With over 10,000 species of birds around the world, Birdwatching is becoming a popular tourism attraction around the world. Birds have always fascinated humans from a very long time and ancient civilizations worshipped and revered birds as Gods and attributed stories of magical power being attached to these colorful creatures. These colorful birds often leave us wonderstruck, constantly reminding us of our environment and watching and studying birds is a perfect way of understanding nature and its habitat.
The State of Assam in North East India is a wild haven for birdwatchers. With almost 35% of the State under forest cover accounting to 26,000 sq. km. of forest area, the various water bodies, Assam becomes a perfect destination for birdwatching especially during winter season. Migratory birds (some highly endangered species) travel from across the world and make Assam their home during these months. Assam is a one of the world’s finest birding destinations. The five National Parks and thirteen Wildlife Sanctuaries of Assam provide the best guarded and protected environment for these bird species. The water bodies located within the premises of these National Park and Sanctuaries ensure adequate food source for these birds. Assam is home to some 1200 different bird species and subspecies. At the Kaziranga National Park alone, 500 species of birds have been recorded. Kaziranga’s forests is home to all the Green Pigeon species found in the Indian subcontinent, both the Great White and elusive Dalmatian Pelican, the Black Necked Crane as well as the Great and Oriental Pied Hornbills. The overlap of the Indomalayan zoo-geographic realms is what creates the astoundingly rich biodiversity of Assam.
Birdwatching in Assam is a very self-rewarding experience. Across Assam, there are many varieties of bird species to be spotted especially at Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Orang National Park, Dibru Saikhowa National Park, Nameri National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary, Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, Panidihing Wildlife Sanctuary, Majuli Island, Maguri Beel, Garbhanga Reserve Forest, Deepor Beel, Chandubi Lake, etc. Assam being the land of grassy landscapes and wonderful valleys dotted with layers of crystal clear rivers and wetlands provides a habitat for over 1200 species of birds. If birdwatching is you passion then we welcome you at Awesome Assam to experience a magical tread that will take you on an exotic journey spotting these colorful creatures and sing to their tunes across the vast virgin wilderness of Assam!
Some of the important Birding destinations in Assam along with species of birds to be found are ~
- Bedazzled Birdwatching at Kaziranga National Park ~ Assam
The best wildlife destination of Assam and home of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros and the Royal Bengal Tigers, Kaziranga National Park is also an attractive bird watching destination in Assam. It can be also said that if Kaziranga National Park was not as famous for its rhinos, it would surely have been known as one of the world’s finest birding destinations. Kaziranga National Park alone has more than 500 species of birds. Some of the bird species found at Kaziranga National Park are 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, Raptors, Storks, Abbott’s Babbler, Flycatcher, little Spiderhunter, etc.
For complete list of Birds at Kaziranga National Park: Click Here
- Bedazzled Birdwatching at Manas National Park ~ Assam
Located in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, the Manas National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Tiger Reserve and also a Biosphere Reserve. The region of North East in India lies at the crossroads of the Himalayas and the Indo-Malayan biodiversity hotspot that results in the highest diversities of bird species in India and Manas being a part of this region is blessed with a huge population of both resident as well as migratory birds. Manas National Park in Assam boasts of some of the world’s most endangered bird species of the likes of the elusive Bengal Florican, Greater and Lesser Adjutant Storks, Rufous Necked Hornbill, Great Hornbill, Grey Crowned Prinia, Bristled Grassbird, Marsh Babbler, Jerdon’s Babbler, Black Breasted Parrotbill, etc. Other common bird species found at Manas National Park are Jungle Fowls, Bulbul, Brahminy Duck, Khaleej Pheasant, Egret, Pelican, Fishing Eagle, Serpent Eagle, Falcon, Scarlet Minivet, Bee-Eater, Kingfisher, Magpie Robin, Pied Hornbill, Gray Hornbill, Merganser, Harrier, Osprey, Heron, Buzzard, Lapwing, Plover, Sandpiper, Snipe, River Tern, Woodpecker, Warbler, Chat, Thrush,Tit, etc.
For complete list of Birds at Manas National Park: Click Here
- Bedazzled Birdwatching at Nameri National Park ~ Assam
Located in the Sonitpur district of Assam, the Nameri National Park lies in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas and is also a Tiger Reserve. Criss crossed by several rivers, the Jia Bhorelli is the primary river flowing across the Nameri National Park and a perfect site for birdwatching here. Nameri National Park has a subtropical monsoon climate characterized by heavy rainfall during monsoons. Nameri National Park has four different types of forest types namely ~
1. Eastern alluvial secondary semi-evergreen forest
2. Low alluvial savannah woodlands
3. Eastern dillenia swamp forests
4. Wet bamboo forests
The perfect combination of these forests and flowing water bodies makes Nameri National Park an ideal bird watching destination with over 300 species of resident and migratory birds to be spotted. Some of the bird species found at Nameri National Park are White Winged Wood Duck, Great Pied Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Rufous Necked Hornbill, Black Stork, Ibisbill, Blue-bearded Bee-eaters, Babblers, Plovers, Large Whistling Teal, Common Merganser, King Vulture, Long Billed Ring Plover, Khaleej Pheasant, Hill Myna, Pin tailed green Pigeon, Himalayan pied Kingfisher, Three Toed kingfisher, Fairly Blue Bird, etc.
For complete list of Birds at Nameri National Park: Click Here
- Bedazzled Birdwatching at Majuli Island ~ Assam
Majuli is the largest river island in the World. Nestled amidst the mighty Brahmaputra river, Majuli is the cultural hub of the Neo vaishnavite cult of Assam and a paradise for bird watching. Mostly for its fertile floodplains and highly productive wetlands, Majuli Island attracts a wide variety of birds every year. Majuli not only supports diverse resident birds but also attracts a large number of migratory birds. At Majuli Island, more than 260 species of bird life has been recorded. In addition to birds, Majuli also has a varied and diverse flora and fauna.
Majuli being home to over 260 species of bird life attracts many winter migrant species from as far as Tibet and Siberia. As many as 90 different species of migratory birds are known to visit Majuli every year. It is known that at least 13 globally threatened and 5 near threatened species of birds visit Majuli. Some of these species include Spot billed Pelican Pelecanus philippinus, Slender Billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris, White-backed Vulture, Greater Adjutant-Stork Leptoptilos dudius and Lesser Adjutant-Stork L. javanicus also breed in Majuli. Other varied bird species of Majuli Island are Black-breasted or Black-throated Parrotbill, Marsh Spotted Babbler, Jerdon’s Babbler, Spot-billed Pelican, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Greater Adjutant Stork, Pallas’s Fish-Eagle, Waterfowl, Lesser Whistling Duck, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveller, Three Falcated Teal, Ruddy Shelduck, Greylag geese, Swamp Francolin , Bengal florican, Common Crane, Warblers, Leaf warblers, Chats, Thrushes, Wagtails, Pipits, etc.
For complete list of Birds at Majuli Island: Click Here
- Bedazzled Birdwatching at Jatinga Valley ~ Assam
Jatinga valley is located near the Haflong area in Assam and is also the headquarters of the district. Being the only hill station of Assam, Jatinga is blessed with abundant flora, fauna and avifauna. Jatinga is renowned across the world for its phenomenon of bird suicide wherein over 44 species of birds are known to get disoriented and plunge to their deaths on burning lights and lamps of the Jatinga town mostly during the months of September and October. Although this phenomenon is not literally birds commiting suicide by falling off from a height, it is really on dark moonless nights, these birds get strangely disoriented due to strong winds and the birds plunge towards torches and lights of Jatinga town to be later captured and killed by the people here. At Jatinga, although these birds are known to occasionally plunge to their deaths but it usually the villager who do the actual killing after their fall. Out of a number of theories proposed to explain this phenomenon, the one suggesting that a combination of high altitude, high winds and fog leads to the disorientation of these bids who in turn get attracted to light sources as a source of flight stabilization.
