A bird sanctuary is a facility with a natural environment that is helpful in conserving the natural habitat of birds. The species of birds that flock to such sanctuaries are about thousands in numbers. While preserving the environment that is conducive for local as well as immigrant birds, the bird sanctuary also offers us an opportunity to view these beautiful species of birds without disturbing them. The climate that prevails in India makes it the ideal home for the migratory birds in the winter that would be quite severe in regions like Russia, Siberia, and Turkey.
The bird sanctuary or bird reserve is also known as the ornithological reserve have also been doing their bit in ensuring that any species of bird does not become extinct or endangered. The bird reserves also maintained in such a way that the birds do not become extinct due to habitat loss or poaching. Hunting is strictly prohibited in the bird sanctuary. The bird sanctuaries are home to the Indian Hornbill which is supposed to be the largest of all hornbills. Since there over 1200 species of birds you can expect to watch in India, bird sanctuaries that home these species of birds are great places to visit for bird watchers and bird lovers in India.
List of Top Bird Sanctuaries in India
Let us consider the top 10 bird sanctuaries in India starting from the 10th most popular bird sanctuary to the first.
10. NalSarovar Bird sanctuary – Gujarat
This is a wetland bird sanctuary which is located in Ahmedabad Gujarat. It is easily one of the largest bird sanctuaries in India and has the distinction of being the largest bird sanctuary as well as the most famous sanctuary in India. It has also been rated as the busiest tourist spot not only in Gujarat but India. It is no wonder for you can spot birds like pelicans, flamingo, Avocets, Spoonbills, Coots, Cormorants, shovellers, mall Grebes, pintails and much more here. You can avail boating services at Rs, 150 per person per hour to go around the lake and keep spotting the birds as you go boating. You will spot both resident birds as well as seasonal birds. The sanctuary is open from morning 6 am to evening 6 pm.
9. Mayani Bird Sanctuary – Maharashtra
This bird sanctuary is located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. It is also a famous bird sanctuary in India considering the number of migratory birds that pass through this area. You are sure to spot the flamingos from Siberia that come here. The best time to visit this sanctuary is between November and January. The entry is free and you can birdwatch from early in the morning to evening.between November and January, you can spot up to 400 migratory birds. The entry is free and the birds you may be lucky enough to spot include flamingoes, coot, painted storks, ibis, kingfisher, Flamingoes and brahminy ducks.
8. Chilka lake bird sanctuary – Orissa
This lake is located near the holy city Puri in Orissa. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds. The lake is pear-shaped and is among one of the best places for bird watching. It is a brackish lake that homes a number of a variety of rare birds. You can spot birds as you go boating in the lake and the natural scenery s quite picturesque and worthy of being shot and preserved in a camera.Visiting are from 6am to 7pm. The entry is free. You can spot flamingos, eagles, and geese here.
7. Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary – Andhra Pradesh
this bird sanctuary is located in Chitor in Andhra Pradesh. This is a bird sanctuary situated near Horsley Hills and stretches to about 358 sq km. This bird sanctuary is situated amidst the wildlife sanctuary and is home to grey pelicans, painted storks, Cockatiels, budgerigars and other endemic and migratory birds along with animals like sloth bear, spotted bears, puma, jungle cat and even elephants. it is open from morning to evening, and there is no free for birdwatching at this sanctuary.
6. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary – TamilNadu
This is located in the Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu and translates as the hamlet for hunters. It is one of the smallest and the oldest bird sanctuary which is visited by at least 40,000 migratory birds between October to January. It is open from 6am-6pm and a nominal fee of Rs. 5 is charged for children while the fee for an adult is Rs.25. the migratory birds you will be able to spot include grey wagtails, blue-winged teals, common sandpipers, herons, spoonbills, garganeys, and pintails. It is open from morning 6 am to evening 6 pm.
5. Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary – Karnataka
This bird sanctuary is located in one of the banks of the river Cauvery in Karnataka. It is a sanctuary that adjoins the famous KSR or Krishna Raja Sagar Dam or the Brindavan gardens. This is closer to Mysore and is the best place to watch migratory birds like egret, light ibis, heron, partridge, river tern, snake bird, and stone plougher.
4. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary – Kerala
This bird sanctuary is situated on the banks of one of the largest lakes- the Vembanadlake. The Sanctuary is spread across an area of 14 acres and is home to migratory birds from Siberia and Russia. Apart from them, you can also find many resident birds of different species and seasonal birds as well. Since it is located near one of the most popular tourist destinations that are thronged by foreign tourists as well, the entry fee is fixed at Rs. 50 for Indians and Rs. 100 for Foreigners. Bird watching is one of the favorite hobbies that the foreigners who are visiting Kumarakom engage in. you will not be disappointed for you will be able to spot pheasant tailed jacanas, egrets, kingfisher, woodpeckers, parrots, teals, larks, owls, and paradise flycatchers. You can spot the migratory birds on the pathiramamal island that is located in the lake. You can birdwatch while moving around the lake on a houseboat that is a popular tourist attraction, for which foreign tourists throng the place.
3. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary – Goa
This sanctuary gets its name in remembrance of the most famousBird expertSalimMoizuddin, Abdul Ali. The sanctuary lies along the mangrove forest in the estuarine part of the Mandoviriver. It is situated in the western tip of Choraoisland in Goa. You can access the sanctuary through ferry services. There is a bird watching tower that is very helpful in watching the birds as well as the flora and fauna which include foxes, jackals, mudskipper fish and marsh crocodiles. The list of birds include Drongos, cormorants, Kingfisher, Woodpeckers, sandpipers, purple heron, mynahs, kites, white egrets, and Malabar trogons. Timings are from 6 am to 6 pm and the entry fee is RS. 10 for Indians and Rs. 100 per person for foreigners.
2. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary – Haryana
This sanctuary that sprawls over an area of 1.43sq.Km is one of the popular habitats for more than 250 species of birds which includes both residents as well as migratory birds. You can watch nomadic birds from Eastern Europe, Siberia, Russia, and Turkey here during the winter. It is open from 6am-4.30pm. the entry fee is fixed at Rs. 5 per person for Indians and Rs. 40 per person for foreigners. The birds you will spot here include red collared dove, red wattled lapwing, rock pigeon, cattle egret, White-throated Kingfisher, little egret, rose-ringed parakeet, black-necked stork, and common mynah.
1. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – Rajasthan
It is presently named Keoladeo National park or Keoladeo Ghana National; park. It is one of the World Heritage sites by the UNESCO. Therefore, this is a protected sanctuary that is also famous for the diverse varieties of birds that flock here. You can spot up to 360 species of birds here. This sanctuary is also known for the animals that you can spot here as much as it is famous for bird watching. The animals you can watch here includes boar, nilgai, chital and Sambar deer. The bird’s list includes pelicans, Warblers, Wheatears, buntings, flycatchers, wagtail, Pipits, larks, stints, shanks, eagles, hawks, geese, ducks, and various species of cranes. The sanctuary is open from morning 8 am – evening 5 pm. The entry fee is Rs. 400 per person for foreigners and Rs. 50 per person for Indians. You can also avail rickshaw rides at Rs. 100.
You will note that all the bird sanctuaries are open throughout the day and the year. But visiting them during the appropriate season will ensure that you get to watch a maximum number of bird species that will make the visit worthwhile. The best time to explore the bird sanctuary is in the winter. The migratory birds would be found in large numbers only then. The colorful, vibrant and rare birds would add beauty to the already picturesque surroundings of the bird sanctuary.
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