Who does not love to listen to melodious tunes of a bird chirping and watch them in various colours and sizes? Birds are good to watch when they are in their natural habitats and not in cages. You can simply imagine the spectacle which unfolds when they fly out to the sky.
India is a country which has a wide variety of flora and fauna and not to forget birds. India is also home to various migratory birds who come from various parts of the world and make the country their temporary homes until they head back to their original homes.
In a country which is known for nature worship, even some of the birds are considered as holy along with the various animals. For example, the Brahminy kite is seen as Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu, the peacock as the vehicle for Karthikeya and many more. The peacock is also the national bird of India.
Well, we have put together a list of a few birds and the best places to grab a sight of them in their natural habitats. Read on further after which get hold of a pair of binoculars and head away to these destinations.
1. Rajasthan For The Great Indian Bustard
The list of birds found in India is not complete without mentioning the great Indian bustard which has become more vulnerable to extinction than the tiger. The tall bird which grows over three feet in height is estimated to have a global population of 200 according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The bird usually lays just one egg in a year and that too in the open fields which makes it more vulnerable to its predators. It is threatened by the vanishing grasslands, poaching and wind farms. The bird can be found in Jaisalmer's Desert National Park in the months starting from October to March.
2. Punjab For Sind Jerdon's Babbler
The first sighting of the Sind Jerdon Babbler in India was made in the winter of 2012 at the Harike Bird Sanctuary in Punjab. The chestnut brown bird is generally found on the banks of the Indus river, that too only at four sites in Pakistan.
The nearest site is around 370 km from Harike. The sighting is considered as special because the bird is marked as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The wetland here is a designated Ramsar site for its ecological importance which attracted more than 70,000 migratory birds.
3. Arunachal Pradesh For Yunnan Nuthatch
The Yunnan nuthatch belongs to the Chinese province of Yunnan which incidentally shares its borders with Myanmar and not India. The beautiful bird which is greyish blue back in colour and has a black eye stripe was first spotted in India at Walong in Arunachal Pradesh in March 2014. The bird is known for its preference for tall pine trees as its habitat which makes it difficult to spot this tiny bird.
PC: Tony Hisgett
4. Himachal Pradesh For Western Tragopan
The western tragopan is a bird with a flame orange neck and spotted feathers. This bird has eluded some of the most experienced birders. The largest population of this bird is found in the Great Himalayan National Park which has also been listed as vulnerable by IUCN and has a population lesser than 3,500 in the wild.
With a strong wildlife crime control unit and a Natural World Heritage tag the numbers of this bird will hopefully rise up like the phoenix.
PC: Offical Site
5. Kerala For Sri Lanka Frogmouth
The Sri Lanka Frogmouth's liquid chuckles can make most seasoned birders to go on their knees. This nocturnal bird is native to parts of the Western Ghats. The muddy coloured feathers help it to camouflage against the bark of a tree. But it is not impossible to spot once you are in its pathway.
In September 2015, an American birder spotted the largest number of bird species at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala.
PC: Thimindu Goonatillke
6. Rajasthan For Himalayan Griffon
The Himalayan griffon has also found its name in the list of threatened species in 2014, but conservationists are very hopeful that the numbers would increase. The population of this bird reduced after the use of a veterinary drug called diclofenac which resulted in mass death of the vultures which also lead to a ban on the medicine.
The four feet high birds can be seen at the Jorbeer Conservation Reserve in Rajasthan during the winters.
PC: Francesco Veronesi
7. Maharashtra For Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher
The bird is a little over five inches and resembles a small bag of melted candies in colours of bright orange and violet. Even though striking in its appearance the bird may go unnoticed when you look for it around the small streams in the evergreen or the tropical deciduous forests near Chiplun.
PC: Darren Bellerby
8. Nagaland For Amur Falcon
The bird is protected by locals which was once hunted by the raptor. The bird now descends in the Pangti village and the Doyang reservoir in Nagaland. The birds come in large groups during early winter; hence, plan well in advance.
PC: Amudha Hariharan