Birds of Karnataka

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The bird activity varies considerably according to the different regions.

a) Coastal Karnataka: Offers good opportunities to sight sea birds like terns and gulls and many other water birds, particularly in winter. The beaches of Uttara Kannada district offer spectacular views of the Whitebellied Sea Eagle.

b) Western Ghats: The lifeline of a majority of south India's flora and fauna. An action zone for bird life and also importantly some of the largest and most beautiful butterflies of the Indian sub-continent. Good birding can be done around streams and waterholes. Forest species like Fairy blue bird, Malabar Trogan [and butterflies like southern birdwing, Paris peacock, Red Helen] can be sighted in the high altitude shola-grassland ecosystem of Kudremukh National Park (Chickmagalur / Udupi districts) and Baba Budaingiris (south & south–eastern portions of Bhadra WLS), Rainforests of Bisle (Sakleshpura taluk), Pushpagiri WLS, Brahmagiris (Brahmagiri WLS, South Kodagu dist.) and also some parts of Billigiri Ranganatha hills (B.R.T. WLS, Chamrajnagar dist.)

c) Deccan Plateau / Eastern Plains: Virtually all the districts of east Karnataka are in the rain shadow area. They have good scrub forests and also some very good grasslands. Important birding areas are the grasslands of Ranibennur (Haveri dist.), grasslands of Maidenahalli (Madhugiri taluk), dry deciduous forests of Sandur (Bellary), Devarayanadurga hills (near Tumkur), Savanadurga state forest (Magadi Taluk, Bangalore rural district), Cauvery WLS (Mandya dist.)

Endemic bird areas of Karnataka: 

The maximum number of endemic birds in Karnataka are found along the Western Ghats. The following is the list of birds endemic to Western Ghats and found in Karnataka:

  1.     521 Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon (Columba elphinstonii)
  2.     564 Bluewinged or Malabar parakeet (Psittacula columboides)
  3.   1036 Whitebellied treepie (Dendrocitta leucogastra)
  4.   1114 Grey-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus priocephalus)
  5.   1259 Rufous Babbler (Turdoides subrufus)
  6.   1287 Rufousvented / Wayanad laughing thrush (Garrulax delesserti)
  7.   1309 Whitebreasted / Grey-breasted Laughing Thrush (Garrulax jerdoni)
  8.   1427 Black and orange / Black and rufous flycatcher (Muscicapa nigrorufa)
  9.   1435 White-bellied Blue flycatcher (Muscicapa pallipes)
 10.   1446 Nilgiri flycatcher (Muscicapa albicaudata)
 11.   1545 Broad-tailed Grasswarbler / Grassbird (Schoenicola platyura)
 12.   1637 Rufous-bellied / White-bellied Shortwing (Brachypteryx major)
 13.   1870 Nilgiri Pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis)
 14.   1909 Small / Crimson-backed sunbird (Nectarinia minima)

Ø Yellow-throated bulbul is a rare bulbul patchily distributed in the rocky hills of southeastern Karnataka, southwestern Andhra Pradesh, northeast Tamil Nadu and northwest Kerala. D.D. hills, 14 km from Tumkur, Savanadurga hills and B.R.T. sanctuary are good places to watch these birds.

Ø Grassland birds like Great Indian Bustard, Indian courser, sandgrouses and other ground birds can be sighted at Ranibennur (Haveri dist.) and Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve near Maidenahalli village in Tumkur district.