India is a paradise for bird enthusiasts, with its diverse geography and varied climate supporting a wide range of avian species. The country’s varied geography, ranging from the Himalayan Mountains to the lush tropical forests of the Western Ghats, and its diverse climate, ranging from arid deserts to humid mangroves, supports an incredible variety of bird life. From the wetlands of Bharatpur to the hills of Sattal, bird watching in India offers an opportunity to witness some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic birds in their natural habitats.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best destinations for bird watching in India. Whether you are a seasoned birder or a beginner, these destinations offer something for everyone. So pack your binoculars and join us on a journey through the avian wonders of India. (Also read: India’s wildlife wonderlands: Top Indian destinations for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers )
1. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (Rajasthan):
Also known as Keoladeo National Park, this wetland sanctuary is one of the most important birding destinations in India. With over 375 species of birds, including migratory birds from as far away as Siberia, it is a birdwatcher’s paradise. With its large wetlands and diverse vegetation, it supports a large number of bird species, including resident birds, winter migrants, and summer migrants. Some of the most commonly seen birds include the Sarus Crane, Painted Stork, and the Asian Openbill.
2. Chilika Lake (Odisha):
Chilika Lake, located on the east coast of India, is one of the largest brackish water lagoons in the world and is a popular destination for bird watching. With its large mudflats and wetlands, it supports a diverse array of bird life, including a large number of waterbirds, such as the Painted Stork, Greater Flamingo, and the Spot-billed Pelican.
3. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (Kerala):
Located in the backwaters of Kerala, this bird sanctuary is a popular destination for bird watching due to its diverse bird life and ease of access. With its large wetlands and mangroves, it supports a large number of waterbirds, such as the Asian Openbill, the Great Egret, and the Little Cormorant.
4. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary:
Located in the state of Karnataka, is also a popular destination for bird watching in India. It is known for its large colonies of resident and migratory birds, including the Spot-billed Pelican, the Painted Stork, and the Asian Openbill. The sanctuary is located near the river Cauvery and is known for its large nesting colonies and diverse bird life, making it a must-visit destination for birders visiting South India.
5. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India and is a popular destination for bird watching. The sanctuary is situated in the Himalayan Mountains and is known for its diverse bird life, including species such as the Himalayan Monal, the Kalij Pheasant, and the Spotted Forktail. With its stunning scenery, diverse bird life, and easy accessibility, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular destination for birders visiting the northern region of India.
6. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary (Kerala):
In October, this location is a hive of activity. It becomes a birder’s paradise due to the incessant twittering, cackling, and endless bird songs that fill the air. Located in the Western Ghats, this bird sanctuary is known for its lush forests and diverse bird life. With over 270 species of birds, including the Nilgiri Laughingthrush, the Malabar Grey Hornbill, and the Broad-tailed Grassbird, it is a popular destination for bird watchers.