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About Birding in Bandhavgarh

Uday works as a naturalist and birding guide in India. His love for wildlife and nature encourages him to blog and write articles.

Bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh National Park is located in the Umaria District of Madhya Pradesh in India. Also called a tiger reserve it is an undisturbed patch of tropical forest and is home to tigers and many other mammals. It is home to hundreds of birds - residents and winter migrants.

Due to its diverse topography, this wildlife refuge on the fringes of the Vindhya Range is rich in biodiversity. The region comprises moist dry deciduous forests of Sal, mixed, and bamboo. The altitude reaches up to 800 MSL at a peak called Bandhavgarh.

The habitat comprises many swampy grasslands which are slowly drying to become hard grounds. Presently this formation is due to small rivers that intersect the park terrain. This is a unique feature and another aspect that is striking about the topography is the presence of a number of hillocks that create altitude variation.

Bird watching in the reserve is one of the most liked recreations among the visitors. There are several guides in the park with good knowledge of resident and migratory species. These guides are of immense help in locating and identifying avian species for tourists.

Avian Statistics

Bird Species: Approx Two Hundred Fifty

Families: Fifty-Three

Targeted avian species in the tiger reserve are Malabar Pied Horn Bill, Indian Pitta, Brown Wood Owl, Indian Scops Owl, Mottled Wood Owl, Painted Francolin, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Orange Headed Ground Thrush, Tickell's Thrush, Sarus Crane, Painted Stork, Crested Hawk Eagle, and Crested Serpent Eagle to name a few.

Long Tailed Shrike

Long Tailed Shrike

Hoopoe & Woodpecker

Hoopoe and Golden Back Woodpecker

Hoopoe and Golden Back Woodpecker

Important Module

Bird types

Bird Migration

Checklist

Muchmucha Near Bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh Expeditions

Bandhavgarh Location

Map of Bandhavgarh

Avian Images

Purple Sunbird

Purple Sunbird

Lesser White Throat

Lesser White Throat

Red Throated Flycatcher

Red Throated Flycatcher

Bird types

The tourism zone at Bandhavgarh is a typical tiger country. It is a habitat that supports the avian species in great numbers. Bandhavgarh Hill is most preferred by Malabar Pied Horn Bill and Common Grey Horn Bill for nesting. Similarly, Long Billed Vultures prefer steep cliffs of the hillocks to breed.

The park is good for sighting forest birds - Passerine, raptors, owls, aquatic, ground birds, grass birds, barbets, hornbills, hoopoe, rollers, kingfishers, bee-eaters, cuckoos, coucal, parakeets, night jars, pigeons, doves, thick-knee, storks, falcons, plovers, herons, cormorants, shrikes, corvids, monarchs, thrushes, flycatchers, chats, starlings, mynas, nuthatches, bulbuls, prinias, warblers, larks, pipits and Sylvia warblers.

Some of the large water bodies like Bhadrashila, Gadpuri Dam, Bamera Tank, Gopal Tank, Banbei Reservoir, and Umrar Bank besides the numerous small water bodies are places to seek shore and water birds.

Marshy grasslands are home to many birds like quails, partridges, prinias, munias, pipits, and larks. The most coveted species are red avadavat, tricolor munia, blue-breasted quail, and rock bush quail.

Lesser Whistling Teals

Lesser Whistling Teals

Lesser Whistling Teals

Flycatcher Photo

Black Naped Monarch

Black Naped Monarch

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Bird Migration

Seasonal movement of species is noted in Bandhavgarh National Park. Attitudinal migrants are few and arrive from far up north. Most of the migration takes place during the winter while in summer breeding migrants mostly forest dwellers congregate here.

Attitudinal migrants are Pallas Fish Eagle, Brahminy Duck, Bar Winged Flycatcher Shrike, Gray Bush chat, and Ultramarine Flycatcher among many warblers and pipits. The fort at the steep-walled hill, surrounding grasslands, and forests provide excellent breeding grounds for hornbills and raptors.

