Bird Sanctuaries are natural places for the rehabilitation and survival of the species of birds. The conservation of various extinct, exclusive species in their natural habitat happens in bird sanctuaries. With prime focus on the natural habitat of the birds, these sanctuaries are habitat to other animals as well. India has as many as 58 bird sanctuaries across 15 states. Highest numbers of bird sanctuaries are in Karnataka i.e. 11. These are not only places where one can conserve the birds but can view their spectacular presence in their original domain. It’s such a majestic view to watch a “Peacock” dance; a “Koel” Chirping, a “woodpecker” digging on the stem of a tree and “crane” hunting in a shallow pond.
Top 10 Bird Sanctuaries of India
These are the top ten Bird sanctuaries of India not to be missed, especially if you are a “Bird Watcher”.
Just about 200 kms from the national capital – Delhi, this sanctuary is also known as “Keoladeo /Ghana National Park”. Famous for its 300 bird species this place loved by tourists. A man made wetland, this place is home to extraordinary, exotic and endangered Species. During winters birds migrate to this place and can be best viewed from August to November. One can walk through the sanctuary or take bicycles, or can even take trained guides along the foot walks. This is a “World Heritage Site” and is home to even other animals like – Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai, and Boar. Birds found are – Siberian Crane, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks, Eagles, Wagtails, Flycatchers, Buntings, and Pipits.
2) Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary
Spread across three districts of Odisha is this “Pear Shaped” lake flowing into Bay of Bengal covering an area of 1100 Square kilometers. The lake is a brackish Water lagoon, Asia’s largest, home to 160 species of birds, 14 types of raptors, 152 rare dolphins, 37 species of reptiles and amphibians. A survey confirmed that of the species of the birds are terrestrial (45%), waterfowl (32%), and waders (23%). This is the largest wintering ground for birds like – White-bellied sea Eagles, graylag geese, flamingos, jacana, storks, white ibis, spoonbills, and pintails. Best time to visit is between Octobers to March and is just 120km from Bhubaneswar. Every year around 7.62 lakh birds visits Chilka.
3) Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa
The Salim Ali bird sanctuary is home to a wide range of local and migratory birds, located in chorao Island along the Mandovi river in Goa. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a well known bird sanctuary in India. At this bird sactuary you can find flying Sparrows, Beautiful peafowl, Parrots, pelican, Indian giant squirral and other rare fauna species. Apart from the Beaches of Goa, Salim Ali bird sanctuary is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Goa.
4) Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana
Around 15 kms from Gurugram, this sanctuary is famous for its colorful bird species. It hosts around 250 species of birds including migratory birds. This place has great vegetation and supports the kind of birds which live here. Trees like Acacia Nilotica, Acacia Tortilis, Beris, and Neem were planted by the state government. Popular birds here are – Greater Flamingo, Common teal, Northern pintail and Siberian Cranes. Winters are the best time to be present there with your binoculars.
5) Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat
One of the largest wetland bird sanctuaries spread across 120.82 square kilometers this is located near Sanand village, 64km from Ahmedabad. Bird attractions include – rosy pelicans, white storks, herons, brahminy ducks, and flamingoes. It harbors around 250 species of birds and can be best viewed just before the sunrise, as this time the birds throng for food and the lake is calm. Best months are November to February. Winter migrants are bitterns, crakes, and grebes.
6) Eaglenest Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh
Eaglenest Sanctuary is a home to a wide variety of birds. About 454 species of different kinds of birds are present in this sanctuary. Eaglenest is the place where Bugun Liocichla, a popular endangered bird, was first discovered in 1995 and it was once again observed by Ramana Athreya in 2006. Eaglenest has been designated as BirdLife International as an ‘Important Bird Area,’. If you are planning to visit the bird sanctuary, plan a visit between November and May and you will be amazed by the beauty of different kinds of birds. The Lama Camp is here is a well known base camp where birds can easily be spotted.
7) Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
Situated 80kms from Kochi, this park flocks some of the awesome birds and is a breathtaking bird watching destination. A part of Vembanad backwater labyrinth accommodates pond herons, cuckoo, egret, owl, water duck and darter. The park was early named as – Baker’s Estate.
8) Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
The Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is well known as the India’s oldest bird sanctuary, located in Tamil Nadu. The vedanthankal lake region has been attracting a large variety of birds like pintail, garganey, grey wagtail, blue-winged teal, common sandpiper etc. Almost 1/6th of the area of Tamil Nadu is covered with forests, which is a paradise for animal lovers and bird watchers.
9) Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary , Karnataka
The largest bird sanctuary of Karnataka is situated in Mandya district and is on the bank of river Kaveri. It is 16kms from Mysore and a survey in 2011 reported 8000 nestlings. As many as 40,000 birds from Latin America and Siberia migrate to Ranganathittu from mid – December. It is reported that around 50 pelicans have been staying here permanently. Approximately 170 species of birds have been reported here including the – Oriental darter, the stork-billed kingfisher, painted stork, Asian open bill stork and wooly necked stork.
10) Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
This is the first bird sanctuary in Kerala and is situated 12 kms from kothamangalam, Kerala. Reported as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, harbors, different varieties of cuckoos, hence also called – Cuckoo Paradise. Other birds include – brown-cheeked fulvetta and emerald green pigeons.
The presence and absence of each and every entity in this world has a reason and cause. Flora and Fauna on this earth are the responsibility of the Human Beings because with the evolution of mankind they have become the most powerful creature. And with power comes a lot of responsibility.
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