“Bird Sanctuaries in India – Witness the Majestic Flights, Vivid Colours and Lose Yourself in the Sweetest Melodies”
India plays host to a sizeable population of birds and the best places to sight these amazing creatures are the various bird sanctuaries situated in almost all the states in the country. The varied topography and climate are the factors that make India one of the largest breeding grounds in the world. About 1200 species of birds are found in India (including migratory birds) making it a paradise for birdwatchers and ornithologists. If you are also someone who takes keen interest in birdwatching and enjoy the chirp and flight of birds, then the list here can be of great help to you.
Now known as the Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is amongst the most famous bird sanctuaries in India. The sanctuary sprawls across 29 sq kms and is home to about 366 species of birds. Other than that, the national park also provides shelter to 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species and 7 turtle species. The wetland system of Keoladeo is part of Indo-Gangetic Great Plains and consists of varying types of microhabitats having trees, mounds, dykes and open water with or without submerged or emergent plants.
It is Asia’s biggest internal salt water pond, which is studded with a few tiny islands. Chilka Lake Sanctuary has a wide range of flora, and aquatic faunas, which can be observed in and around the brackish water of the lake. The sanctuary is spread across Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts. The lagoon is a home to 160 species of birds in the migratory season and birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and Southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas fly to this place. There are also fisheries and salt pans around its shores. Apart from the birds and wildlife, Chilka Lake Sanctuary is also known for its magnificent sunrise and sunset views and thus is amongst the most popular bird sanctuaries in India.
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is situated in Gurgaon district and is home to about 250 species of birds. The sanctuary is ideal for birding and the best time to visit it is in winters when a large number of migratory birds visit here. Each year more than 100 migratory bird species arrive at Sultanpur bird sanctuary to pass the winter. In winter, a picturesque panorama of migratory birds such as Siberian Cranes, Ruff, and Black winged Stilt, Common Teal, Common Greenshank, Greater Flamingo, Northern Pintail, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Northern Shoveler and Rosy Pelican can be seen here.
Located in Kottayam district of Kerala, Kumarakom bird sanctuary is quite famous amongst the bird watchers. The sanctuary is set in the backwaters of Kerala and is spread over an area of 14 acres. The main attractions in Kumarakom sanctuary are birds like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, moorhen, darter, heron, cormorant, Brahminy kite and the duck, as well as the migratory Siberian crane. Lark, flycatcher, Parrot, teal and few other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons.
Nal Sarovar is a popular bird sanctuary in Gujarat and is situated about 64kms from Ahmedabad city. This bird sanctuary is spread over a 120 sq km area and comprises about 200 species of birds. Each year from November to February a large number of migratory birds make Nal Sarovar their home for a few months; therefore it is ideal to visit the sanctuary during this time. At Nal Sarovar, apart from bird watching, one can greatly enjoy boating and horse riding.
Located on the western tip of the Island of Chorao along the River Mandovi in Goa, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is actually an estuarine mangrove and is reckoned as one of the best bird sanctuaries in India. It can be accessed through ferry and there are fixed pavements built between the mangroves. This place is one of its kinds and is an ideal place for ornithologists and bird watchers. The common birds that one can see here include the striated heron and western reef heron. Other species that have been seen here are the little bittern, black bittern, red knot, jack snipe and pied avocet.
The largest bird sanctuary in Karnataka, Ranganthittu is situated in Mandya district and only 3kms away from the historic Srirangapatna town. It is spread over 40 acres of land and has roughly about 170 species of birds. Ranganthittu is amongst the best places for bird watching holidays in India; it has small islets which are host to numerous small mammals, including Bonnet Macaque, colonies of Flying Fox and common small mammals like Common Palm Civet and Indian Gray Mongoose and the monitor lizard. Ranganathittu has the largest fresh water crocodile population in Karnataka and the Marsh Crocodile is also a common inhabitant of the riverine reed beds.
Probably one of the smallest bird sanctuaries in India, the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is situated in Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu. The sanctuary is believed to have about 40000 birds out of which 26 species are rare. Although birds are the major attraction here, one can’t ignore the beauty of the landscape of Vedanthangal as well. Some easily found bird species here include Cormorants, Pintails, Pond Heron, Sandpiper, Darter, Grebes, Large Egret, Little Egrets, Moorhen, Night Herons, Paddy Bird, Painted Stork, Shovellers, Terns, White Ibis and many more. The migratory birds include Grey Pelican Australia, Grey Heron Bangladesh, Open-billed Stork Bangladesh, Glossy Ibis Sri Lanka, Garganey Teals Canada, Snake Bird Sri Lanka, Painted Stork Siberia, Spoonbill Burma and the Spot Bill Duck.
