Birds in the Jim Corbett National Park

Anjali Mar 21, 2022 Articles

Birds in the Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park is popularly known for its wild population of large mammals such as Indian Tiger and Asiatic elephants but it is also famous for being home to variety of bird’s species.

The Corbett is exceptionally rich in its avifauna with unique range of bird’s life; varying from local to drifter types.

As per a survey conducted by the Zoological Survey of India, there are about 600 bird species in the Jim Corbett National Park. It comprises of both domestic and migratory birds including a different types of water-birds and waterside-birds.

Some of the regular bird species that are seen in and around the park are:

Ultramarine Flycatcher, Ibisbill, Wallcreeper, Hodgson’s Bushchat, Bright-headed Cisticola, Rosy Minivet Long-tailed Broadbill, Blue-winged Minla, Cinereous Vulture, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Tawny Fish and Spot-bellied Eagle Owl etc.

Dhikala, being the heart of Corbett National Park seeks to offer a great birds sightseeing opportunity to the tourists. The grassland of Dhikala tourism zone is among the best place for bird watching.

It has almost 50 varieties of birds that attracts tourisms towards this place including Large owls include the Brown Fish Owl and the rare Tawny Fish Owl, Hen Harrier, Red Avadavat, Chestnut-capped Babbler and Grass Owl.

It is recommended to visit the river Ramganga in the winters as it is generally full by waders, herons, ducks, egrets, Pallases and Osprey Fish Eagle are also commonly seen here during that time. Additionally, the river Kosi is another good place for the sightseeing of the Great Thicknee, the Ibisbill, and Wall Creeper.

The best time for tourists to visit Jim Corbett specifically for birding purposes is the month of September to March.

Undoubtedly, this much variety and the healthy population of birds in Jim Corbett National Park never fail to impress and attracts its visitors.

List of Birds in Jim Corbett National Park

The article aims to provide you with the exhaustive list of birds in the Jim Corbett National Park. For the convenience of the readers, we have divided the list as categorized into 6 divisions.

Let us check out the list to get detailed information about the varieties of bird species found in Corbett.

Water-birds and Waterside-birds:

The water-birds and the waterside-birds in the Jim Corbett National Park comprises of both resident and migrant species.

The commonly noticed resident species includes of the following birds:

Cormorants

– Cormorants are medium-to-large, fairly long-necked seabirds, similar to the pelican and gannet. These seabirds prefer freshwater fish.

Cormorants

They are excellent swimmers and float low in the water, with only their head and neck showing. Colonies of cormorants, especially during the breeding season, comprises of thousands of these birds.

They are colonial nesters that make use of trees, rocky islets and cliffs to lay eggs.

The Darter

– The Indian darter is a water bird of tropical South Asia. It has a long and slender neck with a straight, pointed bill.

They hunt for fish while its body is submerged in water. It has wettable feathers and it is often found perched on a rock or branch with its wings held open to dry.

They are mainly found in freshwater lakes and streams.

The Grey Heron

– The Grey Heron is a winter visitor and a widespread resident in India. It is a long-legged predatory wading bird of the heron family, Ardeidae.

The Grey Heron

Standing up to 1 m tall, adults weigh from 1 to 2 kg (2.2 to 4.4 lb). They have a white head and neck with a broad black stripe that extends from the eye to the black crest.

The body and wings are grey above and the underparts are greyish-white, with some black on the flanks. The long, sharply pointed beak is pinkish-yellow and the legs are brown.

Egrets

– The most common species of water birds, Egret is any of several herons found in India.

The great egret can be distinguished from other white egrets by its yellow bill and black legs and feet, though the bill may become darker and the lower legs lighter in the breeding season.

The great egret is not normally a vocal bird; it gives a low, hoarse croak when disturbed, and at breeding colonies, it often gives a loud croaking cuk cuk cuk and higher-pitched squawks

The Cattle egret

– The Cattle egret is a cosmopolitan species of heron (family Ardeidae) found in the tropics, subtropics, and warm-temperate zones.

It is a white bird adorned with buff plumes in the breeding season. It nests in colonies, usually near bodies of water and often with other wading birds.

The nest is a platform of sticks in trees or shrubs. Their feeding habitats include seasonally inundated grasslands, pastures, farmlands, wetlands, and rice paddies.

The White and Black-necked Storks

– Black-necked stork is a massive bird, which stands tall at a height of around 130 to 150 cm. Leaving the head, neck, wing bar and tail area, which is black, the plumage is purely white.