Indian Darter

Indian Darter a Water Bird

Indian Darter a Water Bird

Bird Photos of BTR

Bonelli's Eagle

Bonelli's Eagle

Gray Headed Canary Flycatcher

Gray Headed Canary Flycatcher

Tree Pipit

Tree Pipit

Long Tailed Minivet

Long Tailed Minivet

Birds of Bandhavgarh

Yellow Wattled Lapwing

Yellow Wattled Lapwing

Great Stone Plover

Great Stone Plover

Gray Headed Barbet

Gray Headed Barbet

Birding at Bandhavgrh

Checklist

Bandhavgarh Important Bird Checklist

  • Brown Shrike
  • Chestnut-tailed starling,
  • Yellow Legged Green Pigeon
  • Indian Silverbill
  • Bay Backed Shrike
  • Wryneck
  • Gray-headed fish Eagle,
  • Pallas's Fish Eagle
  • Short Toed Eagle
  • Common Iora
  • Rufous Treepie
  • Lesser Adjutant Stork
  • Sirkeer Malkoha
  • Tawny Babbler
  • Puff Throated Babbler
  • Tree Pipit
  • Olive Backed Pipit
  • Black Headed Oriole
  • Golden Oriole
  • Lesser White Throat
  • Bronze Winged Jacana
  • Lesser Whistling Teal
  • Grey Nightjar
  • Eurasian Coot
  • Paddy Field Pipit
  • Richard's Pipit
  • Tawny Pipit
  • Long Billed Pipit
  • Barn Swallow
  • Streak Throated Swallow
  • Dusky Crag Martin
  • Red Rumped Swallow
  • Asian Palm Swift
  • Wire Tailed Swallow
  • Crested Tree Swift
  • Osprey
  • Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark
  • Rufous Tailed Lark
  • Singing Bushlark
  • Indian Bushlark
  • Black Winged Kite
  • Magpie Robin
  • Verditor Flycatcher
  • Black Naped Monarch
  • Black Lored Tit
  • Great Tit
  • Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  • Black Redstart
  • Grey-Headed Canary Flycatcher
  • Red Throated Flycatcher
  • Blue Throated
  • White Rumped Shama
  • Blyth's Leaf Warbler
  • Blyth's Reed Warbler
  • Comb Duck
  • Black Rumped Flameback
  • Rufous Woodpecker
  • Indian Nightjar
  • Brown Crowned Pygmy Woodpecker
  • White Naped Woodpecker
  • Yellow Crowned Woodpecker
  • Scaly Breasted Munia
  • Red Avadavat
  • White Backed Munia
  • Brown Cheeked Fulvetta
  • Bronze Winged Dove
  • Chestnut Shouldered Petronia
  • Plum Headed Parakeet
  • Alexandrine Parakeet
  • Wooly Necked Stork
  • Purple Moorhen
  • Common Woodshrike
  • Blue Winged Leaf Bird
  • King Vulture
  • Long Billed Vulture
  • White Backed Vulture
  • Hen Harrier
  • Pied Harrier
  • Marsh Harrier
  • Honey Buzzard
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Crested Hawk Eagle
  • Common Kestral
  • White Eyed Buzzard
  • White Browed Fantail Flycatcher
  • Blue Bearded Bee Eater
  • Chestnut Headed Bee-eater
  • Jungle Myna
  • Common Teal
  • Red-crested Pochard
  • Common Pochard
  • Comb Duck
  • Cotton Teal
  • Rosy Pastor
  • Pied Starling
  • Barhminy Starling
  • Ashy Prinia
  • Plain Prinia
  • Common Tailor Bird
  • Common Stone Chat
  • Pied Bushchat
  • Hoopoe
  • Red Wattled Lapwing
  • Yellow Wattled Lapwing
  • Gold Fronted Chloropsis
  • Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
  • Oriental Turtledove
  • Jungle Babbler
  • Indian Scimitar Babbler
  • Jungle Bush Quail
  • Barred Button Quail
  • Gray Francolin
  • Painted Francolin
  • Peacock
  • Red Jungle Fowl
  • Painted Spurfowl
  • Red Spurfowl
  • Pale Billed Flower Pecker
  • Thick-Billed Flower Pecker
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Purple Sunbird
  • Common Hawk Cuckoo
  • Grey Bellied Cuckoo
  • Indian Hawk Cuckoo
  • Black Winged Stilt
  • Yellow-Footed Green Pigeon
  • Emerald Dove
  • Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  • Indian Scops Owl
  • Ashy Drongo
  • Racket Tailed Drongo
  • Spangled Drongo
  • White Bellied Drongo
  • Great Egret
  • Coppersmith Barbet
  • Cotton Pygmy Goose
  • Grey Lag Geese (Rare)
  • Sarus Crane
  • Grey Hornbill
  • Hume's Warbler
  • Greenish Warbler
  • Painted Snipe
  • Common Snipe
  • Common Chiff Chaff
  • Brown Fish Owl
  • Spotted Owlet
  • Brown Hawk Owl
  • Barred Jungle Owlet
  • Mottled Wood Owl
  • Brahminy Duck
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Greenshank
  • Common Redshank
  • Spotted Redshank
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Green Sandpiper
  • Temminck's Stint
  • White Throated Kingfisher
  • Stork Billed Kingfisher
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Common Kingfisher
  • Black Naped Monarch
  • Verditor Flycatcher
  • White Browed Fantail Flycatcher
  • Short Eared Owl
  • Eurasian Thicknee
  • Savanna Nightjar
  • Grey-Headed Barbett Barn Owl
  • Blue-Capped Rock Thrush
  • Orange-Headed Rock Thrush
  • Blue Rock Thrush