This sanctuary is situated near Vaduj, in Maharashtra, and is known for its dense population of flora and fauna. Mayani Bird Sanctuary is located near an old dam that was constructed during the British rule. About 400 types of migratory birds are believed to have been sighted here in the sanctuary with the common ones being Flamingo, Coot, Brahminy Ducks, Black Ibis, Painted storks and Common Spoon bills.
Mangalavanam is an ecologically sensitive bird sanctuary and is situated in the centre of Kochi in Kerala. It is a major nesting ground for migratory birds in Kerala and therefore has caught the eyes of many ornithologists. It is amongst the best
birding tourism destinations in India and has about 72 species of birds. There are also 17 species of butterflies and 51 species of spiders that can be found here. Indian flying-fox, painted bat, three-striped palm squirrel/dusky palm squirrel, house rat/black rat, bandicota, and Eurasian otter are some of the common animals that can be spotted here.
Pathiramanal is a small island that has been recognized as a bird sanctuary in the Alappuzha district in Kerala. This sanctuary is home to about 50 species of migratory and 91 species of indigenous birds. One can see Pintail Ducks, Common Teal, Night Heron, Cormorant, Darter, Indian Shag, Purple Heron, gulls, Stork-billed Kingfisher, terns, Cattle Egret, Indian Pond Heron, Little Egret, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas, large egrets, Intermediate Egret, Watercock, Whistling Duck, Cotton Pygmy-Goose, Little Cormorant and Whiskered Tern here. The island can be accessed through a ferry that one can take from Alappuzha town.
Reckoned to be one of the richest bird sanctuaries in Kerala, Thattekad bird sanctuary is one of the best places for birdwatching in India. The sanctuary is spread across 25 sq km of area and is home to a large number of both forest birds as well as the water birds. In this evergreen low land forest birds like Indian Pitta, Orange-headed_Thrush, Large-billed Leaf-warbler, Jerdon’s Nightjar, Indian Cuckoo, Oriental Darter, Cormorants, Whiskered Terns, Collared Scops Owl, Ceylon Frogmouth, Pompadour Green Pigeon and Yellow-browed Bulbuls are common sights.
Home to the Pelicans, Atapaka bird sanctuary is located in Ramsar site in Andhra Pradesh. The sanctuary sprawls over 673 sq km area and includes the marsh lands near the Kolleru Lake. According to an estimate there are about 200000 birds in the Atapaka and the major attractions here include Asian Openbills, Painted Storks, Glossy Ibises, Black-headed Ibises, teals, Northern Pintails, Northern Shovelers, Red-crested Pochards, Black-winged Stilts, Pied Avocets, Common Redshanks and cormorants. Atapaka also attracts migratory birds from Australia, Siberia, Egypt and the Philippines.
Known as one of the largest habitats for pelicans in Southeast Asia, the Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary is situated in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. This bird sanctuary is the breeding ground of many species that are considered endangered. Some of the commonly found species here are Spotted Belied Pelican, Spoon Bill, White Ibis, Night Heron, Open Billed Stork, Painted Stork, ittle Cormorant and Spoon Bill. There are also an environmental education centre, a museum and a library that set it apart from other bird sanctuaries in India.
Situated in Thiruvullar district in Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is the second largest brackish-water eco-system after the famous Chilka Lake. Pulicat makes for the best bird watching and photography tours in India as it has an incredible landscape and plethora of birds and aquatic animals. There are about 100 bird species 160 species of fish, 25 species of polychaete worms, 12 species of prawn and 19 species of mollusk that can be found in and around Pulicat Lake. Amongst the many birds that can be spotted here, Greater Flamingo birds are most noteworthy.
Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary is situated near Guntur City. It is home to around 40 species of migratory birds from Siberia including pelicans and white ibis. Painted Storks, Spotted Pelicans and other birds migrate from countries like Australia and Siberia, to the sanctuary in the winter season. The bird population in the tanks in Uppalapadu and around the bird sanctuary are between 7000 and 12000.
A small bird sanctuary in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, Attiveri Bird Sanctuary was formed as a result of the construction of dam on Tayawwanahalla in the village of Attiveri. The area of the sanctuary has riverine and deciduous forests in the surrounding. There are around 79 species of birds, which includes migratory birds from 22 countries. Also, there are about 50 species of aquatic birds while the other birds are arboreal and terrestrial in nature.