The beak is huge and is black, while, the legs are bright red. The White-necked stork has glossy black plumage and green, blue and purple iridescence and is an elegant bird.

Its wings and tail are also black. Its woolly belly, neck and under tail-coverts are a white colour, as are the lower back and rump. The beak is pale greyish and the eyes are dark. Its feet and legs are duller.

Spotbill

– This duck has a scaly patterned body with a green speculum bordered by white measures 55–63 cm in length and 83–95 cm across the wings.

These are mainly grey ducks with a paler head and neck and a black bill tipped bright yellow. The wings are whitish with black flight feathers below, and from above show a white-bordered green

Large Pied wagtail

– The large pied wagtail is a medium-sized bird and is the largest member of the wagtail family at 21 cm in length.

They are conspicuously patterned with black above and white below, a prominent white brow, shoulder stripe and outer tail feathers. It is a slender bird, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus.

White-capped Redstart

– The size of this bird is around 19 cm and it belongs to the Muscicapidae family of birds. It has a visible white patch on the top of its head.

They are found in the foothills from 1500-6000 m and show altitudinal migration. They are found mostly near rocky rivers in the hills and their natural habitat is temperate forests.

White or Rosy Pelicans

– Great White Pelican is also known as rosy pelicans, named in the pelican family have grey and have dark flight feathers.

They breed from south-eastern Europe through Asia and in Africa in swamps and shallow lakes. It is a huge bird with a wingspan range from 226 to 360 cm.

They are usually found in and around shallow, warm fresh water. They are well adapted for aquatic life.

The MIGRANT SPECIES of Water-birds in Corbett park includes about 15 kinds of ducks and a variety of Wagtails. Below is the provided description of some of them:

The Great Crested Grebe

– The great crested grebe is the largest member of the grebe family of water birds noted for its elaborate mating display.

They measure 20 in long with 29 in wingspan and weigh 1.5 kg. It is an excellent swimmer and diver, and pursues its fish prey underwater.

The adults are unmistakable in summer with head and neck decorations. In winter, this is whiter than most grebes, with white above the eye, and a pink bill.

Graylag Geese

– The greylag is the largest and bulkiest of the grey geese of the genus Anser, but is more lightly built and agile than its domestic relative.

It has a rotund, bulky body, a thick and long neck, and a large head and bill. It has pink legs and feet, and an orange or pink bill with a white or brown nail.

It measures between 74 and 91 cm in length, with an average weight of 3.3 kg.

White and Black Storks

– Both white and black storks belong to the Genus Ciconia. In white stork, the pure white head, neck, under parts, tail and mantels contrast strongly with the black primary and secondary flight feathers.

The long bill and legs are red. The eyes are brown to grey. They are slightly bigger than black stork.

The black stork has black plumage showing green and purple gloss. Lower breast, belly, vent, and thighs are white. The bare parts, bill, legs and broad eye-ring are red.

Black storks feeds mainly on fish while white stork prefers small mammals.

Sandpipers

– It is a gregarious bird and is seen in large flocks, and has the distinctive stiff-winged flight, low over the water, of Actitis waders.

The adult is 18–20 cm long with a 32–35 cm wingspan. It has greyish-brown upperparts, white underparts, short dark-yellowish legs and feet, and a bill with a pale base and dark tip.

In winter plumage, they are duller and have more conspicuous barring on the wings, though this is still only visible at close range.

Common Snipe

– Common Snipe is a widespread winter visitor and local resident in India. They are stocky, long-billed inland sandpipers of moist woodlands, marshes and riverbanks.

They dwell among muddy habitats at the edges of shallow ponds, streambeds and riverbanks where vegetation provides sufficient cover. They are also common in wet tundra habitats.

These medium-sized, chunky birds are short-legged, short-necked and short-winged with extremely long, straight, gray bills.

The Great Black-headed Gull

– Pallas’s gull also known as the great black-headed gull, is a large bird species.

This is a very large gull, being easily the world’s largest black-headed gull and the third largest species of gull in the world, after the great black-backed gull.

The adults have grey wings and back, with conspicuous white “mirrors” at the wing tips. The legs are yellow and the bill is orangey-yellow with a red tip.

Birds of Prey: The list of resident birds of prey found in the Jim Corbett National Park comprises of:

Crested Serpent Eagle

– A medium-sized raptor, Crested Serpent Eagle of India is 55 to 75 cm in length.

The face of Crested Serpent Eagle is bare and yellow joining up with the ceres while the powerful feet are unfeathered and heavily scaled.

