Water-bird Sanctuaries in India
are sanctuaries for nesting water-birds all over India. These
are often of considerable antiquity and usually sited at a
sheet of shallow water near a village. The indigenous water-birds
of India begin to nest soon after the first heavy rains, and
since the onset of the monsoon varies with region, the same
species of water-bird breed at somewhat different times in
deifferent parts of the country. By and large the native water-birds
nest from about mid- July at the earliest to October at the
latest. The migrants arrive in the cold weather, from September
The chiefwater-birds nesting in sanctuaries in India are:
Grey Pelicans, Painted Storks, little Cormorant, large Indian
Shag, large Cormorant, Indian Darter or 'snake bird', Grey
Heron, Purple Heron, Pond Heron or Paddy bird, off-white Cattle
Egret (plumage mace-coloured when breeding) and the Night
true egrets, dazzling white, sometimes breed in very small
colonies outside sanctuaries, but are to be found in most
sanctuaries breeding along with the other birds. These are
the Eastern Large Egret with yellowish bill and black legs
and feet, exquisitely dissected nuptial plumes at the breast
and lower bacck and the Little Egret with black bill and legs,
with a yellowish patch over the feet and two strap-like plumes
on the back of the head when breeding.
The colourful Painted Stork and the Openbill breed at most
mixed heronries. The Painted Stork is not to be found in many
sanctuaries in the south, though it also breeds in the south.
Both the elegant Whitenecked Stork and the much larger Blacknecked
Stork are shy and not gregarious. They may be seen at some
sanctuaries and breed atop tall trees in and around sanctuaries.
In some places, as in Assam, the Lesser Adjutant also breeds
in tall trees.
The White Ibis and the Spoonbill, which develops a thick nuchal
crest when breeding, are common in most sanctuaries and are
among the earliest breeders.
Ducks breeding in the country include the Spotbill and the
Nakta or Comb Duck, and the little Cotton Teal.
The Sarus is India's only indigenous crane, and breeds in
and around sanctuaries in northern India.
The Little Grebe (dabchick), rails, crakes, the Indian Moorhen,
the Purple Moorhen, the Pheasant-tailed and Bronzewinged Jacanas,
the Redwattled Lapwing, and some other waterbirds area also
to be found at these sanctuaries.
Among the great and varied numbers of migratory water-birds
and waterside birds visiting pools and lakes in India are:
the White or Rosy, the Dalmatian Pelicans, the White and Black
Storks, Greylag and Barheaded Geese, Ruddy Shelduck (Brahminy
Duck), Pintail, Teals, Mallard, Gadwall, Garganey, Shoveller,
Pochards and other ducks, Common, Siberian and Demoiselle
Cranes, plovers and sandpipers, gulls and terns and other
Aredu Pelicanry (Grey Pelicans)
Kaziranga Pelicanry (Grey Pelicans)
Manas - Water-birds
Nal Sarovar - Migratory and indigenous
Sultanpur - Migratory and indigenous
Ranganathittoo - Mixed heronry
Periyar - Water-birds, not nesting
Shivpuri - Water-birds, not nesting
Borivilli, Taroba - Water-birds,
not nesting Maharashtra
Chilka Lake - Migratory and indigenous
Keoladeo Ghana - A great mixed
Point Calimere - Flamingos, other
migrants and local water-birds Tamil Nadu Vedanthangal
- Mixed heronry