Reckoned to be the second largest bird sanctuary in the state of Karnataka, Bonal Bird Sanctuary is home to about 21 species of birds. This bird sanctuary is located close to Bonal village in Shorapurtaluk,Yadgir region in Karnataka. The purple heron, white-necked stork, white ibis, dark ibis, brahminy duck, and bar-headed goose are some of the commonly birds sighted in this bird sanctuary.
Gudavi Bird Sanctuary is located in the midst of a dense forest in Gudavi in Sorab taluk of Shimoga district. The Bird Sanctuary is surrounded by moist deciduous forest and is spread over an area of 0.73 sq km and offers a number of exquisite bird species. Various birds migrate to Gudavi between the months of June and December for breeding. There is a natural lake that shelters the birds, which mainly include White Pebis, Stone Bill, Egret, Cormorant, Snake bird and Heron.
The second largest home of the Painted Stork in Karnataka, Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary is a must visit destination for bird watchers. One can see beautiful birds nesting all through the peak season that starts in February and runs through till August. Kaggaladu is a village in the Sira Taluk of Tumkur District, and is located around 130 km from Bangalore. Other than Stork, Blackbuck and the Grey Pelican can be commonly seen here.
Established on the Magadi Tank, which is located 26 km from Gadag in Karnataka, Magadi Tank sprawls over an area of 134 acre and has 900 hectare of catchment area. This sanctuary is known for the Bar Headed Goose, which is a migratory bird that feeds on crops instead of amphibians. There are more than 134 species of birds that can be seen in this sanctuary. Some of the birds species spotted at this sanctuary are Oriental Ibis, Comb Duck, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, and Greater Flamingo. White Breasted Water Hen, Black winged stilt, Painted stork, Woolly necked stork, Ruddy Shed Duck or Brahmini Duck and Eurasian Spoonbill can be seen at this sanctuary.
Mandagadde is situated near Shimoga town and is one of the best places to go birdwatching in Karnataka. This sanctuary is surrounded by a dense forest and the gurgling River Tunga forms an island that is a habitat for migratory birds like the median egret, the cormorant and the darter. In the month of August one can be greeted by as many as 5000 birds in the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary. One can also enjoy trekking in the sanctuary as well.
This bird sanctuary is in Chitragundi village, Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu. Spread over an area of about 4673 sq km, Chitrangudi is the nesting site for several migratory Heron species that roost in the prominent Babul trees here. Birds like Spot-billed Pelican, Asian Openbill Stork, Grey heron, Purple heron, Pond heron, little egret and Great egret can be seen here.
Adjacent to the Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary, Kanjirankulam is yet another magnificent bird sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. Kanjirankulam is situated in Mudukulathur Ramanathapuram District and is a natural habitat for winter migratory birds. It provides a safe place for roosting, breeding and feeding for the birds and thus offers the bird watchers a variety that can be found nowhere. Some of the most commonly sighted birds in the sanctuary are Grey Heron, Open billed stork, Painted Stork, Spoon bill, Gray pelicans, Block ibis, White ibis, Dabchick, Night heron, Cattle egret, Indian darter, Little egret and Pond heron.
Koonthankulam Birds Sanctuary is an exceptionally sanctuary actively protected by the Koonthakulam village community. This is the largest breeding water bird reserve in south India and it attracts more than one lakh birds annually. The sanctuary is located 35 kms away from Tirunelveli and has significance for the local people who take keen interest in protecting this sanctuary and live together in total symbiotic relationship. It is believed that the villagers he birds coming to their backyards for five generations are protected vehemently by villagers collect the excreta of birds in summer along with silt to use as fertilizer in their fields. Koothankulam is a perfect place to learn how to stay in peace with nature.
The Suchindram Theroor Birds Sanctuary is situated in Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu. It comprises two wetlands namely, Suchindram Kulam wetlands and Theroor Kulam wetlands. The Suchindram pond is rich in flora and fauna and is home to migratory waterbirds like Painted Stork and Spot Pilled Pelicans. Other birds that one can spot in Suchindram Theroor Bird Sanctuary are cattle egrets, great cormorants, darters, purple swamphen, and bronze-winged Jacanas. Resident raptors include pied kingfisher, brahminy kite and marsh harrier. Other water birds are dabchick, grey heron, Garganey, purple heron, cinnamon Bittern, open bill stork, cotton pygmy goose, whiskered tern and little tern, black-winged stilt, greenshank, little ringed plover and the common sandpiper.
Udayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary is an exciting place and is spread over an area of 45 sq kms. The bird sanctuary is situated in Tiruvarur District in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is believed that the population of the birds increases to 10,000 in winters. The sanctuary is a home to a large species of birds especially the migratory one such as white-necked stork, grey-heron, white-ibis, coot, night heron, purple-heron, spoonbill, darter, Indian reef heron and little cormorant.
