A Kaleidoscope of Migratory Birds in India

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Migratory Birds in India – India, with its diverse ecosystems and favorable climate, plays host to a magnificent array of migratory birds every year. These aerial voyagers embark on long and arduous journeys spanning thousands of kilometers, seeking refuge from harsh winters or in search of abundant food resources. 

From snow-clad mountain ranges to coastal wetlands, India's varied landscapes provide a haven for these winged wanderers, offering shelter and sustenance. Let us delve into the vibrant world of migratory birds in India and explore some of the unique species that grace our skies.

Migratory Birds in India with Names and Pictures 

1. Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) - From Central Asia to India:

The Bar-headed Goose, known for its remarkable high-altitude migration, is one of the most iconic migratory birds in India. Originating from Central Asia, these magnificent geese brave the formidable Himalayan ranges during their journey to India. 

Migratory Birds in India

With their ability to fly at elevations exceeding 8,000 meters, they undertake a breathtaking migration across the mighty Himalayas, descending into the fertile valleys of India for the winter. 

Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan and the wetlands of Himachal Pradesh serve as important wintering grounds for these avian visitors.

2. Siberian Crane (Leucogeranus leucogeranus) - From Siberia to India:

The critically endangered Siberian Crane embarks on one of the longest migrations in the avian world, traversing over 6,000 kilometers from its breeding grounds in Siberia to reach the vast wetlands of India. 

Migratory Birds in India

These elegant white cranes can be spotted in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, primarily in Keoladeo National Park and Khichan village. 

Unfortunately, their population has dwindled significantly, making every sighting of this majestic bird a precious and cherished moment.

3. Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) - From Northeast Asia to India:

The Amur Falcon, a small but highly agile raptor, undertakes an extraordinary journey from Northeast Asia to India. Flying across the open seas, these birds cover an impressive distance of up to 22,000 kilometers during their annual migration. 

Migratory Birds in India

Nagaland in northeastern India witnesses the largest congregation of these falcons during their southward migration. 

These graceful birds bring delight to birdwatchers and play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance by preying on insects, including locusts.

4. Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo) - From Mongolia to India:

The Demoiselle Crane, named after its delicate and graceful appearance, journeys all the way from Mongolia to seek refuge in the Indian subcontinent. 

These long-legged beauties can be spotted in the northwestern regions of India, particularly in the arid landscapes of Rajasthan and Gujarat. 

They are known for their 

  • synchronized dancing and 
  • elaborate courtship displays, 

making them a sight to behold during their winter sojourn.

5. Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) - From Africa to India:

The Greater Flamingo, renowned for its vibrant pink plumage, undertakes a captivating migration from its breeding grounds in Africa to India. 

These magnificent birds grace the coastal wetlands of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, seeking shelter and sustenance in the nutrient-rich waters. 

The vast mudflats of the Rann of Kutch serve as a prominent wintering ground, hosting thousands of these elegant creatures.

6. Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) - From Southeast Asia to India:

The Painted Stork, with its striking black and white plumage and vibrant red bill, migrates from Southeast Asia to India. These magnificent birds can be found in wetlands and marshes across the country, particularly in the Keoladeo 

National Park in Rajasthan and the Chilika Lake in Odisha. They gather in large colonies, building intricate nests in trees and engaging in elaborate courtship displays during the breeding season.

7. Common Teal (Anas crecca) - From Northern Europe to India:

The Common Teal, a small dabbling duck, embarks on a remarkable journey from its breeding grounds in Northern Europe to wintering sites in India. 

These agile swimmers and adept fliers can be spotted in various wetlands and lakes across the country, including the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan and the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary in Kerala. 

Their arrival adds a splash of color to the serene water bodies, and they play a vital role in maintaining aquatic ecosystems.

8. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) - From Europe and Central Asia to India:

The Osprey, also known as the fish hawk, is a migratory bird that travels from Europe and Central Asia to India during the winter months. These majestic raptors can be observed near coastal areas and large water bodies, where they showcase their impressive fishing skills. 

The Chilika Lake in Odisha and the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary in Karnataka are popular spots to witness the breathtaking dives of these birds as they snatch fish from the water.

9. Rosy Starling (Pastor roseus) - From Central Asia to India:

The Rosy Starling, adorned with its distinctive pink and black plumage, undertakes an arduous migration from Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent. These gregarious birds form large flocks and can be seen in grasslands, agricultural fields, and urban areas. 

The Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan and the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in Haryana are known for hosting these stunning visitors, adding vibrancy to the landscapes during the winter months.

10. Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) - From Europe to India:

The Black-tailed Godwit, a long-billed wading bird, migrates from its breeding grounds in Europe to India for the winter. 

These elegant birds can be found in shallow wetlands and coastal mudflats across the country, including the Chilika Lake in Odisha and the Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. 

Their distinctive black and white plumage and long legs make them a captivating sight as they forage for food in the muddy waters.

11. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) - From Northern Europe and Asia to India:

The Northern Pintail, a graceful duck with its long, slender neck and pointed tail, migrates from Northern Europe and Asia to various wetlands in India. These migratory birds can be spotted in lakes, marshes, and reservoirs, where they feed on aquatic plants and invertebrates. 

The Harike Wetland in Punjab and the Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha are among the notable sites where these striking ducks can be observed.

12. Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) - From Central Asia to India:

The Steppe Eagle, a large and powerful bird of prey, migrates from its breeding grounds in Central Asia to India during the winter. These majestic eagles can be seen soaring high in the skies, scanning the landscapes for prey. 

They often gather in large numbers at carcass dumps, where they scavenge for food. The Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan and the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat are known for attracting significant populations of these impressive raptors.


India's geographic location, varied topography, and rich biodiversity make it an ideal destination for migratory birds from around the world. As these avian visitors grace our skies, they not only add splendor to our landscapes but also play a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance. 

Protecting and conserving their habitats is essential to ensure their safe arrival year after year. Let us celebrate and cherish the mesmerizing spectacle of migratory birds in India, a testament to the resilience and beauty of the natural world. 

As we appreciate the enchanting presence of migratory birds in India, let us strive to protect their habitats and ensure their continued safe passage for generations to come.

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