Birdwatching at Kaziranga National Park

Indian Rhinoceros, Kaziranga National Park, Kaziranga Rhino, Awesome Assam Tourism

The Kaziranga National Park is a bird watchers paradise. The Woodland of Kaziranga is divided into three main types – Riparian Fringing Forest, Dillenia Swamp Forest and Assam Alluvial Plains Semi-evergreen Forest. In these Woodlands, almost 478 species of birds (both migratory and resident) have been spotted, including 25 globally threatened and 21 near threatened species. The park has also been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International for the conservation of the avifaunal species.

The Kaziranga National Park in Assam is one of the finest birding destinations in the World! Every year thousands of birds from around the world migrate to the Kaziranga National Park making it a paradise for ornithologists and bird lovers. As per records, over 470 species of birds have been recorded here at the Kaziranga National Park. With the details of the varied species mentioned in the list below, it can be said that for birding there is no off season at the Kaziranga National Park forests. What creates this rich diversity of birds at Kaziranga is the overlap of the Indomalayan zoo-geographic realms. Kaziranga’s forests is home to all the green pigeon species in India as well as the Hornbill species of the Great Indian Hornbill and the Oriental Pied Hornbill as well.

Kaziranga Birding, Kaziranga Birdwatching Tour, Birds Kaziranga, Kaziranga National Park
The Lesser Adjutant Stork at Kaziranga National Park in your Birding Tour of Kaziranga

While the most common water birds like the Egrets, Herons and Cormorants are to be easily spotted in and around the areas of the Kaziranga National Park, several other species like the Openbills and the Finn weavers nest on the Bombax trees here. Several species of Kingfisher birds like the Ruddy Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher and the White Throated Kingfisher nest around the wetlands and forest habitats of the Panbari forest of the Kaziranga National Park. The Storks rule at Kaziranga mostly along the alluvial floodplains. Several species of Cuckoo like the Drongo-Cuckoo, Plaintive Cuckoo are the real soundmasters of the forests of Kaziranga National Park. The winters at Kaziranga National Park bring in huge flocks of migratory guests to the park of the likes of Great Headed Canary, Red throated flycatcher, Grey-backed shrikes, etc. While in the month of April and May the Summer migrants start arriving at Kaziranga. Along with Yellow bitterns and Cinnamon bitterns certain species of Pond Herons, the Black Necked Crane, Lesser Adjutant Storks can be seen flying around the marshes, wetlands and beels of the Kaziranga National Park. Some of the Raptor bird species to be seen at Kaziranga are Eagles, Vultures, Harriers, etc. Kaziranga is most desired for the Bengal Florican species; a bird whose mating flight is an amazing and wondrous experience to sight here!

Kaziranga Birding, Kaziranga Birdwatching Tour, Birds Kaziranga, Kaziranga National Park
Black Necked Stork at Kaziranga National Park on your Birding Tour of Kaziranga

Wildlife photography is an art of documenting various forms of wildlife in their natural habitat. Nature photography is taken in outdoors and devoted displaying natural elements such as landscapes, wildlife, birds, natural scenes and texture. When it comes to Kaziranga National Park, it is very rich in faunal diversity and also it is like a paradise for researchers, travellers, wildlife lover and wildlife photographer. Once in a lifetime as a wildlife photographer one should visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park. Basically in Kaziranga National Park in Assam, one will get more experience in grassland, wetland and woodland. In wetland, different migratory ducks are being found from November – February.

As I have a keen interest in the field of wildlife and birds photography, I can assure that any wildlife photographer and wildlife enthusiast can get the endangered species of mammals in the World Heritage site Kaziranga National Park, Assam. In Assam, about 691 approx. bird’s species are found out of which 478 species are recorded only in Kaziranga National Park. As per forest official census 4 Golden Tigers have been spotted at Kaziranga National Park, Assam and 118 Royal Bengal Tigers has been recorded which has the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers in the country. But, from my past experience it is quite difficult to spot a Royal Bengal Tigers due to the tall elephant grassland of Kaziranga. In Kaziranga National Park, about 2413 approx. One horned Rhinoceros has been recorded and 2/3rd of the world total Rhino population. Here are some of the endangered species found in National Park, Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserved Forest of Assam – Bengal Florican, Rufous- Necked Hornbill, White- Winged Duck, One- Horned Rhino, Bengal Tiger, Hoolock Gibbon, Gee’s Golden Langur, Pygmy Hog, Assam Rabbit, Assam Roofed Turtle.

