerous exciting birds, such as Indian Skimmer, Indian Courser, Koklass and Cheer Pheasants, Painted Spurfowl, Bearded Vulture, Collared Falconet, Sarus Crane, Ibisbill, Painted Sandgrouse, Pallid Scops Owl, Tawny and Brown Fish Owls, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Great Hornbill, Sirkeer Malkoha, Long-billed Thrush, Spotted, Slaty-backed, and Little Forktails, Golden Bush Robin, Himalayan Bluetail, White-tailed (Himalayan) and Siberian Rubythroats, Wallcreeper, Rufous-breasted and Altai Accentors, and White-capped Bunting.
  • 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] - 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 [04 April] - Wendy Newnham - North East India

    ...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] - Ralf Jahraus

    PDF Report
    This report is based on a 5 weeks trip to North-East India on which I was joined by my girlfriend Thai Kong. Sites visited were Tiger Hill and Sandakphu (we did the trek) in Darjeeling, Kaziranga, Nameri and Manas in Assam and finally the Sunderbans. Most of the tour was organized by Help Tourism, Kolkata.
  • 2016 [11 November] - Ralf Jahraus

    PDF Report
    This report is based on a 5 weeks trip to North-East India on which I was joined by mygirlfriend Thai Kong. Sites visited were Tiger Hill and Sandakphu (we did the trek) inDarjeeling, Kaziranga, Nameri and Manas in Assam and finally the Sunderbans. Most of thetour was organized by Help Tourism, Kolkata.
  • 2016 [11 November] - Wayne Jones - South India

    PDF Report
    ...In the afternoon, we visited the Bodi Ghats atthe far end of Munnar. We had scintillatingsightings of the shy Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, withChestnut-headed Bee-eater, AshyWoodswallow and Square-tailed Bulbul,among others, as support acts.....
  • 2016 [12 December] - Aseem Kothiala - Western Ghats

    ...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] - Wayne Jones

    PDF Report
    ...Between the hotel garden and our little walkdown the road, we found Grey Francolin,Indian Peafowl, the ubiquitous Black Kite,Red-wattled Lapwing, Eurasian CollaredDove, six lovely Yellow-footed GreenPigeons, Asian Koel, Green Bee-eater,Eurasian Hoopoe, Brown-headed andCoppersmith Barbets, Rose-ringed and PlumheadedParakeets, Black Drongo, Red-ventedBulbul, Greenish Warbler, Ashy Prinia,Common Tailorbird, Jungle Babbler, IndianRobin, Oriental Magpie-Robin, a female Black Redstart and Purple Sunbird....
  • 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, inmany cases declining, subcontinent endemics reliant on the natural grasslands of Central and West India. Wemanaged a clean-sweep of all of the specialities of the region, with pride of place going to the regal Great IndianBustard 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’sBushchat, Mottled Wood Owl, Vigors’s Sunbird and to finish off, the critically endangered Forest Owlet. Add insome impressive mammals and some of the finest food in Asia, and this was a wonderful visit to one of India’smost 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] - 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 Lapwingwere visible. Our main target here, Jerdon’s Babbler skulking in the grasses was very responsive but reluctantto 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 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 calledSparrow Valley quickly finding Grey fronted Green Pigeons and a couple of lovely Orange headed Thrush. Jijo had a stakedout 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....
  • 2017 [10 October] - Andy Walker

    PDF Report
    The tour connected with many exciting birds, such as Indian Skimmer, Indian Courser, Kalij, Koklass, and Cheer Pheasants, Painted Spurfowl, Indian Spotted Eagle, Bearded (Lammergeier), Red-headed, Indian, and Himalayan Vultures, Collared Falconet, Sarus Crane, Black-necked Stork, Small Pratincole, Painted Sandgrouse, Brown Fish Owl, Oriental Scops Owl, Black-bellied and River Terns, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Great Hornbill, Spotted Forktail, Grey-winged Blackbird, Long-billed and Scaly Thrushes, Himalayan and Siberian Rubythroats, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Striated and Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush
  • 2017 [12 December] - Pete Aley

    This report outlines a three week trip which I undertook with my wife, Alison Rowntree, in northern India. Although we were keen to maximise birding opportunities, the overriding priority was to see Tigers, so a significant amount of time was spent in two Tiger parks. We flew into Delhi and from here, after a day trip to Sultanpur, travelled to the Chambal River for a boat safari, then to Agra to see the famous Taj Mahal, followed by the world renowned bird reserve at Bharatpur. Next we visited the Tiger parks of Ranthambhore and Bandhavgarh before returning to Delhi.
  • 2018 [01 January] - Jason Boyce

