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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.