Every year, May 11 is celebrated as International Migratory Bird Day to create awareness, protect and also celebrate the migration of various species of migratory birds. The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and Environment for the Americas (EFTA) have come together to achieve this and enhance the global appreciation of these birds. Every year, the day has a theme and this year it is “Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution!” which will focus on the effect plastic pollution has on migratory birds and their habitat.
On the occasion, we bring you some bird sanctuaries and bird-watching sites in India where you can go and have a nice day with your friends and family in the company of beautiful birds.
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
The Jim Corbett National Park, which has more than 500 species of birds, is a treat for all bird watchers. Situated in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, it is an eight-hour drive from Delhi. There are a host of reasons to visit this national park – not only can one spot domestic, migratory and other species of birds like Crested Serpent Eagle, Himalayan Vultures, and Large Pied Wagtail, but can also enjoy observing other animals in their natural habitat and opt for jungle safaris. In case you want visit, Mid-March to April-end is a favourable time.
Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary, Odisha
Chilka Lake in the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary near Puri, Odisha is home to several unique species of birds. Spread over 1,100 square kilometres, one can spot birds like purple moorhen, greylag goose, Jacana, white-bellied sea eagles, and flamingos here. Situated 120 km from Bhubaneshwar, good time to visit the place this is from October to March. Several migratory birds can be spotted around that time.
Pong Dam, Himachal Pradesh
A delight for bird wtachers, Pong dam, also known as Maharana Pratap Sagar Dam, is famous for its migratory birds. Situated 50 km from Pathankot, it is home to over 200 species of birds. One can spot mallards, rare red-necked Grebe, bar-headed geese here. Many of the birds com from Central Asia, Siberia, Pakistan, Chins. One can visit the place during winters as bar headed geese can be spotted at that time of the year. Gaggal, the nearest airport is about 40 km away. The place is always known for enjoy water sports activities.
Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
Situated 18 km from Kangra, Dharamshala is a treat for tourists, and in case you fancy some bird watching, the place serves as a great destination as well. With the trekking opportunities available, birds like snow partridges, Himalayan monals among others can be spotted. The good thing about Dharamshala is one can visit the place throughout the year. In case you are travelling from Delhi, you can take the luxury buses.
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, situated in Sultanpur village on Gurugram-Jhajhar highway, is the place to be in if you are interested in bird watching. A 46 km drive from Delhi will take you here and you can find birds like greater flamingo, Siberian cranes, Northern pintail. It has more 250 species of birds. Winter is a good time to visit as about 90 species of migratory birds arrive here in search of feeding grounds at that time.