    PDF Report
    The tour connected with so many brilliant birds, such as Great Slaty Woodpecker, Ibisbill, Wallcreeper, Cheer, Koklass, and Kalij Pheasants, Bearded Vulture, Great Hornbill, Indian Skimmer, Indian Courser, Brown Hawk-Owl, Tawny Fish Owl, Golden Bush Robin, Spotted Forktail, and Brown Dipper.
  • 2018 [02 February] - Hannu Jännes - Western India

    PDF Report
    This was yet another very successful Birdquest tour to the north western of India with an epic journey through the states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat plus a short visit to the state of Maharasthra to conclude. We recorded no fewer than 330 bird species and 17 mammals, and, more importantly, we found almost every bird specialty of the dry western and central regions of the subcontinent including a number of increasingly scarce species with highly restricted ranges like the impressive Great Indian Bustard (with a world population of only 150 or so)...
  • 2018 [02 February] - Måns Grundsen

    PDF Report
    A classic birding destination. For me it was my second visit, therefore I only had a few realistic targets on this trip, for Ola it was his first trip here. Increasingly popular and crowded out means many traditional sites especially around Nainital have become less productive. We chose not to visit Cheena Peak or Snow View at Nainital. And reportedly, habitat destruction (deforestation) at Mongoli Valley has made that site less birdy. Much is happening. Pangot village is about to get overexploited with lodges. In retrospect we should have planned the route a bit differently staying two nights at Sattal first then move on to Pangot for three nights before transferring to Ramnagar. We chose not to visit Dhikala inside Corbett National Park since White-throated Bush Chat had been absent there the previous winters. And birding from a jeep seemed less appealing.
  • 2018 [03 March] - Hannu Jännes - Northern India

    PDF Report
    This year’s ‘Birds and Tigers of Northern India’ tour was again a great success providing a feast of avian and mammalian delights. We followed the classic itinerary that took us to a wide variety of habitats, from birdfilled wetlands to semi-desert scrub, from dry savanna woodland and arable farmland to the verdant forested slopes and rushing torrents of the Himalayan foothills.
  • 2018 [03 March] - Hannu Jännes = Northern India - Birds & Tigers

    PDF Report
    This year’s ‘Birds and Tigers of Northern India’ tour was again a great success providing a feast of avian and mammalian delights. We followed the classic itinerary that took us to a wide variety of habitats, from birdfilled wetlands to semi-desert scrub, from dry savanna woodland and arable farmland to the verdant forested slopes and rushing torrents of the Himalayan foothills.
  • 2018 [03 March] - Jason Boyce

    PDF Report
    The tour connected with a great number of bird families (77 to be exact), including a wonderful variety of species such as Brown Fish Owl (seen on the cover of the report), Bar-headed Goose, Jungle Bush Quail, an assortment of woodpeckers including White-naped Woodpecker, Himalayan Woodpecker, Greater Flameback, and the diminutive Speckled Piculet, Indian, Himalayan, and Bearded Vultures, Bonelli’s Eagle, the amazing Black Eagle, and Greater Spotted and Indian Spotted Eagles, as well as Indian Courser, Small Pratincole, Maroon Oriole, Cheer and Koklass Pheasants, and Chestnut-headed and Grey-bellied Tesias, as well as Slaty-backed and Spotted Forktails
  • 2018 [03 March] - Jason Boyce - Northern India

    PDF Report
    The tour connected with a great number of bird families (77 to be exact), including a wonderful variety of species such as Brown Fish Owl (seen on the cover of the report), Bar-headed Goose, Jungle Bush Quail, an assortment of woodpeckers including White-naped Woodpecker, Himalayan Woodpecker, Greater Flameback, and the diminutive Speckled Piculet, Indian, Himalayan, and Bearded Vultures, Bonelli’s Eagle, the amazing Black Eagle, and Greater Spotted and Indian Spotted Eagles, as well as Indian Courser, Small Pratincole, Maroon Oriole, Cheer and Koklass Pheasants, and Chestnut-headed and Greybellied Tesias, as well as Slaty-backed and Spotted Forktails. There are too many excellent birds to men
  • 2018 [04 April] - Craig Robson - Ultimate Northeast India

    PDF Report
    2018 saw a completely new Birdquest itinerary for this remote northeast corner of the Indian subcontinent. Our epic journey lasted nearly a month, and saw us amass a huge total of 530 species. The pre-tour extension to the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya started us off well, with Dark-rumped Swift and Tawny-breasted WrenBabbler. The grasslands and semi-deciduous forests of Orang National Park produced Slender-billed Babbler. From the Himalayan midlands to the snowy heights in the Dirang Region, we enjoyed the likes of Snow Partridge, Blood Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Black-tailed Crake...
  • 2018 [12 December] - Dave Farrow - Southern India & Sri Lanka

