5 fascinating bird sanctuaries you must visit in India
Winter is almost here and it marks the arrival of a wide range of migratory birds across the country. India houses some fascinating bird sanctuaries well-known for their rich biodiversity and exotic birds, along with panoramic scenic beauty. You can sight many colorful and rare birds here during the winter months. Here are five fascinating bird sanctuaries in India that you must visit.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan
Also known as the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a protected sanctuary. Spread over 28 square kilometers, the sanctuary houses over 360 species of birds including pelicans, cranes, eagles, hawks, shanks, stints, pipits, larks, geese, warblers, etc. It also houses 300 species of flowering plants and different interesting animal species.
Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary in Odisha
Housing several migratory, rare, and residential bird species, Chilika is the largest brackish water lake in Asia. Every year, over 260 species of birds migrate from the Caspian Sea, Russia, Aral Sea, Mongolia, Ladakh, and the Himalayas to this sanctuary. You can spot birds like flamingos, eagles, and geese here. While boating, you can also spot Irrawaddy dolphins here.
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in Haryana
Spread over an area of 1.43 square kilometers, the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is one of the most popular sanctuaries in India. During winter, a huge number of nomadic birds fly here from Russia, Eastern Europe, Siberia, and Turkey. The place houses over 250 species of resident birds. Some birds found here include rosy pelican, common teal, yellow wagtail, black-winged stilt, common greenshank, etc.
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu
Located in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is the smallest bird sanctuary and oldest water bird sanctuary in India. Meaning the "hamlet of the hunters," the sanctuary is spread over 30 acres of land and houses over 26 rare species of birds. More than 40,000 migratory birds visit here during the winter. You can spot pintails, garganeys, herons, blue-winged teals, etc. here.
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Goa
Named after popular ornithologist Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali, this bird sanctuary is located along the narrow stretch of mangrove forest, Mandovi River, and the western tip of Chorao Island in Goa. The sanctuary houses a bird-watching tower that allows you to spot birds like drongos, cormorants, kingfishers, sandpipers, trogons, kites, curlews, purple herons, etc. You can also spot foxes, jackals, and marsh crocodiles here.