The diverse terrain of India gives rise to varied habitats and eco niche that support a bewildering number of avian species. The country supports thirteen percent of bird species of the World. More than 1200 bird species are found in India as resident and winter migrants. When sub species are taken into account the number rises to two thousand plus minus.
The endemic bird species rounds about to more than one hundred forty while birds like Mountain Quail and Pink Headed Duck are extinct. The forest owlet and Jerdon’s courser has been rediscovered while bugun liochichla is a new discovery in Arunachal Pradesh. Many birds are facing a threatened status due to habitat destruction and poaching. With around one hundred fifty families in twenty orders the country has impressive ornithological status.
The bird species in India are spread over in distribution to all regions having dense forest cover, scrub forests, desert, large wetlands and open country habitat. The prime bird areas have been notified as wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks. Bharatpur, National Chambal, Pulicat Lake, Sultanpur, Harike, Chilka Lake, Point Calimere are famed for wetlands birds. Hill resorts Munnar, Sat Tal, Pangot, Pachmarhi, Tiger reserves and National Parks are the best places in India for forest birding. While Rann of Kutch is a desert habitat famous for Flamingoes and Bustards some of which breed here as well.
The river systems, estuaries and coastline are the best places for watching birds that are unique and thrive in these eco niches. The Himalayas and foot hills have affinity to palearctic zoo geographical regions and is home to bewildering number of resident and migratory bird species.
For avid bird watchers interested in check listing a large number of birds great distance may be required to cover. The best way to have an extensive birding tour is to join a package for birding in India. The best tour operators for birding
offer packages that are specific to a region. Hence to enjoy bird watching a birder can join many package tours subject availability of time. The regions are divided as North India, Western India, Eastern India, Central India and South India. Andaman & Nicobar are separated by are home to many endemic birds.
There are many reference books by acclaimed authors as Salim Ali, Krys, Bikram Grewal and R. Grimmett, C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp. There are many more reference material and hand guides pertaining to Indian birds are available on the Internet.
A good set of equipment is a must, high resolution binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras and lenses for bird photography are a must.