They fly over the forest canopy on broad wings and tails have wide white and black bars.

The Black-winged Kite

– The Black-winged Kite is a small diurnal bird of prey in the family Accipitridae best known for its habit of hovering over open grasslands.

This long-winged raptor is predominantly grey or white with black shoulder patches, wing tips and eye stripe. The long falcon-like wings extend beyond the tail when the bird is perched.

In flight, the short and square tail is visible and it is not forked as in the typical kites of the genus Milvus.

The Indian Shikra

– Shikra is a small raptor and like most other Accipiter hawks, this species has short rounded wings and a narrow and somewhat long tail.

Adults are whitish on the underside with fine rufous bars while the upperparts are grey. The lower belly is less barred and the thighs are whitish.

Males have a red iris while the females have a less red iris and brownish upperparts apart from heavier barring on the under parts.

The Himalayan Grey-headed Fishing Eagle

– The grey-headed fish is a fish-eating bird of prey from South East Asia.

It is a large stocky raptor with adults having dark brown upper body, grey head and lighter underbelly and white legs.

It has a small bill, a small head on long neck, rounded tail and short legs with unfeathered tarsi and long talons.

Himalayan Vultures and Spotted Eagles

– Indian Spotted Eagle is about 60 cm in length and has a wingspan of 150 cm.
It is broad-headed, with the widest mouth of all spotted eagles. While Himalayan vultures are huge and is perhaps the largest and heaviest bird found in the Himalayas.

Adults have a ruff that is long and pale brown with white streaks. Its ruff feathers are long and spiky.

Further, the Migratory Birds seen in the Corbett park are:

Osprey

– Osprey is a widespread winter visitor with Length of 53-61 cm. They have Upperparts dark brown; head and neck white, with a wide black stripe running from the eye down the side of the neck; crown slightly streaked with black.

The Peregrine Falcon

– Peregrine Falcon is a widespread bird of prey in the family of Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has blue-grey back, barred white under parts, and a black head and “moustache”.

It is bird-eating raptors and is renowned for its speed, reaching over 322 km/hour during its characteristic hunting stoop, making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom.

The Booted Hawk

-Eagle and the Steppe Eagle- Booted Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey. It is about 50 cm in length and has a wingspan of 120 cm and hunts for small mammals, reptiles and birds up to 5 times its own weight.

The steppe eagle is a large bird of prey breeds in open dry habitats, such as desert, semi-desert and steppes.

Night Birds in Corbett:

In this category come the owls, the nightjars and the thick-knees. There are over 18 kinds of owls identified in the Jim Corbett National Park including-

The Spotted Owlet

– The Spotted Owlet is a small owl which breeds in tropical Asia from India to Southeast Asia. The Spotted Owlet is small with overall length of 21 cm.

The upperparts are grey-brown, heavily spotted with white. The underparts are white, streaked with brown. The facial disc is pale and the iris is yellow. There is a white neckband and supercilium.

Fish Owls

– There is three species of fish owl found in India; Brown fish owl, Tawny fish owl and buffy fish owl.

Tawny Fish owl inhabits the Himalayan foothills to other parts of India. Their diet includes Fish, Toads, Reptiles and small mammals. They are mainly nocturnal but are seen active during day while feeding.

The Scops Owls

– Indian Scops Owl is one of the largest of Scops Owl species is small at 23-25 cms. It has a smaller head, tufts and ears.

This nocturnal bird mainly feeds on insects and is almost impossible to spot during the day.

Among the nightjar in the Corbett, the list includes:

The Jungle Nightjar

– the Jungle Nightjar is a species of nightjar found in India and Sri Lanka. It is found mainly on the edge of forests where it is seen or heard at dusk.

This bird is found in wooded areas. Slightly smaller in size than a pigeon, brownish buff plumage with black streaks and spots.

The Stone Curlew

– Indian Stone Curlews have large eyes and are brown with streaks and pale marks making it hard to spot against the background of soils and rocks.

It is stocky and brown ground bird with large eyes of about 41 cm in length. Indian Stone Curlew is active mainly at dawn and dusk and it calls mainly at night.

The Great Stone Plover

– The great stone-curlew is a large wader at 49–55 cm, and has a massive 7 cm bill with the lower mandible with a sharp angle giving it an upturned appearance.

This species prefers gravel banks along rivers or large lakes, and also beaches. It is mainly nocturnal and can be frequently seen foraging during the day, moving slowly and deliberately, with occasional short runs.