Among the species that form a part of this weird phenomenon, as few are tiger bittern, black bittern, little egret, pond heron, Indian pitta, and kingfishers all being affected, as well as hill partridge, green pigeon, emerald dove, necklaced laughingthrush, black drongo, etc.
- Bedazzled Birdwatching at Dibru Saikhowa National Park ~ Assam
Yet another fascinating destination to enjoy Bird watching in Assam is the Dibru Saikhowa National Park. Located conveniently close to the Dibrugarh airport in Upper Assam, the Dibru Saikhowa National Park is located in the Tinsukia district covering a total core area of 340 sq. km. The Dibru Saikhowa National Park is perhaps the only National Park in India that allows its visitors to explore the varied flora and fauna of the National Park aboard a River Cruise. Surrounded by the mighty Brahmaputra, the Dibru Saikhowa National Park contains varied fauna of the likes of Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, Clouded leopard, Jungle cat, Sloth bear, Dhole, Small Indian civet, Malayan giant squirrel, Chinese pangolin, Gangetic dolphin, Slow loris, Pig tailed macaque, Assamese macaque, Rhesus macaque, Capped langur, Hoolock gibbon, Asian elephant, Wild boar, Sambar deer, Hog deer, Barking deer, Asiatic water buffalo, Feral horses, etc. But the best part of the Dibru Saikhowa National Park is its cvaried bird species.
Over 350 species of birds are known to be found at the Dibru Saikhowa National Park. Some of the bird species recorded here are Greater adjutant, Lesser adjutant, Indian cormorant, Grey heron, Purple heron, Black-crowned night heron, Yellow bittern, Asian openbill, Black stork, Fulvous whistling-duck, Greylag goose, Northern pintail, Pallas’s fish-eagle, Eurasian griffon, Osprey, Crested serpent-eagle, Spot-billed pelican, White-winged wood duck, Baer’s pochard, Greater spotted eagle, Bengal florican, Pale-capped pigeon, Great pied hornbill, Marsh babbler, Jerdon’s babbler, Black-breasted parrotbill, etc.
- Bedazzled Birdwatching at Maguri Beel ~ Assam
Across Assam one can find many waterbodies in the form of lakes which are locally called as ‘Beel’. Often dotted with sandy islands and mudflats these ‘Beels’ contain mixed grass that harbour many species of grassland birds. The open waters of these ‘Beels’ or lakes also contain large concentration of waterfowls. The Maguri Beel is a part of the Dibru Saikhowa National Park and Biosphere Reserve but is located just outside the core area of the National Park.
Maguri Beel is located on the south bank of the Dibru River. The Dibru river is a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra river. The Maguri Beel is not a protected area so the local villagers use it for fishing regularly. Being very rich in aquatic life, the Maguri Beel is very rich in Biodiversity and a variety of waterfowls and grassland birds are to be found here. With the absence of many other mammal species and sparse human population around the Maguri Beel, this place attracts birds in huge numbers. Large flocks of birds can be spotted feeding at the Maguri Beel. The major population being of the Ruddy Shelducks. Other species of bird found at Maguri Beel are Egrets, Lesser Adjutant, Greater Adjutant, Baikal Teal, Falcated Duck., Ferruginous Duck, Pied Harrier, Swamp Francolin, Jerdon’s Babbler, Marsh Babbler, Swamp Prinia, Grassland Warblers, Baer’s Pochard, Black Breasted Parrotbill, Great Cormorant, Indian Shag, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Bar headed Goose, Common Teal, Garganey, Eurasian Wigeon, Black Kite, Cotton Teal, Griffon Vulture, Swamp Francolin, Red Wattled Lapwing, Spotted Dove, Barn Swallow, White Wagtail, etc.
