(Last Updated on : 26/02/2013)
Indian birds are of various types and species and are found throughout the length and breadth of the sub-continent. The Indian sub-continent itself is abode to 13% of the total bird species found in the world. The vast variety of exotic birds found here attracts tourists and bird-watchers and eco-tourists from all over the world. There are over 925 breeding species. The Indian birds belong to 16 groups called Orders, which are further divided into Families, Sub-Families and Genera. There are various different species of birds in India. The Ciconidae species includes the Open Bills, Storks, Cuckoos, Ducks, Pigeons and Great Hornbills
. The other important birds like Greater Flamingos
, Ferns, Petrels, Shearwaters and Pelicans continue to draw the attention of the bird-watchers.
For birding in India, the mentioned bio-geographical regions can be demarcated: Trans Himalayan, Western Himalayas, Eastern Himalayas, Desert, Semi-arid, Indo-Gangetic Plain
, Central India, Deccan Plateau
, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Northeast Coasts and Andaman and Nicobar islands
Almost 1250 birds belonging to various species are found only in the Indian sub-continent. Some are rarely seen while some are the common ones, seen in all parts of the country. Some of the commonly found birds are discussed below:
This is a dark chocolate brown colour bird with bright yellow bill, legs and orbital skin. While the Sri Lankan Myna is of a darker shade of brown, the Indian hill myna
has a conspicuous white patch, which shows when the bird is in flight. This bird has a variety of sharp calls that is uttered with an absurd bobbing of the head. It is widespread throughout the Indian subcontinent including the islands of Andaman, Nicobar, Lakshwadeep and the Maldives where it was introduced. It is a very visible bird in India, having a habit of following humans around. It eats whatever its habitat has to offer.
Parakeet or Parrot
The Tota is the most lovable bird in India. Large flock can be found all over the Indian Sub-continent, from the foothills of Himalayan Mountain to the southern parts of the country. Agriculture-wise it is very destructive, known for wasting more and eating less. Usually green in colour with an amazingly red beak, the female lacks the black and rose pink collar of male.
This bird, found all over the Indian sub-continent, is almost the height of a village hen. Dwelling mostly in the marshes, water ponds, rivers and tidal mudflats, this bird is of a very cunning nature. Its food menu ranges from insects, fish, and frogs to even small reptiles. Both the sexes are alike and the female lays 4 bluish-green eggs in the month of July/August in northern India and November to February in the Southern part.
The Indian Robin is commonly found throughout the sub-continent. It is often seen hopping around on the ground looking for insects. The male and female are dissimilar.
A collage of wonderful and beautifully designed colours and patterns, the peacock is the National Bird of India and is found in dry semi-desert grasslands, scrub and deciduous forests and it forages and nests on the ground but roosts on top of trees. It mainly thrives on seeds, but at times changes the taste bud with some insects, fruits and reptiles. The Indian Peacock
has beautiful iridescent blue-green plumage.
Indian White-Rumped Vulture
It is an Old World vulture in the family Accipitridae, which also includes Eagles, Kites, Buzzards and Hawks. Like other vultures it even falls in the family of scavenger, feeding mostly on carcasses of dead animals. It has head, very broad wings, short tail and a white neck ruff. This species is almost on the verge of extinction.
Black Shouldered Kite
Black shouldered Kite is a widespread and common raptor, found throughout the country. It is often seen hovering in the air searching for prey.
Black Kite (Pariah Kite)
It is a dark brown kite found throughout the country. It can be seen circling and soaring even in the urban areas. The Black Kites can be easily distinguished by the shallow V-shaped tail.
It is also known as the Indian Cormorant. It is found almost throughout the Indian subcontinent excluding the higher reaches of the Himalayas. It is a duck-like waterfowl, slightly bigger in size than a normal duck, and is of a glistening black colour. Small colonies of nesting Indian Shags can be found between July to February, the month varying from place to place.
The male Asian Koel
is greenish-black, has red eyes and a pale green bill. The female is brownish above and is heavily striped and spotted. It has a persistent and loud Kuku call. Like other Cuckoos
, the Koel is also a brood parasite; laying its eggs in the nest of other birds and enjoying witnessing them grow.
The most familiar and widespread bee-eater in the country and is often seen sitting on fences and electric wires. They have feathers in their elongated tail which are absent in the juvenile. As the name suggests they predominantly feed on insects, including bees, wasps, dragonflies and butterflies, which are caught in the air while performing sorties.
This bird has right blue wings with brownish upper parts. It is common throughout India and can be found perched on open branches and electric wires in open country.
It is a small owl with heavy barring seen in most parts of the country in well-wooded areas.
Baya Weaver (Indian Weaver Birds)
Weaverbirds are seed eating birds with rounded conical bills and are closely related to finches. They are known for their elaborately woven nests. The Baya weaver is a gregarious bird and breeds in colonies found in scattered trees in open country. Despite the scientific name Ploceus Philippinus, they are found through mainland India and not in Philippines. The breeding male Baya weaver has a bright yellow crown and a dark brown mask around the eye. Non-breeding males and females resemble female house sparrows. However they lack the dark brown mask.
The greater Coucal is a common and widespread bird in India. It is found in overgrown shrubs, gardens and forest edges.
The Rose-ringed parakeet is the most common and widespread parakeet throughout the country. The male has a black and rose collar, which is absent in the female.
Thus, discussed above are some of the most common types of birds found in India. There are diversities of wild and exotic species of birds found throughout the length and breadth of the country which are a real sight to behold and a true thrill for bird-watchers.