Woodland birds in Corbett:

Woodland birds are bird species which depend on native woodlands. Following is the list of some of the commonly seen woodland birds in the Jim Corbett National Park:

Green Pigeons

– They forage in flocks, feeds on fruits and always seen during early morning and early evening at top of tree branches in dense forest areas.

It is the state bird of Maharashtra. The species feeds on fruit, including many species of Ficus. They forage in flocks.

Barbets

– Great Barbet is a resident breeder of the Northern region. It is described as a bird, length ranging from 31to 33 cm with short neck, large head and short tail.

The adult is identified as having blue head, large yellow bill, brown back and breast, green-streaked yellow belly and red vent. The rest of the plumage is green.

Woodpeckers

– the Himalayan woodpecker is a medium-sized, pied woodpecker reaching a length of about 24 cm.

Glossy black above with broad white patches from shoulder to lower back, limited white barring on flight feathers and clean white tail edgings.

The crown is red in males and black in females. Black marks under eyes are unique and distinguish it from other species. Its natural habitats are boreal forests and temperate forests.

Orioles

– Maroon Oriole is a local resident of the Himalaya and north-east India. The dominant colors on the body of this Oriole are maroon and black.

More specifically, the adult male can be identified in terms of a black head, neck and wings and glossy crimson-maroon color on its body. It has a chestnut-maroon tail.

The female counterpart has slightly darker body. The female and immature male can be identified in terms of grayish-white underparts with black streaks.

Drongos

– Drongos are identifies with their black or grey body and a forked tail.

Ashy Drongo breeds in Himalayas and north East Indian hills, though a breeding population has recently been observed in central India too. They have bright red iris and are slimmer and longer.

It is a winter visitor to Karnataka and can be found in forests and well-wooded areas.

Pies Babblers and Thrushes

– Babblers and Thrushes are both small size arboreal and terrestrial passerine birds.

Several species of Babblers are largely insectivorous, while the food of others consists principally of vegetable matter.

Thrushes feed largely on drupes and berries, and invertebrate animals like snails and earthworms and are predominantly black or blackish in colour.

Additionally, following are some of the ground Woodland birds:

The Peafowl

– National bird of India is the Indian Peafowl commonly termed as a Peacock. Vividly colorful and exuding oodles of grace they attract a lot of attention.

In the wild, they inhabit a wide range of habitats ranging from semi-dry grasslands to moist deciduous forests. Head, neck and breast are iridescent blue in color with white patches around the eyes.

They have a crest of upright feathers on top of the head which are short and tipped with blue feathers.

The Red Junglefowl

– Red junglefowl are the primary ancestor of the domestic chicken. The nominate race of red junglefowl has a mix of feather colours, with orange, brown, red, gold, grey, white, olive and even metallic green plumage.

There are 14 tail feathers. Compared to the more familiar domestic chicken, the red junglefowl has a much smaller body mass and is brighter in coloration.

The White-crested Kalij Pheasant

– White-crested Kalij has frequent elevations up to 11,000 feet in evergreen and deciduous forests.

The male has purplish black head and neck, white or pale gray brown feathers on nape while the female has pale brown body plumage; long crest dull down with pale shafts and each feather with pale shaft and light grey border which is missing in the flight feathers.

Grassland and Open Ground Birds:

The grassland and open ground birds of Jim Corbett included in this category are as listed as below:

The Black Partridge

– Indian Black Partridges are squat and short-tailed ground dwelling birds of the size of a half-grown domestic hen.

Species of black partridges are good runners and prefer to trust their legs and lie low in thickets instead of flying to escape predators.

The males are easily recognized with a completely glossy black plumaged bird, with a black bill.

Spotted Doves

– It is a common resident breeding bird across its native range in the Indian Subcontinent and other places. This bird has grey color on the head and belly.

A half collar is present on the back and sides of the neck made of black feathers that bifurcates and has white spots at the two tips. The bird has grey brown lesser median coverts.

Bea-eaters

– This bee-eater has a regular bird tail i.e. it has no fancy wire-like extensions in its tail. Range South India barring the the plateau region, in North-eastern India and in Northern India parallel to Himalayas and down into Bengal.

The bird is found near water, open woodlands. It is most common in highland areas. Chestnut-headed bee-eater has bright chestnut forehead, crown and nape.

Its lower face is also bright chestnut in color. The sides of the face, chin and throat are yellow in color.

Chats

– are a group of small Old World insectivorous birds formerly classified as members of the thrush family Turdidae.

