Best time to travel to India

Birdwatching in India

The avian diversity of India is shocking. Wake up your inner birdwatcher, get armed with a good pair of binoculars, and go explore!

Best time: October–March


India is home to an off-the-wall abundance of bird life—1,250 species across all India to be correct (which is about 13 % of the total number of species in the world). Birds can be easily marked by their movement, behavior, color, habitat, shape, size, or singing.

You can see birds with a naked eye or using binoculars, but some species are identified just by listening to their one-of-a-kind tweets and chirps. And as long as you’re not disturbing the habitat of the birds, birding is an environmentally friendly activity. Moreover, hours out in the fresh air is a perfect stress-buster.

Here In India, you will discover a variety of birdwatching spots. For instance, Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand is the oldest national park in India and is a pure paradise for birdwatchers. Spectacular landscapes are all around, and you can listen to a non-stop bird choir.

Another heavenly place for birdwatchers is in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, a particularly popular tourist destination famous for numerous exotic and endangered bird species after winter migrations.

The Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary on Odisha, the Chilka Lake, is another significant wintering ground for migratory birds. Birdwatchers keep coming back to this beloved destination as it is home to some of the most beautiful species like greylag geese, sea eagles, and much more.

Pay particular attention to Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala which is also considered to be the richest bird habitat in India. This place is home to different varieties of cuckoos, and there is even a section of it known as ‘Cuckoo Paradise.’

Usually, the weather in India is more favorable during the winter months from October/November to February/March, and it's the time to spot migratory birds, so this season will be perfect for passionate birdwatching.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit India for birdwatching?

The ideal period for birdwatching in India is from October/November to February/March, which is the winter season. Migratory birds can be spotted during this time, and birdwatchers visit popular sanctuaries like Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary in Odisha to see species such as greylag geese and sea eagles. Show more

Where are the top birdwatching destinations in India?

Tourists visiting India can enjoy birdwatching at several locations such as Jim Corbett National Park, the oldest of its kind in the country. The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is another popular spot well-known for exotic bird species that visit after winter migration; Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala is the richest bird habitat in India and boasts numerous varieties of cuckoos. Show more

What are some popular bird species to watch for in Kerala?

In Kerala, birdwatchers can observe a plethora of avian species, including the Indian Pitta, the white-bellied treepie, the Malabar parakeet, and others. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary or Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is home to several types of cuckoos, including the Indian cuckoo, chestnut-winged cuckoo, and drongo cuckoo. Numerous species of birds like rufous babbler, small sunbird, and Malabar grey hornbill inhabit the sanctuary. Show more

Can birdwatching be done without binoculars or other equipment?

While it's possible to enjoy birdwatching with the naked eye, observing distant or camouflaged birds can be challenging. Binoculars and spotting scopes aid in identifying birds and seeing intricate details that are otherwise unnoticeable. Birdwatchers should carry fundamental gear like a camera, sunscreen, field guide, and sun hat. Show more

How can tourists ensure they are not disturbing the habitats of the birds they are watching?

Tourists must ensure that their birdwatching activities don't impact the environment or disturb the birds' natural habitats. It is recommended to maintain a safe distance from the birds and avoid interfering with their nests. It's best to keep a low profile, refrain from using flash photography, generating noise or littering the surroundings. It is important to respect and preserve nature and the environment. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin