Be a Bird Watcher for a While
The colourful and chirpy world of birds has always been a vital part of the rich biota of India. Since old times, the diverse land of India has served a comforting nest for domestic as well as migratory bird species. The vast land of the country which every year invites migratory birds to the territory also invites bird watchers. With more than a dozen famous bird sanctuaries, the country offers attractive sites to behold the beautiful winged creatures.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Being the most popular among all the bird sanctuaries of India, Bharatpur bird sanctuary is a nestling home to thousands of birds. Also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the sanctuary serves as home to ornithologists in the hibernal season. Spread on a vast area, this protected area comprises of wetland, dry grasslands and thickets. Some of the famous species of birds which attracts the visitors are – Ruddy Shelducks, Siberian Cranes, Tuffed Ducks, Gulls and Sarus Crane. Recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, the sanctuary is one of the popular destinations of Rajasthan.
Location – The sanctuary is situated 2 Km south-east of Bharatpur and 55 Km west from Agra.
Best Time to Visit –October to February for Migratory birds
August to November for local birds
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Spread on the southern bank of Kavanar River, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is home to large population of different species of fowls. Heron, Egret, Kingfisher, Flycatcher, Crane, Brahminy Kite, Teal are the highlights of the place. As the sanctuary is set on the popular backwaters of Kerala, the most suitable way to watch the birds is during an enjoyable ride on houseboats or motorboats.
Location – Kumarakom is 14 Km from Kottayam.
Best Time to Visit – November to February – rare migratory fowls can be spotted.
June and August – Endangered species of birds can be watched.
Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary
Mainly named as Nalbana Bird Sanctuary, Chilika Bird Sanctuary is located in the core area of the wetlands of Chilika Lake. The place becomes full of chirpings and tweets of the birds during migratory season when many rare birds like Flamingos, Goliath Heron, Spoonbills, Sea Eagles, Greylag Geese, Purple Moorhen and Black -Headed Ibis take shelter here. The brackish water lake is also home to a large variety of fishes, Dolphins, prawns, crabs and crustaceans. To witness all these charming creatures with a boat ride on the calm lake is a rare experience to embrace.
Location – Located in the state of Odisha, the Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary falls 49 km south of Puri and 120 Km far from Bhubaneswar.
Best Time to Visit – October to March, except monsoon season from June to September
Vendathangal Bird Sanctuary
Being one of the oldest sanctuaries of India, Vendathangal Bird Sanctuary has been welcoming large flocks of migratory birds from hundreds of years. Located in Tamil Nadu, this land was popular for hunting during old times, hence got its name Vendathangal (Hamlet of the hunter in Tamil). The region dotted with water pools and the vegetation provides favourable grounds for shelter and rearing of birds. Numerous species of birds like Open Billed Stork, Grey Pelican, White Ibis, Large Egret, Cormorants, Paddy Bird and Pintails fill the province with their chirpy sounds.
Location – The sanctuary is situated in the state of Tamil Nadu, 75 km from Chennai on NH 45 and south of Chengalpattu.
Best Time to Visit – November to March
Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary
Taking pride for being the largest wetland sanctuary in Gujarat, Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary is visited by millions of homeland and migratory birds. Covered with a variety of flora, the place attracts thousands of waterfowls just after the monsoon. Apart from Rosy Pelicans, Flamingos, White Storks and Brahminy Ducks, the endangered species like wild ass and black buck can also be spotted in the sanctuary.
Location – Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary is situated around 64 Km to the west of Ahmedabad.
Best Time to Visit –December and January.
Birds have always fascinated humans for their capability of soaring high in the sky. With so many pleasing sanctuaries in the country, there are ample opportunities to spot the lovely feathered creatures. Don’t miss it and plan your next itinerary to any one of these places.