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India Birding Tour - Western Ghats Endemics

This India birding tour is for birders who would like to target the elusive endemics of the Western Ghats in South India. Spread over ten days, this tour takes you through rural India into the hills that make up the high bio-diversity zone called the Western Ghats. The Western Ghats are home to thousands of animal species including at least 325 globally threatened species. Many are endemic species, especially in the avian, amphibian and reptilian classes. There are at least 16 species of birds endemic to the western Ghats including the endangered Nilgiri Laughingthrush, the vulnerable Nilgiri Wood-pigeon, White-bellied Shortwing and Broad-tailed Grassbird, the near threatened, Grey-breasted Laughingthrush, Black-and-rufous Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, and Nilgiri Pipit and the least concern Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-bellied Treepie, Grey-headed Bulbul, Rufous Babbler, Wynaad Laughingthrush, White-bellied Blue-flycatchers and the Crimson-backed Sunbird.

Region Habitats Sites Target Birds
Southern India scrub forest, deciduous and tropical rainforests, montane forests and grasslands


Bannerghatta National Park, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-cheeked Barbet, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, White-bellied Treepie, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Black-and-orange Flycatcher, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, White-bellied Shortwing, Grey-headed Bulbul, Yellow-throated Bulbul, Broad-tailed Grassbird, Wynaad Laughingthrush, Nilgiri Laughingthrush, Grey-breasted Laughingthrush, Rufous Babbler, Malabar Lark, Nilgiri Pipit, Malabar Parakeet, Long-billed Vulture, Ceylon Frogmouth, Malabar Trogon, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Imperial Pigeon, Indian Grey Hornbill, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Lotens Sunbird, Tawny-bellied Babbler, Yellow-billed babbler, Black Eagle, Rock Eagle Owl, Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Chestnut-bellied and Velvet-fronted Nuthatches, Scarlet Minivet, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Tickells Blue Flycatcher, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Greater Coucal, Black-headed Munia, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Purple Heron, Spot-billed Pelican, Painted Stork, Asian Open-bill Stork, Black Ibis, Short-toed Eagle, Red Spurfowl, Grey Junglefowl, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Spotted Owlet, Pied Kingfisher, Blue-bearded Bee Eater, Booted Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Grey Francolin, Laughing Dove, Plum-headed Parakeet, Blue-faced Malkoha, White-rumped Spinetail, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Crimson-fronted Barbet, White-bellied Woodpecker, Black-rumped Flameback, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Red-rumped Swallow, White-browed Wagtail, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Greenish Warbler, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher, Dark-fronted Babbler, Indian Yellow Tit, Long-tailed Shrike, Bronzed Drongo, Ashy Woodswallow, Chestnut-tailed Starling

Bannerghatta India Birding TourBannerghatta National Park

Bannerghatta National Park is situated 22 km south of Bangalore, Karnataka, India. This hilly place is home to one of the richest natural, zoological reserves.This 104 national park consists mostly of dense forest and scrub land, and is home to wild animals such as gaur, leopard, wild boar as well as being an important corridor for elephants migrating between the eastern and western ghats. With over 150 species of birds this park is excellent for scrub birding. The park is also home to the endemic yellow-throated bulbul.

Ranganathittu India Birding TourRanganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is located in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka in India. It is occupies only 0.67 km². in area, and comprises six islets on the banks of the Kaveri River. Ranganathittu is located near the historic town of Srirangapatna and is very close to the city of Mysore.The islets came into being when a dam across the Kaveri River was built in the 1700s. The famous Indian ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali observed that the isles formed an important nesting ground for birds, and persuaded the Wodeyar kings of Mysore to declare the area a wildlife sanctuary in 1940.

The islands host numerous mammals and migratory birds. Some of them are bonnet macaque, colonies of flying fox and common small mammals like Indian gray mongoose, the monitor lizard and civet. The marsh crocodile also called the mugger crocodile is a common inhabitant of the riverine reed beds. Migratory water birds include Painted Storks, Asian Open bill Storks, Eurasian Spoonbills, Woolly-necked Storks, Black-headed Ibis, White Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher and other birds like egrets, cormorants, oriental darter, and herons. The Great Stone Plover, and River Tern also nest here.

Brahmagiri India Birding Tour Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

The Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary is an important bird area located in the Kodagu (Coorg) district and is part of the Western Ghats. It is situated on the border between Wyanad District of Kerala state on the south and Kodagu District in Karnataka on the north side. It is a short drive from the Nagarhole National Park. The sanctuary derives its name from the highest point, the Brahmagiri peak, which is 1607m in height. It covers an area of about 181km and eight rivers and streams originate in this sanctuary, and flow into the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian sea. The vegetation types include evergreen and semi-evergreen forests mainly in the low-lying areas and shola grasslands in the higher elevations.

Twelve of the 16 bird species endemic to the Western Ghats live in this sanctuary including species like the blue-winged parakeet and small sunbird.The 'Critically endangered' bird species like the Oriental white-backed vulture and globally 'Vulnerable' species like the white-bellied shortwing and the Nilgiri wood-pigeon are recorded from this sanctuary. Among the 'Near threatened' species the red-headed vulture and broad-tailed grass warbler are recorded from here. This site lies in Biome-10 (Indian Peninsula Tropical Moist Forest) and 12 of the 15 species listed under this biome are found here. These include Jerdon's nightjar, Ceylon frogmouth and Malabar trogon.

Aralam India Birdwatching Tour Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

Aralam wildlife sanctuary is the northernmost protected area of Kerala state, situated in the southeast part of Kannur District. Altitude ranges from 60 m to 1489 m. above MSL over a horizontal profile less than 8 km, suggesting steep slopes. A detailed bird survey has shown a total of 188 species of birds in the sanctuary. Of these 12 species are endemic to Western Ghats and 8 species are globally threatened birds

Twelve of the 16 bird species endemic to the Western Ghats live in this sanctuary including species like the Blue-winged Parakeet, White-bellied Treepie, Malabar Whistling Thrush, White-bellied Shortwing, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Grey-headed Bulbul, Rufous Babbler, Wynaad Laughingthrush, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Black-and-orange Flycatcher, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher and the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon.

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