Bird Watching in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is rightly called a paradise for birdwatchers. The state treasures a variety of species of avifauna that are exotic and in some cases rare. Uttarakhand also becomes a welcoming shelter for the migratory birds that fly to this North Indian state during with winter season or summer months from as far as north Africa, Palaearctic region and from adjoining areas. There are about 1303 bird species recorded from India, of which more than 50% (724 approximately) are said to be found in Uttarakhand. This census included the Himalayan Forest Thrush (Soothera salimali), which is the newest species discovered at Uttarakhand and China border.
Although forested areas of the state offer an excellent scope for bird watching, the best opportunity for birders can be traced in large protected areas such as Nanda Devi, Corbett National Park, Valley of Flowers, Rajaji National Park, Kedarnath, Govind, and Ascot Wildlife Sanctuaries A large number of birds can also be spotted in Dehra Dun valley and adjacent hills; and during various mountain trekking routes like Harikidun, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Nagatibba, Dudatoli and many more. The Assan Barrage is a reserve which takes up 400 m land and is located in the Dehradun district is a very active spot for bird watching. One of the reasons that make it this way is its location on the banks of the Yamuna river. Your eyes can catch Brahminy ducks, Rudely Shelduck, Dabbling Duck, Diving Duck. Birds; Herons, Egrets, storks, Ibises are Geese very often during the winter season.
Devalsari is another best bird watching spot in Uttarakhand which lies approx 55 km from Mussoorie. Collared Owlet, Hodgson's Treecreeper, blue-throated barbet, common Lora, khalij pheasant, wedge-tailed pigeon, grey-headed canary flycatcher, Golden Bush Robin, Spot-winged Grosbeak, Cinereous vulture, Chukar Partridge, Mountain Scops Owl, Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush, Black-Faced Warbler, Mrs. Gould's Sunbird, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Fire-fronted Serin, Blue Whistling Thrush, Slaty-headed Parakeets, Red-billed blue magpie are a few species that can be found here. Pangot, a village located in the Nainital district, is yet another great spot for bird watching activity in Uttarakhand. A birder’s paradise, Pangot is situated quite close to Nainital in the Kumaon Hills and is perfect for sighting birds of varied species.