For complete list of Birds at Maguri Beel: Click Here
- Bedazzled Birdwatching at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary ~ Assam
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is situated around 42 kms from Guwahati, in the plains of River Brahmaputra in the district of Morigaon in Assam. Legend has it that the King of Mayong gave the name ‘Pobitara’ to the forest after his lovely daughter who died in her youth. In 1971, the forest was declared a reserve forest to protect the famous rhinos. In 1987, Pobitora was declared as the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. The extent of the Protected area is 38.81 sq km. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is mainly famous for its great Indian one horned Rhinoceros and has the Highest Population Density of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros anywhere in the World!
Besides Rhinoceros the other animals found are Asiatic Buffalo, Leopard, Wild bear, civet cat etc. Various species of reptiles to be found at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary are the likes of the Indian python, common monitor lizard, Indian tent turtle, Indian cobra are also found at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam. The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to more than 375 resident and migratory birds such as Indian pied hornbill, osprey, hill myna, kalij pheasant. Due to its rich birdlife, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is also called as the ‘Bharatpur of the East‘.
For complete list of Birds at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary: Click Here
- Bedazzled Birdwatching at Chandubi Lake ~ Assam
The Chandubi Lake was created by the devastating earthquake of 1897. It is around 65 Km from Guwahati city. The lake is at the base of Garo hills bordering Assam and Meghalaya. The area around the Chandubi Lake is surrounded by deep forests, tea gardens and small and discrete villages and is an ideal place for a day out and picnic. Efforts have been put by the local people at Chandubi towards the development of Ecotourism near the lake. Their efforts have slowly started to bear fruit and gradually the area around the Chandubi Lake is becoming a favorite hotspot for Bird watching around the Guwahati area. Tourists visit here to catch a glimpse of the sunset and sunrise and to spot the majestic bird species that flock to the Chandubi lake.
The clear and fish abundant waters of the Chandubi lake makes it an ideal stop over for migratory birds during winters. This makes the lagoon of Chandubi and ideal retreat for the bird lovers. The retreat at the Chandubi Jungle Camp offers you ideal Tree houses and Watchtowers to enjoy Bedazzled Birdwatching at Chandubi. Some of the Bird Species found at Chandubi are Forktails Riverchats, Ruddy Shelduck, Cormorants, Ducks, Jungle Fowls, Bulbuls, Brahminy Ducks, Pied Hornbills,Pelicans, Fishing Eagles, Serpent Eagles, Egrets, Scarlet Minivets, Magpie Robins, Bee-Eaters, Gray Hornbills, Ospreys, Herons, Khaleej Pheasants, Mergansers, Harriers, etc.
- Bedazzled Birdwatching at Garbhanga Reserve Forest ~ Assam
Located in the outskirts of the beautiful city of Guwahati in Assam, the Garbhanga Reserve Forest is a mountainous area covering an area of almost 1500 hectares of land. Providing a green cover to the city of Guwahati, Garbhanga Reserve Forest border the majestic mountain ranges of Meghalaya on the east and north and is bounded by the Rani Reserve Forest to its west and the city of Guwahati and Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary to its south. The area of the Garbhanga Reserve Forest forms a part of the Green Belt region adjoining Guwahati and the forest area of Garbhanga is mostly dominated by the teak tree species. The Garbhanga Reserve Forest are also has moist deciduous forests, mix forests, evergreen and semi evergreen patches along the interiors of the forest area. The Garbhanga Reserve Forest welcomes you to the singing and chirping of hundred of birds species here. Various species of rare butterflies too are home at the Garbhanga Reserve Forest area.