Kaziranga Birding, Kaziranga Birdwatching Tour, Birds Kaziranga, Kaziranga National Park
Red-Whiskered Bulbul at Kaziranga National Park on your birding tour of Kaziranga

What makes wildlife and bird photography complicated is that you can’t tell animals where to go and what to do. The decision you make rely heavily on what your subjects are doing. The most challenging factor of any professional photographer is as below:

1) Due to tall elephant grassland (Nov-Jan) it is difficult to spot some of the endangered species for making a perfect composition with the natural habitat. The forest department burns the 20% grassland of Kaziranga National Park of buffer zone and other parts of core area till Jan last week. So it is quite easy to get the highest possibilities of some endangered species from Feb first week to April last week.

2) A photographer should carry minimum 200-500mm lens for any kind of birding photography in Assam. If the camera body is in fx format than it will be very effective and helpful to any professional wildlife and birding photography. In some cases, teleconverter is very essential for close-up and to capture other distance shots.

3) Due to lack of light condition in woodland area, a photographer finds it difficult to capture the best moments. Early morning is the best time to capture the migrated and rare birds of any forest in Assam.

To Plan your Birding Tour at Kaziranga National Park please fill the form below ~

A Photographer should respect the Mother Nature and should love the inhabitants of the nature. The wildlife photographer should not interrupt any natural phenomena that occur within the natural environment. While capturing wildlife subjects a photographer should not disturb any wildlife species and should maintain silence.  It shows respect to the wildlife species in their natural habitats. If the shooting location is in remote areas of Assam, it is advisable to take or hire a professional guide who knows the area very well. This basic knowledge of the environment is beneficial for your own safety and it’s easy to encounter the endangered wildlife species. Thus, this protocol will help a photographer to get the best shot to fill the frame with the chosen subjects.

The Species of Avifauna found at Kaziranga National Park in Assam are as below:

  • Japanese Quail
  • White-cheeked Partridge
  • Red Junglefowl
  • Kalij Pheasant
  • Grey Peacock Pheasant
  • Fulvous Whistling-duck
  • Lesser Whistling-Duck
  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Bar-headed Goose
  • Ruddy Shelduck
  • Common Shelduck
  • Cotton Pygmy-goose
  • Gadwall Anas
  • Falcated Duck
  • Spot-billed Duck
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Pintail
  • Common Teal Anas crecca
  • Red-crested Pochard
  • Common Pochard
  • Tufted Duck
  • Yellow-legged Buttonquail
  • Barred Buttonquail
  • Eurasian Wryneck
  • Speckled Piculet
  • White-browed Piculet
  • Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
  • Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker
  • Rufous Woodpecker
  • Lesser Yellownape
  • Greater Yellownape
  • Streak-throated Woodpecker
  • Grey-headed Woodpecker
  • Himalayan Flameback
  • Common Flameback
  • Black-rumped Flameback
  • Bay Woodpecker
  • Lineated Barbet
  • Blue-throated Barbet
  • Great Barbet
  • Great Hornbill
  • Wreathed Hornbill
  • Oriental Pied Hornbill
  • Common Hoopoe
  • Red-headed Trogon
  • Indian Roller
  • Common Kingfisher
  • Blue-eared Kingfisher
  • Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher
  • Stork-billed Kingfisher
  • Ruddy Kingfisher
  • White-throated Kingfisher
  • Black-capped Kingfisher
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Blue –bearded Bee-eater
  • Green Bee-eater
  • Blue-tailed Bee eater
  • Chestnut-headed Bee eater
  • Pied Cuckoo
  • Chestnut-Winged Cuckoo
  • Large Hawk Cuckoo
  • Common Hawk cuckoo
  • Eurasian Cuckoo
  • Oriental Cuckoo
  • Banded Bay Cuckoo
  • Grey-Bellied Cuckoo
  • Plaintive Cuckoo
  • Asian Emerald Cuckoo
  • Drongo Cuckoo
  • Asian Koel
  • Green-billed Malkoha
  • Greater Coucal
  • Lesser Coucal
  • Psittacula krameri
  • Grey-headed Parakeet
  • Blossom-headed Parakeet
  • Red-breasted Parakeet
  • Silver-backed Needletail
  • Brown-Backed Needletail
  • Asian Palm Swift at Kaziranga
  • Eurasian Scops Owl
  • Oriental Scops Owl
  • Collared Scops Owl
  • Mountain Scops Owl
  • Eurasian Eagle Owl
  • Dusky Eagle Owl
  • Brown fish owl
  • Tawny fish Owl
  • Spotted Owlet
  • Brown Hawk Owl
  • Large-tailed Nightjar
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Pale-capped Pigeon
  • Oriental Turtle Dove
  • Spotted Dove
  • Red Collared Dove
  • Orange-breasted Green Pigeon
  • Pin-tailed Green pigeon
  • Pompadour Green Pigeon
  • Thick-billed Green Pigeon
  • Yellow-footed Green Pigeon
  • Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon
  • Green Imperial Pigeon
  • Mountain Imperial Pigeon
  • Bengal Florican
  • Common Crane
  • Slaty-legged Crake

