Northeast India is a biodiversity hotspot comprising grasslands
& savannahs, wetlands, rivers & streams, forests, and alpine tundra
that serve as habitats for a variety of wildlife. It’s not surprising that it
holds the highest diversity of birds in the entire oriental region.
Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim are
great birding destinations, and there are plenty of birding tours for both
amateurs and professionals that let you capture rare Himalayan species and
Monsoon season in
Northeast India: May-September
Everyone in the birding community knows that winter is the
best time for birdwatching as it provides pleasant enough temperatures to stay
outdoors for long hours and you get the chance to spot thousands of migratory
birds that arrive from foreign shores at waterbodies across the country such as
Siberian Cranes, Greater Flamingo, and Demoiselle Crane.
However, birdwatching during the monsoon can be equally
thrilling and many serious birdwatchers eagerly wait for this season. The
beginning of monsoon is the breeding season for many birds, hence, they come
out of hiding to call their mates and take on colourful breeding plumage at
this time. You can also capture the different antics of birds as they go about building
nests and rearing their young.
Caution: Do not
disturb the birds to get that perfect shot as many nestlings hatch during this
time. If the parent bird gets disturbed by your close proximity, it can
result in the parent abandoning the nest, leaving the nestlings to die without
NORTHEAST INDIA- A
The onset of monsoons heralds some magnificent birds at
river banks and wildlife national parks throughout Northeast India. Listed
below are some places perfect for bird watching and names of the winged
beauties you can spot there:
(1) Deepor Beel Bird Sanctuary, Assam
This large natural wetland is a birder’s paradise during the
monsoon. Covering a total area of 40 km, 4.14 km has been declared a bird
sanctuary and is a breeding ground for a variety of birds including migratory
Birds spotted: Different
species of ducks, geese, egrets, painted storks, grey herons, pelicans, and
(2) Silk Route, East Sikkim
The silk route was once an ancient trade route that
connected China to India. It passes through many small hamlets including Zuluk,
located in the Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary, to end at Nathang Valley before crossing
over to West Bengal. The virgin forests along this route provide plenty of opportunities
to photograph birds.
Birds spotted: Little
Fork Tail, Oriental White Eye, Himalayan Monal, Stayr Tragopan, Brown Dipper,
Blood Pheasant, and Citrine Wagtail.
Oriental White Eye
(3) Khecheopalri Lake, West Sikkim
Khecheopalri Lake, nestled in a dense forest cover, is a
sacred lake believed to be 3500 years old. The lake hosts migrant ducks and on
occasion, rare species such as the Black-tailed and Black-necked crane make an
Birds spotted: Emerald
Cuckoo, Black-necked Grebe, White-naped Yuhina, Speckled Woodpigeon, Greater
Scaup, Laughing Thrushes, and more.
(4) Dzuleke, Nagaland
National Geographic listed Nagaland among the top 10 birding
destinations in the world and is home to some very exotic birds such as the
Naga Wren Babbler, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Mountain Bamboo Partridge, Rufous-capped
Fulvetta, and more. Dzuleke is surrounded by lush green rainforest with very
few human inhabitants, leaving the landscape largely untouched, and allowing
you to spot many endemic birds here.
Birds spotted: Yellow-throated
Laughingthrush, Grey-headed Parakeet, White-browed Laughingthrush, Striped
Laughingthrush, and more.