    PDF Report
    This years’ tour to Southern India and Sri Lanka was once again a very successful and enjoyable affair. A heady brew of wonderful birdlife was seen, rich in endemics, beginning with our extension to the Andaman Islands where we were able to find 20 of the 21 endemics in just three and a half days, with Andaman Masked Owl, Andaman Scops and Walden’s Scops Owls, Andaman and Hume’s Hawk Owls leading the way, Andaman Cuckoo Dove, great looks at Andaman Crake, plus all the others with the title ‘Andaman’ (with the fairly predictable exception of the Woodpigeon!) and a rich suite of other birds such as Long-tailed Parakeets and Mangrove Whistler. In Southern India we birded our way from the Nilgiri Hills...
  • 2019 [04 April] - Andy Walker - Southern India

    PDF Report
    A total of 226 bird species were seen (plus three species heard only). The main highlight birds of the tour were the Western Ghats and Nilgiri endemic species we saw, such as Nilgiri Blue Robin, Nilgiri Thrush, Nilgiri Pipit, White-bellied Blue Robin, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-bellied Treepie, Blue-winged (Malabar) Parakeet, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Black-and-Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri and Palani Laughingthrushes, Greyheaded and Flame-throated Bulbuls, Grey Junglefowl, and many more. The region also plays host to a number of birds shared with neighboring Sri Lanka, such as Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Malabar Trogon, and Blue-faced Malkoha, and all were seen well. Other highlight birds included White-rumped and Indian Vultures, Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, Mottled Wood Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Indian Pitta, Heart-spotted, White-bellied, and Streak-throated Woodpeckers, Indian Nuthatch, White-bellied Minivet, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Indian Black-lored Tit, Crimson-backed Sunbird, and the stunning Indian Blue Robin
  • 2019 [04 April] - Jason Boyce

    PDF Report
    The tour connected with so many phenomenal species, some of these southern specials included; Black, Yellow and Cinnamon Bitterns, Oriental Pratincole, Sarus Crane, Indian Skimmer, Black-bellied Tern and Great Thick-knee. The north produced Great Slaty Woodpecker, Great Hornbill, Brown Fish Owl, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Cheer, Koklass and Kalij Pheasants, Himalayan Shrike-babbler, Asian Fairy-bluebird, Indian Blackbird, Tickell’s, Mistle, Scaly and the rare Dark-sided and Pied Thrushes as well as Speckled Piculet and Slaty-backed and Spotted Forktails.
  • 2019 [05 May] - James Eaton - Nagaland, Eaglenest, Assam and Mishmi Hills

    PDF Report
    This mammoth tour of the Eastern Himalaya lived up to everything it was set up to be – we recorded a total of 495 species, a huge total considering nearly all wintering birds had dispersed northwards already but as always in this region, it is quality rather than quantity that impressed us most. We began in Nagaland...
  • 2019 [08 August] - Shashank Dalvi - Monsoon India

    PDF Report
    The arrival of the monsoon makes some of these birds easy to observe in a lush green background which is usually dry and yellow during other months. This tour was designed to hit just eight target species for Albert; namely Forest Owlet, Vigors’s Sunbird, Painted Francolin, Lesser Florican, Rock Bush Quail, Indian Spotted-creeper, Sind Sparrow and Bristled Grassbird. Not only did we achieve this, we ended up hitting an impressive 10 lifers for him.
  • 2019 [12 December] - Daniel Keith Danckwerts

    PDF Report
    India is perhaps one of the most exciting destinations in all of Asia and our northern India circuit routinely produces around 400 birds including several incredibly sought-after species as well as a number of highly desirable mammals
  • 2020 [01 January] - Carlos Sanchez

    PDF Report
    Our Naturalist Journeys tour to India was led by Carlos Sanchez and local operator/guide Avijit Sarkhel, owner of Vana Safaris. Carlos and Avijit were both excellent––both very knowledgeable, obviously enjoyed people, and gave their utmost to make the trip successful for everyone. Carlos has a very steady presence, in addition to his vast knowledge of varied subjects and accomplished ID skills.
  • 2020 [01 January] - James Eaton - Andamans & Western Ghats

    PDF Report
    Though recording 302 species, a respectable total on a two-week Asian tour, it was the quality that makes Southern India such a mouth-watering, must-do tour. Included in the total, we saw all bar one of the 21 endemics that are shared between the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and some 30 Indian endemics, most of which are found only the Western Ghat states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Pride of place must go to the 19 species of night- bird seen – 12 owls, one frogmouth and six nightjars – from the nesting Spot-bellied Eagle Owl to the walkaway Sri Lanka Bay Owl finale to the tour. Of the trickiest, often missed species, Nilgiri Thrush, Wynaad Laughingthrush and Andaman Crake gave superlative, prolonged views.
  • 2020 [02 February] - Mike nelson - Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra

    PDF Report
    With a list of highly endangered and regionally localized birds, western India is a priority tour for birders. From the marshlands of the Punjab down through arid scrubland into the rolling dunes of Desert National Park, the vast expanses of the Kutch and then across to the dry deciduous forests of Maharashtra, this year’s tour covered all of the desired species of the region. The wetlands and reed beds around Harike attract migrants along with our main target the Rufous-vented Grass-babbler, and Jerdon’s Babbler and we had great views of these range- restricted skulkers. Sind Sparrow, wintering Mountain and Siberian Chiffchaffs, and loads of waterfowl were added. Heading south into Rajasthan we entered into the dry thorn scrub landscape dotted with Acacias and rocky outcrops where we found White-bellied Minivet, Painted Sandgrouse, Indian Spotted-creeper and stunning Black Francolin.
  • 2022 [05 May] - Jules Eden - Assam & Arunchal Pradesh

    PDF Report
    We were going for Ward’s Trogon and the joy of a private trip like this is that we were going to get it, as the plan was to stay until that moment and if it dragged on, to buy a house there, marry a local , get residency and only clear out of the mountains when the job was done.
  • 2022 [11 November] - Garry Armstrong

    PDF Report
    After more than two years of Covid restrictions it was time to get back to foreign birding trips. I had an idea for a trip to northwest India and David and Mark were happy to join in. On the advice of a birding friend in Northern Ireland I contacted Manoj Sharma at Indian Nature Tours
  • 2023 [01 January] - Peregrine Rowse - Rajasthan&Gujarat

    PDF Report
    The outlook for the magnificent Great Indian Bustard is ever more critical withnumbers now possibly falling below what is a viable population. I decided thereforetomake the long drive out West to the Desert National Park beyond Jaisalmer, the focusof the trip. T
  • 2024 [03 March] - Chris Lotz - Northeast India

    PDF Report
    Northeast India is one of the best places for finding Ibisbill, Wallcreeper and Spotted Elachura. These three species are the only members of their families, and are therefore soughtafter by bird family listers, like the three participants on this tour. Thankfully, we found these major targets. This part of the world is also excellent for a suite of Himalayan foothill forest bird species such as Beautiful Nuthatch, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Himalayan Cutia and many other star birds; we saw the four mentioned above really well. The Sela Pass provides easy access to sought-after high altitude Himalayan birds like the luminous Grandala, Blood Pheasant and various rosefinches, all of which we enjoyed seeing on this tour...
Places to Stay
  • Chambal Safari Lodge - Uttar Pradesh

    The Chambal Safari Lodge
  • Jungle Lore Birding Lodge

    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.
Other Links

    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

    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 India | Bird World

    Pictures, description, distribution, habitat, behaviour, feeding and breeding habits, migration and conservation status of birds
  • Books on Ornithology published in India

    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 and we shall do our best to procure it. We can supply you any title published in India.
  • India Birds

    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

    The site of Indian Birds fans from Russia...
  • Indian Wildlife

    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

    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

    Wildlife in India in pictures
  • Anto Christy - On the Indian Bird Trails

    There are 1200 bird species in India this website will attempt to record a sighting and photograph every one…
  • Arijit Sarker - Mostly Indian Birds

    I created this blog to share with the world my hobby of bird watching and wildlife. You will see mostly Indian birds captured during my travels across India. Occasionally you might come across some wildlife and nature photography to keep it interesting :) Hope you enjoy it.
  • Birds of India

    This is a welcome page of my blog Birds of India. And I welcome all the persons who are Bird lovers and those who are interested to know about bird identification. For those Bird lovers I shall try to say how to identify a bird and also habits and habitats of different birds of India. Also, I discussed here about bird sanctuary and birding spot of India. But before that, below is some general discussion about birds of India.
  • Deepak Balasubramanian - BirdingDoc

    A Doctor by education, Nature lover by birth, Gardening in my free time, Music lover, Birder, Trekker..
  • S S Cheema - Birder's Blog

    Retired from Army after 22 years of service. Now pursuing my loves - photography, wildlife (birding in particular) and travelling. I am on twitching quest...
  • Wildside of Matthew

    Blog featuring weekly posts on wildlife related travel, especially for bird photography, in India and other parts of the world.
Photographers & Artists
  • Gallery - India Birds

    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 - Aseem Kumar Kothiala

    An entrepreneur with a passion for photography, engineer by education, lover of nature and its creation. I am fortunate to be able to spend a good amount of time on personal projects, traveling and birding.Have no basic training in photography, its just clicks, so I will just share a few I like.

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