Everything You Need To Know About Bird-Watching In Uttarakhand

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Walking along paths surrounded by forests, you hear a slight rustling of leaves, and freeze in anticipation of spotting a Himalayan quail. And then, the endless wait begins!

Bird watching is an activity, reserved only for the well seasoned; for bird enthusiasts who can practice utmost patience and perseverance. If you are a photographer of birds, or simply love spotting new types of birds, there's no better place than Dev Bhoomi, Uttarakhand. The mighty hills of Uttarakhand provide a sanctuary to various types of birds, whose beauty is a sight to behold. Most towns in Uttarakhand have managed to maintain a healthy balance between nature and human settlements because of which wildlife there continues to flourish. In fact, out of the known 1,500 species, more than 50% species of birds can be found in Uttarakhand alone! Here are the top places in Uttarakhand where you can indulge in bird-watching.

Credit:Fae

Photo of Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand, India by Saumiabee

Located on the foothills of the Shiwalik Range, Rajaji National Park is spread across Pauri Garhwal, Dehradun and Saharanpur district of the state. What's special about this national park is that it is located in the transition zone between western and central Himalayas, and thus, hosts a variety of uncommon avian species.

Birds Found:

Some of the 400 species of birds that you are likely to spot are greater scaup, white-naped woodpecker, great hornbill, black-bellied tern, pallas's fish eagle, northern goshawk, black-necked stork, yellow-billed blue magpie, scaly thrush and snowy-browed flycatcher, to name a few.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Sona Nadi Range, Uttarakhand, India by Saumiabee

The Sona Nadi Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Pauri Garhwal near Kotdwar is located in Shiwalik range and is a part of the Corbett National Park. The sanctuary's river, Sona Nadi is known as the river of gold which is the main source that attracts different species of birds and animals.

Birds Found:

Thrushes, hornbills, warblers, changeable hawk-eagle, Himalayan bearded vulture and emerald dove are a few birds that can be spotted.

Credit: Kelson

Photo of Sitlakhet Post Office, Shitlakhet Road, Almora Range, Uttarakhand, India by Saumiabee

Sitlakhet is an isolated hamlet located in the interiors of Almora district in Uttarakhand. With over 112 species of birds, the beautiful untouched hills of Sitlakhet are home to numerous endemic species which are a treat for the eyes. Out of these, 5 species that are globally threatened are found in Sitlakhet, making this small town a favourite among bird watchers.

Birds Found:

Some critically endangered birds that you can spot here are Egyptian, Himalayan, white rumped vultures, slender-billed vultures. steppe eagles and cinereous vultures are also rare species that can be seen in Sitlakhet.

Credit:Dibyendu Ansh

Photo of Dodital Lake, Dodital Trek, Barahat Range, Uttarakhand, India by Saumiabee

The Dodital Lake is a much sought-after trekking destination, which is an essential in every traveller's bucket list. What a lot of people don't know about this lake is that it attracts a variety of rare bird species. So, if you're a trekking enthusiast and a lover of birds, this destination combines both your passions just perfectly!

Birds Found:

Birds you can find here are, bearded and Egyptian vulture, snow pigeon, brown wood owl, scaly-beasted wren babbler, golden bush robin and the rosefinch.

Credit:Harvinder Chandigarh

Photo of Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India by Saumiabee

Munsiyari, one of Uttarakhand's hidden priced possessions located in Pitthoragarh - spell check and correct everywhere district is another must-visit destination for birding. The Panchachuli Range and the unstirred forests of Munsiyari make for a perfect getaway where you can enjoy in peace and spot birds at leisure.

Birds Found:

Munsiyari is renowned for spotting little pied flycatcher, black redstart, streaked laughing thrush, Himalayan woodpecker, verditer flycatcher, grey-winged black bird, scaley billed woodpecker - spelling and black-lored titare.

Credit: Bodhisattwa

Photo of binsar wildlife sanctuary, Binsar, Uttarakhand, India by Saumiabee

The Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary located in Alma district of Uttarakhand is probably one of the most beautiful sanctuaries of India, with a majestic views of Trishul, Nanda Devi and Panchachuli peaks. Alongside sights of ethereal beauty, the animal and bird kingdom of Binsar sanctuary is very rich. Along thick forests of oaks, rhododendrons and chip pines, you are sure to spot various unique birds.

Birds Found:

There are about 200 species of birds found here, some of which are forktails, nuthatches, blackbirds, parakeets, laughing thrush, magpies, kalij pheasants and Eurasian jays.

Credit: Koshy

Photo of Pangot, Uttarakhand, India by Saumiabee

Located a few kilometres away from Nainital , Pangot is a tiny village that serves as a getaway from the crowds of Nainital. If you're staying in Nainital, you can spend an early morning trailing in Pangot. Not only will you see a 180 degree view of snow peaks, but will witness new species of birds as you walk along the deodar forests.

Birds Found:

At Pangot, you can find Himalayan griffon, blue-winged minla, spotted & slaty-backed forktail, rufous-bellied woodpecker, rufous-bellied niltava, and khaleej pheasants.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Sattal, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India by Saumiabee

A group of 7 interconnected lakes, Sattal is a pristine location 45km away from Nainital. Tucked in between mountains of Uttarakhand, the Sattal lake supports bounteous flora and fauna. It is a great idea to find a hidden spot on the hills surrounding a lake, place your camera and spot birds that are exclusive to the lake.

Birds Found:

Red-billed blue magpie, kingfishers, blue-throated and brown-headed barbet, lineated barbet, golden-throated barbet, crimson-fronted barbet, coppersmith barbet plum-headed parakeet are some of the hundreds of birds that visit the lake.

Best Time for Birdwatching in Uttarakhand:

The ideal time for bird-watching in Uttrakhand is from February to May. Summer and spring time bring out the best of the hills, and is a wonderful time to tour around the state and enjoy its birds, wildlife and Uttarakhand's beauty.

Now that you have a complete list of the best places to visit for bird-watching, don't sit idle at home. It's time to try your hand at a new activity and it might just turn out to be your cup of tea! So get ready to be enchanted by some of the world's most beautiful avian creatures only at Uttarakhand.

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