Uttar Pradesh

Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum ©Govind Vijayakumar Website
Birding Uttar Pradesh

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 riversThe 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:

Top Sites
  • Dudhwa National Park

    InformationSatellite View
    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

    InformationSatellite View
    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

    InformationSatellite View
    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

    InformationSatellite View
    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
  • Number of bird species: 811

    (As at December 2018)

    State Bird: Sarus Crane Grus antigone

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • Threatened Birds of Uttar Pradesh

    | By Asad R Rahmani, Sanjay Kumar, Neeraj Srivastav), Rajat Bhargava & Noor Inayat Khan | Oxford University Press | 2015 | Paperback | 219 pages, 100 colour photos, 41 colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780199455249 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Uttar Pradesh Bird Festival

    The fact that Uttar Pradesh homes some of the rare and endangered bird species, this Bird Festival is the first initiative of its kind to bring together the best from birding world from around the globe, hoping to promote eco-tourism in the state. UP Bird Festival is jointly organised by UP Forest department, UP Forest Corporation & FICCI

Abbreviations Key

  • BS Bakhira

    InformationSatellite View
    The Bakhira Bird Sanctuary is the largest natural flood plain wetland of India in Sant Kabir Nagar district of Eastern Uttar Pradesh. The sanctuary was established in 1980. It is situated 44 km west of Gorakhpur city. It is a vast stretch of water body expanding over an area of 29 km2. This is an important lake of eastern UP, which provides a wintering and staging ground for a number of migratory waterfowls and a breeding ground for resident birds.
  • BS Chandra Shekhar Azad (was Nawabganj)

    InformationSatellite View
    The bird sanctuary is located in Unnao district on the Kanpur-Lucknow highway in Uttar Pradesh, India consisting of a lake and the surrounding environment. It is one of the many wetlands of Northern India. The sanctuary provides protection for 250 species of migratory birds.
  • BS Lakh Bahosi

    InformationSatellite View
    Lakh Bahosi Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary spread over two jheels (shallow lakes) near the villages of Lakh and Bahosi (abt 4 km apart) in Kannauj district, Uttar Pradesh. It is about 40 km from Kannauj. Primarily a bird sanctuary, species from 49 genera (of the 97 inhabiting India) can be seen at the sanctuary. It is one of India's larger bird sanctuaries, covering 80 km2 including also a stretch of the Upper Ganges canal.
  • BS Okhla Sanctuary

    InformationSatellite View
    This is a bird sanctuary at the Okhla barrage over Yamuna River. It is situated in Noida, Gautam Buddh Nagar district, on Delhi-Uttar Pradesh state border and known as a haven for over 300 bird species, especially waterbirds.
  • BS Patna Sanctuary

    InformationSatellite View
    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. About 200,000 birds of 300 different species of birds frequent the sanctuary. Pied mynas, herons, cormorants and ducks and geese of all descriptions abound. Patna Sanctuary is best during the winter months as most of the birds tend to leave in March.
  • BS Saman

    InformationSatellite View
    The sanctuary is spread over an area of 5 km2. There are many birds which can be seen here and the sanctuary is best suited for Bird safari. Also there are different mammals such as Jackal, Mongoose, and Hare and various local and migratory birds.
  • BS Sandi

    InformationSatellite View
    The sanctuary is located at a distance of 19 km on Hardoi-Sandi Road in Sandi in Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh. Sandi Bird Sanctuary is 1 km from Sandi town on Main Road at Nawabganj, near Sandi Police Station of Hardoi district. Migratory birds rest on the banks of the river before reaching the Sandi Bird sanctuary. The migratory birds begin to arrive at the sanctuary at the beginning of winter in the month of November. Sandi is a tourist As a tourist destination and is of particular interest to birdwatchers. The best time to visit the sanctuary is from December to February.
  • BS Surha Taal (Jai Parkash Narayan National Sanctuary)

    InformationSatellite View
    It is an oval shaped natural oxbow lake which has an area of 34.32 sq. km. and is located about 17 km. north from the Ballia city along the river Ganges.
  • NP Dudhwa

    InformationSatellite View
    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 its 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.
  • NP Jim Corbett

    WebsiteSatellite View
    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.
  • NP Nanda Devi

    InformationSatellite View
    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…
  • TR Amangarh

    InformationSatellite View
    Amangarh Tiger Reserve was originally part of the famed Jim Corbett National Park, and after the state of Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh, Jim Corbett went to Uttarakhand and Amangarh remained in Uttar Pradesh. Like Corbett NP it is rich in birdlife from wallcreeper to orioles, verditer flycatcher to raptors.
  • TR Pilibhit

    InformationSatellite View
    It lies along the India-Nepal border in the foothills of the Himalayas and the plains of the ‘terai’ in Uttar Pradesh. It is one of India's 41 Project Tiger Tiger reserves. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is home to a large number of rare and threatened species, which include Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, swamp deer, hispid hare and Bengal floricans.
  • WS Katarniaghat

    InformationSatellite View
    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…
  • WS WII IBA National Chambal Sanctuary

    InformationSatellite View
    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. The National Chambal Sanctuary is listed as an important bird area and is a proposed Ramsar site. At least 320 species of resident and migratory birds inhabit the sanctuary. Migratory birds from Siberia form part of its rich avian fauna. Vulnerable bird species here include the Indian skimmer, sarus crane, Pallas's fish eagle and Indian courser.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Anytime Tours

    Tour Operator
    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…
  • Chambal Safari

    Tour Operator
    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
Trip Reports
  • 2013 [03 March] - Martin Birch

    PDF Report
    …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

    PDF Report
    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 didn’t take a scope (instead taking my DSLR), and most of the time didn’t miss it – 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

    PDF Report
    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
  • Corbett Hideaway

    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
Other Links
  • The Joy of Birding in Uttar Pradesh

    Explore the beautiful forests of Dudhwa National Park and Suhelwa Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh to get to know their winged denizens up close and personal...

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

Skip to content