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Adventure Tourism || Tourist Circuits

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BIRD SANCTUARIES

Sanctuaries of Rajasthan are known for its rich variety of winged life. The diversities in the climatic and geographical conditions of Rajasthan is probably the reason behind its richness in bird life. With the mountainous terrain of the Aravallis on one side, and the Thar desert on the other, marshlands, salt and fresh water lakes are also a feature of this state. The marshlands of Keoladeo Ghana provide the best colony for birds in the world. The fresh water lake of Jaisamand and the salt water lakes of Sambar and Pachpadra also form a part of the forested regions of Rajsthan.

This land houses more than 450 species of birds, including some rare species. Some of the birds migrate from as far as Siberia to spend the winters here.

The Aravallis
900 kms. in length, the Aravallis range from Idar in Gujarat to Delhi and are the oldest ranges in the world.

The Aravalli hills hold a plethora of forests, the famous amongst them are Sariska, Ranthambhore, Raoli Tatgarh, Kumbhalgarh and Mt. Abu.

Bee-eater
Owl, drongo, minivet, oriole, sunbird, hornbill, bulbul, peacock, flycatcher, woodpecker, bee-eater, kingfisher, mynas, swallow, swift, partridge, quail, sandgrouse, pigeon, doves, parakeet, night jar, roller, barbet, shrike, tree pie, warbler, chat robin etc. are amongst the several birds that visit these forests. Some of these birds are found in the Northern part of the Aravallis while the others are found in the Southern parts. Not all are found everywhere. Birds of central India can be seen in the Sitamata forests which are spread from the Aravalis to the Vindhyas.

Birds of Wetlands

Birds flock to the wetlands of Rajasthan. The best place to watch the birds are these varying sized lakes and Ponds and the marshlands spread over the state. Ghana and Bund Beratha of Bharatpur, Siliserh and Jaisamand in Alwar, Mansarovar near Sariska, Kukas, Kalakah, Akeda, Chandlai, Chhaparwara, Bund Buchara and Ramgarh in Jaipur, Ana Sagar and Faisagar in Ajmer, Meja and Karai in Bhilwara, Pichola, Jaisamand and Badi Ka Talab in Udaipur, Sardar Samand in Jodhpur, Bassi Dam in Chittaurgarh, Mansarovar, Glaisagar and Rajbag lake in Ranthambhor are some of the major wetlands and lakes of the state.

Cattle egret

The two main seasons to watch activities of birds in wetland are summers to monsoons and the onset of winters. As the summer sets in it is a pleasure these birds breeding in colonies. A single tree houses forty to fifty nests. Birds like Heron, egret, stork, ibis and spoonbill usually breed on marshlands with sufficient water and fauna. Birds like cattle egret and saras prefer to breed in less water near villages.

During winters these marshland display a wide spectrum of bird life from the resident birds to the migratory birds. The marshlands echo with the sounds of birds like greyland and bar-headed geese, pintail, teal, shoveler, ruddy shelduck, mallard, gadwall, garganey, plover, sandpiper, guels and tern echo.

We can also spot birds like greater and lesser spotted eagle, tawny and steppe eagle, fishing eagle, imperial eagle, pale and marsh harrier, goshawk, sparrow hawk, kestrel. The water in wetland is widespread but is only 6 inches deep. Small and colourful wedder birds can also be spotted here.

Spoonbill
The other wetland birds are Golden and ringed plover, spotted and common redshank, marsh and green sandpiper, fantail and jack-snipe, turnstone, little slint, dunlin, curlew sandpiper, reff and reeve.

Besides wedder, even flamingoes flock to salt water lakes. The commonly seen Flamingoes are Panchpadra near Barmer and Sambhar near Jaipur. Flamingoes breed on small mounds made shallow water in Sambar lake.

Birds of Grasslands
Grassy stretches are scattered around, in the flat, plain and semi arid zones of Rajasthan. Some of which are saline depressions, which are filled with water in monsoon and gradually dry up. Nothing grows in the centre of these depressions where salt encrustations are present. However grasses and hedges of varying species are found outside this zone. The grasslands are extremely productive and have rich housing birds which suit this environment.

The various types of insects found here are a source of food to the birds. Insects like spiders, scorpions, centipedes, locusts and beetles are found here in abundance. Rajasthan houses many Grasslands big or small scattered throughout the state. The ideal places for watching are Sorsan near Kota, Sonkalia near Ajmer, Tal Chhapar in Churu, Jaisalmer and Bikaner districts and the flat plains of Pali and Sirohi districts.

Black-necked stork
Here you can also spot the common birds of grasslands, like larks and pipits. As grasslands are full of insects, many insect - eating birds like crested lark, skylard, short-toed lark, shy crowned finch lark and the common paddy field pipit are found here. The common inhabitants of the grasslands also include Partridge, jungle bush quail, grey quail, rain quail and common quail, grey shrike, bay-backed shrike, rufous-backed shrike, back drongo and the common myna. But the greatest attractions are the florican, houbara bustard and the great Indian bustard. The floricans visit the garlands during the rains white houbara visit here during the winters. These dry grasslands are preferred by many raptors. Harriers are also common here.

Rufous-backed shrike

The other predators who prefer grasslands are Eagles, falcons, hawks, kestrels and kites, as the open view of these grasslands provides them a good view of the prey.

Small birds like the bulbul, babbler, flycatcher, chat, pipit, and warbler inhabit this area too.



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