The vast forest cover, unending supply of water from the perennial streams of Meghalaya, the humid yet pleasant climate harbours a variety of wildlife at the Garbhanga Reserve Forest area. Various mammal species of the likes of Elephants, Hoolock Gibbons, Langurs, Leopards, Gibbons, Deer, Sambar, etc. live inside the forests of Garbhanga. For the bird lovers, Garbhanga is home to hundreds of birds belonging to over 128 species. Some of the bird species to be found at Garbhanga are Black Kite, Shikra, Asian Koel, Indian Cuckoo, Small Headed Malkova, White–Browed piculet, Crimson Sunbird, Large Woodshrike, Yellow-bellied Warbler, Dark –necked Tailorbird, White-rumped Shama, White–bellied Erpornis, Black –crested Bulbul, Pin- striped Tit Babbler, Rufescent Prinia, Common Iora, Greater Coucal, Barn Owl, Spotted owl, Brown Fish-Owl, Small Bee–eater, Blue-tailed bee-eater, Lineated barbet, Blue–throated barbet, Coppersmith barbet, Small Blue kingfisher, White-breasted Kingfisher, Lesser Pied Kingfisher, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Fulvous-breasted Pied Woodpecker, Small Yellow-naped Woodpecker, Large Yellow-naped Woodpecker, Greater Golden-backed Woodpecker, Blue Whistling–Thrush, Tickell’s Thrush, Black–backed Forktail, Spotted Forktail, Common Stonechat, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Jungle Babbler, Small Niltava, Black-naped Monarch–Flycatcher, Chestnut–bellied Nuthatch, Spotted Munia, Grey-headed Starling, Bronzed Drongo, Jungle Myna, Grey headed Flycatcher, etc.
For complete list of Birds at Garbhanga Reserve Forest: Click Here
Garbhanga Reserve Forest is also known for its various species of colorful butterflies. Any visitor to Garbhanga can anytime spot these butterflies flying in front of their eyes. As per records, over 26 species of butterflies are alone recorded here at the Garbhanga Reserve Forest.
For complete list of Butterflies at Garbhanga Reserve Forest: Click Here
For all the bird lovers out there who choose to visit our State Assam to enjoy bedazzled bird watching here, below are a few tips that would help you enjoy your views better:
- A good bird book (Field guide) describing the diversity of the species of birds in the Assam would be a good way to tart of your journey. It is very essential and important that the you know what you are looking at. In addition to the local guide we have to guide you with the various species, this book will act as the encyclopaedia for certain other places you plan to visit which we might have missed to mention.
- It is quite obvious to say that the birds usually choose to stay at the top of the trees. The migratory birds can mesmerize your eyes only when you are able to see them through a distance in their habitat. Thus a pair of binoculars becomes very handy in enjoying the view.
- Local checklist like the website of the tourism state is as essential as the bird book.
- In order to enjoy the beauty of the birds, you will need a better knowledge about the season in which the birds come to the Assam so that you can plan your time your visit to sight specific bird life. This will also allow you to pick up the songs of your favourite species in the forest.
- Spending a vacation in a bird destination usually demands tenacity. But the fruit is really worth the effort. The trips to bird watching usually lasts from early morning to late evening and it is a treat and a delight for the watchers who spend their time mesmerised and lost in the beauty of nature’s creation.
- Gathering as much knowledge about the bird’s species is always helpful. Many a times, new species visit the places which becomes a treat and a mystery for both the watcher as well as the guide since they don’t have a clue as to which species it belongs to. Here, a handy knowledge about the birds definitely helps.
- It is always better to keep the track records of the number of birds that you have observed and the species that you further want to explore. This can be formed in the form of a calendar and as and when you find a bird species you wanted to see, you can strike it off from the calendar.
- A camouflage attire is preferred over shiny and white dress. Any dress that mingles with the surroundings engages the watcher to take a deeper look at the species.
- A watcher should respect the wilderness. Pointing at the birds, going near the nests, disturbing the peace and harmony of the forest is a strict no and the birds should be left at their peace so as to let others enjoy their beauty as well.That being said, feeding the birds, throwing foods, stones etc is an offence.
So why wait?! Plan your Birdwatching Tour visit to the Land of the Red Rivers and Blue Hills, the State of Awesome Assam, Incredible India!
Phone: +91 7086009708