References ~ Wikipedia, orientalbirdclub.org

Kaziranga National Park Tour, Kaziranga Birds, Visit to Kaziranga Sivasagar
The Kingfisher Bird Species at the Kaziranga National Park ~ Kaziranga ~ Assam ~ India
Kaziranga National Park Tour, Kaziranga Birds, Visit to Kaziranga Sivasagar
The Woodpecker Bird Species at the Kaziranga National Park ~ Kaziranga ~ Assam ~ India
Kaziranga National Park Tour, Kaziranga Birds, Visit to Kaziranga Sivasagar
Bird Species at the Kaziranga National Park ~ Kaziranga ~ Assam ~ India
Indian Rhinoceros, Kaziranga National Park, Kaziranga Rhino, Awesome Assam Tourism
Kingfisher Bird Species at the Kaziranga National Park ~ Kaziranga ~ Assam ~ India
Kaziranga National Park Tour, Kaziranga Birds, Visit to Kaziranga Sivasagar
Bird Species at the Kaziranga National Park ~ Kaziranga ~ Assam ~ India

 

Tips for Birdwatching at Kaziranga National Park ~ Reference www.birdlife.org.au

  • Take your time – don’t rush. By walking slowly you will see more birds, especially the quiet or skulking ones
  • Make sure to listen for birds calling. These records are as valuable as those of birds seen. Take time to follow up unfamiliar calls (never ignore them!)
  • Don’t just record the obvious species (e.g. large birds or birds that are calling vociferously). You should be aware that there will also be less-obvious species present, so look and listen carefully, and make sure to check all likely areas
  • Listen for noises other than bird calls. For example, Crested Shrike-tits are often first detected by the sound of them tearing at bark with their stout beaks; and parrots quietly feeding in the treetops are often first detected by the sound of dropped seed-pods falling to the ground
  • Be quiet. It lets you hear more birds and disturbs them less. However, talk in your normal voice. Never shout, and try not to whisper, as sibilant noises may disturb birds; many species use similar sounds to indicate alarm or aggression
  • Avoid wearing bright clothing or clothing that rustles
  • Be aware that when birdwatching beside a busy road bird calls will be more difficult to hear, as they tend to be drowned out by traffic noise
  • Try to go birdwatching early in the morning. Birds are more active then, and tend to call more often
  • Try to avoid birdwatching on windy days. Wind makes it more difficult to hear birds calling, and they are also less active in these conditions
  • Try to avoid birdwatching on hot days. Birds are inactive during the heat of the day, and are difficult to find. If you must conduct surveys on hot days, do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when it is cooler and birds are likely to be more active
  • Try to go birdwatching in small groups; large groups can be divided up into smaller groups
  • Birds are more easily detected in open habitats than in more heavily wooded ones. However, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security in open areas, as cryptic species can be easily missed. In all habitats, take your time and you will see more birds

So why wait?! Plan your visit to spot the various majestic Avi-Fauna Species at the Kaziranga National Park, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

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