The bird list in Bandhavgarh contains species found all over the park and outside. This includes birds of Muchmucha nearby.

Bandhavgarh Birding

Racket Tailed Drongo

bandhavgarh-birding

Magpie Robin

Magpie Robin

Magpie Robin

Muchmucha Near Bandhavgarh

Muchmucha is a village on the periphery of Bandhavgarh National Park. The old hunting lodge acts as a landmark of this place. It is situated about forty km from Tala Gate. The destination is rich in forests besides scrub, open fields, and small wetlands.

This is an ideal place for birding due to the mixed habitat types near each other. Accommodation in Bandhavgarh at Muchmucha is provided by the old hunting lodge.

Many interesting birds are seen here besides wild animals like Nilgai, Spotted Deer, Chinkara, Fox, and even big cats.

Watching Raptors at BTR

Baya

Baya Weaver Male Bird

Baya Weaver Male Bird

Bandhavgarh Expeditions

The best season to watch birds in this little preserve is during the winter as numbers are augmented by visitor species. For resident birding in early summer offers a lot of sights. This is due to the canopy being thin.

Normally the trips are of three nights but sometimes longer. Photographers and professional birders prefer a long stay. Your trips should include the core as well as the outer areas like Muchmucha. Look for a good naturalist and guide for better sightings and identification. The guides know about the ideal location of the species.

Many good hotels in Bandhavgarh offer the services of experienced guides. These accommodations charge you for this service if they call from outside. But most resorts have resident naturalists who are of immense help.

Crested Hawk Eagle

Crested Hawk Eagle at Bandhavgarh

Crested Hawk Eagle at Bandhavgarh

Gray Bellied Cuckoo

Gray Bellied Cuckoo

Gray Bellied Cuckoo

Bandhavgarh Location

The park is located in the Umaria District of Madhya Pradesh a state in India. The nearest railhead is at Umaria township which is connected with Delhi by an overnight train. The nearest airport is Jabalpur which is connected to Mumbai as well as New Delhi.

From Umaria, BTR (Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve) is about 32 km while it is 175 km from Jabalpur. Another railhead that is nearby is Katni Town which is about 112 km from the National Park.

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

Sarus Crane

Sarus Crane

Sarus Crane

Map of Bandhavgarh

© 2012 Uday Patel

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