Vaduvoor Bird Sanctuary is situated 25 kms from Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The sanctuary is home to several types of birds and is located near a large irrigation tank that receives water from Mettur dam. There are about more than 40 species of water birds like Ibis, Painted stork, Grey pelican, Pintail, Cormorant, Teals and Herons that call Vaduvoor their home. It is reckoned that about 20000 birds during the month of November migrate to Vadavoor from different countries of the world.
Vellode Sanctuary sprawls over an area of 77.1 hectares, and is situated in Vadamugam Vellode village, Erode district in Tamil Nadu. The sanctuary is host to several migratory birds as well as fishes and other aquatic animals. Some commonly found bird species include cormorants, teals, pintail ducks, Pelicans and Darters.
The Vettangudi Bird sanctuary is situated in Sivaganga District in Tamil Nadu and is at a short distance from Madurai (51kms). It includes Periya Kollukudi Patti, Chinna Kollukudi Patti and Vettangudi Patti tanks and is spread over an area of 38.4 ha. The bird sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna and has several natural breeding habitats for winter migratory birds; it is in fact amongst the best bird watching destinations in South India. Open billed stork, White ibis, Grey herons, Asian Openbill Stork, Night herons, Darters and Spoon bills are the common migratory birds seen here in the winter season. It is also believed that during the peak migrating season 8,000 winter migratory birds belonging to 217 species can be spotted here. The sanctuary is also the habitat for indigenous endangered species such as Painted Stork, Little Cormorant, Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Cattle Egret, Common Teal, Spotbills, pintail, and flamingos.
Najafgarh drain bird sanctuary and wetland ecosystem is a wide drain. This area is a very significant habitat for migratory waterbirds along with important wildlife habitat. The Najafgarh drain is another name for the River Sahibi, which is famous for its wetland ecosystem, waterbirds and wildlife.
Nawabganj is one of the major bird sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh. It is a small bird sanctuary that is spread over an area of about 3 sq km between Lucknow and Kanpur. The sanctuary attracts hundreds of migratory bird species during winters and is amongst the best birding destinations in north India. It is mainly the area around a lake that creates a perfect place for the migratory and water birds. This picturesque sanctuary is an ideal place for family picnics and photographers. Some of the major migratory birds visiting here are Greylag Goose, Pintail, Cotton teal, and Red Crested pochard, Gadwall, Shoveller, Coot and Mallard. Some major local migratory and residential birds are Spotbill, Sarus crane, Painted Stork, Peacock, White Ibis, Dabchick, Whistling teal, Open billed stork, White necked stork, Pheasant tailed jacana, Bronze winged Jacana, Purple moorhen, Lapwing, Tern vulture, Pigeon, King crow, Indian roller and Bee eater.
The Patna bird Sanctuary is located in Etah district of Uttar Pradesh. It is spread across an area of 108 hectare and reportedly has about 300 different species of birds. For long it has been a favourite breeding centre for a sizable population of migratory birds. There is even an old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva here that attracts thousands of pilgrims. Little Gerbs, Cormorants, Sarus Crane, Darter, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Paddy Bird, Cattle Egrets, Large Egrets, Smaller Egrets, Little Egrets, Night Heron, Indian Reef Heron, Black necked Stork, white Ibis, Spoon Bill, Greying Goose, Bar headed Goose, Lesser Whistling Teal, Ruddy Shelduck, Pintail, Common Teal, Spot Billed Duck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Shoveler and Comb Duck are some commonly spotted birds here.
Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for birds and is home to 300 varieties of migratory birds. The sanctuary is located in Jamnagar, Gujarat and is widely known for its unique habitat of fresh water lakes, salt and freshwater marshlands and coral reef. Khijadia Bird Sanctuary is spread over 6 sq. km of area but bears a splendid diversity of habitats and ecosystems, which include marine habitat, fresh water habitat, marshy lands, mangroves, prosopis areas, salt pans, open mudflats, intertidal mudflats, creeks, scrubs sandy beaches and adjoining farmlands.
It is probably one of the smallest bird sanctuaries in India. The bird sanctuary is situated in the heart of Porbandar and protects many avifauna and migratory birds. The lake in the sanctuary serves as a home to the migratory birds like teals, fowls, flamingos, ibis and curlews. In total there are about 150 species of birds that can be found in Porbandar Bird Sanctuary.
Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary is situated in south Kolkata and is famous for the availability of a wide variety of birds, butterflies, ferns and orchids. Chintamoni Kar is the safe shelter for bird species like Common Hawk Cuckoo, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Emerald Dove, Crested Serpent Eagle, White-throated Fantail and Large-tailed Nightjar. Apart from being the best birding destinations in East India, it is also home to wild animals like Civet Cat, Jungle Cat, Jackal and Monitor Lizard.
Situated in Aurangabad and Ahamadnagar district in Marathawara region, Jayakwadi bird sanctuary is rich in aquatic life. The Nathsagar Lake, situated in the sanctuary is host to aquatic vegetation such as Spyrogyra, Hydrilla, Chara, Potamogeton, Vallisneria etc. Argemone Maxicana and Ipomea Fistulosa are found in the adjoining area. There are about 200 species of resident and migrant birds; out of these, 45 species are thatof migratory birds. Cranes, Flamingos, Pintails, Wigeon, Shoveller, Brahmany Duck, Pochards, Teals, God Wit, Shauces, Glossy Ibis are some notable birds here.
The Nandurmadhmeshwar sanctuary is situated on the confluence of River Godavari and River Kadwa in the state of Maharashtra. The sanctuary is spread over an area of about 1765 ha of land and is a remarkable place for the winged creatures. About 220 species of birds can be found here along with 400 species of plants and 24 species of fish. Also, the sanctuary is the temporary shelter for about 80 species of migratory birds. Black Ibis, Spot Bills, Teals, Little Grabe, Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Stork, Kites, Vultures, Buzzards and Harriers are some of common avifauna seen here. Whereas, White Stork, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbills, Flamingo, Goose Brahminy Duck, Pintails, Mallard, Widgeon, Gargenery Shoveller, Pochardds, Cranes Shanks and Curlews are some migratory birds that can be sighted here in the peak season.
Kadalundi is a community reserve and is located in Malapuram district of Kerala. The sanctuary is spread over a small area of 3kms and is popular for its wide variety of avifauna. It is also home to 60 species of migratory birds that include terns, gulls, herons, sandpiper and cormorant. However, the major attractions of the sanctuary are kingfisher, Malabar hornbills, woodpeckers, darters, plovers and brahminy kites. Other than the birds, one can also spot a variety of fish, mussels and crabs here. The sanctuary also houses several species of snakes such as the cobra, krait and the viper; in addition, turtles can be spotted here as well.
Karnala is situated about 60kms from Mumbai between Matheran and Kajrat. The sanctuary is small and is spread over 12.11 sq km in Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is home to over 150 species of avifauna and 37 species of migratory birds, out of which three are rare birds and are called Ashy Minivet, Three-toed kingfisher and Malabar Trogon. Karnala is a popular picnic spot and is also a good place for trekking. There are four nature trails in the sanctuary and the most popular one leads to Karnala fort, also called Funnel Hill. Winter is the best time to spot migratory birds like the blue throat, the black headed cuckoo-shrike, the blue-headed rock-thrush, blackbird and the red breasted flycatcher flock.
Located on the confluence of Eastern Yamuna Canal and the Asan River, this Bird sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers. One can see as many as 53 species of birds among which 19 are migrants from Eurasia. Shoveller, Ruddy Shelduck, Mallard, Coot, Cormorant, Egrets, Wagtails, Pond Heron, Brahminy Duck, Common Pochard, Common Teal, Gadwall, Pintail, Red Crested Pochard and Tufted Duck are the common birds that migrate in the winter season here. Apart from bird watching, visitors can also go for a nature walk in the nearby Sal Forest of Timli.
Located in Adilabad district and about 250 kms away from the city of Hyderabad, Kawal Sanctuary is a popular wildlife reserve in the state. It is spread overan area of about 893 sq km and is home to many wildlife species like Sambar, Cheetal, Nilgai, Barking Deer, Indian Bison, Sloth Bear, Panther and Tiger. One also has the opportunity to spot birds like Partridge, Quails, Peacocks, Eagles, Kites, Owls, Mynahs, and Kingfishers here along with the large population of migratory birds in the winter season.
Bird lovers, India can be the perfect ground for you to learn more about birds AND if you are giving it a thought to visit a bird sanctuary in the country, winter can be the best time. Choose from the above given list of sanctuaries and get the best bird watching experience.
However, if you are still confused as to which place to go, you can simply call us at +91-9212777223, 24, 25, 9212553107 or drop an email at email@example.com to learn more about these destinations. Our team of experts will help you find the right type wildlife tours in India and also will help you GET GOIN! Happy Bird Watching! TWEET!!