Chat are like any of several songbirds such as suborder Passeri , order Passeriformes and is particularly named for their harsh, chattering notes.

Chats are small, quite slender or robin-like birds with fine bills and slender legs. They have slim and sometimes colorful tails and short, round wings.

Rollers

– The Indian roller is a bird of the family Coraciidae, the rollers. It is best known for its aerobatic displays of males during the breeding season.

It is often seen perched along roadside trees and wires and are commonly seen in open grassland and scrub forest habitats.

The largest population occurs in India, and several states in India have chosen it as their state bird. It is a stocky bird about 26–27 cm long. Its main habitat includes cultivated areas, thin forest and grassland.

The Hoopoe

– The Hoopoe is a colorful bird that is notable for its distinctive ‘crown’ of feathers.

The species is highly distinctive, with a long, thin tapering bill that is black with a fawn base.

The hoopoe has broad and rounded wings capable of strong flight; these are larger in the northern migratory subspecies.

It has a characteristic undulating flight, which is like that of a giant butterfly, caused by the wings half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats.

Larks

– Indian Bush Lark has been traced in north-western, central and south-central India. This bird has pale upper body.

It is heavily streaked on the crown and upper-parts. The lark also has large spots on the breast.

The cheek patch is completely bounded by a white supercilium and post-auricular border. Most of its wing coverts, tertials and central tail feathers have pale centers. The primary coverts are brown in appearance.

Mynas

– Corbett is habitat to habitats to various species of Mynas birds. Bank Mynas are found in south of the lower foothills of the Himalayas.

The bird has slaty grey upper body and lighter grey underside. The skin of the bird is black on the crown with pink abdomen and yellow-colored legs.

While common Myna has brown-colored body. It has a black hooded head and bright yellow colored bill and legs. It has white colored wing lining on the underside.

Its breeding location ranges from sea-level to 3000 m in the Himalayas.

Bulbuls

– The Himalayan bulbul is about 18 cm in length, with a wingspan of 25.5–28 cm and an average weight of 30 g.

Its head, throat, and crest are black and white. The back, side, and lengthy tail are brown, the underside is pale yellow.

The song is a beautiful 4-piece whistle, which resembles an accelerated oriole whistle. It is found in and near the Himalayas. The Himalayan bulbul frequents forests and shrubland and also comes into gardens and parks.

Warblers

– The greenish warblers are strongly migratory and winters in India. This is a typical leaf warbler in appearance, grayish-green above and off-white below.

It breeds in lowland deciduous or mixed forest; non-breeding birds in the warmer parts of its range may move to montane habitat in summer. The nest is on the ground in low shrub.

Tailor Bird

– The common tailorbird is a songbird found across tropical Asia. Popular for its nest made of leaves “sewn” together it is a common resident in urban gardens.

Although shy birds that are usually hidden within vegetation, their loud calls are familiar and give away their presence.

They are distinctive in having a long upright tail, greenish upper body plumage and rust coloured forehead and crown.

This passerine bird is typically found in open farmland, scrub, forest edges and gardens. Tailorbirds get their name from the way their nest is constructed.

Robins

– The Indian robin are commonly found in open scrub areas and often seen running along the ground or perching on low thorny shrubs and rocks.

They are mainly found in dry habitats and are mostly absent from the thicker forest regions and high rainfall areas. All populations are resident and non-migratory.

Air-Birds in Corbett:

The list of air birds found in the Jim corbett are provided as below:

Indian Alpine Swift

– Alpine Swift is a large-sized swift of Size 22 cm. It is a probable resident in India and is mainly found in the mountains and hills.

They have brown plumage with contrasting white lower breast and upper belly.

Crested Swifts

– The Crested swift, also called Tree Swift feeds solitarily or in small parties, chiefly at twilight, by making forays for insects from a treetop.

It is about 20 cm (8 inches) long and has pale blue-gray upperparts, dark brown wings and tail, and reddish cheeks.

The Dusky Crag Martin

– The Dusky Crag Martin is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It is 13cm long with a broad body and wings, and a short square tail that has small white patches near the tips of most of its feathers.

This martin has sooty-brown upperparts and slightly paler under parts. It feeds an a wide variety of insects that are caught as the martin flies near to cliff faces.

Striated (or Red-rumpled) Swallows

– The striated swallow is found in open, often hilly areas. It is 19 cm long with a deeply forked tail.

It has blue upperparts other than a reddish collar (sometimes absent) and streaked chestnut rump. The face and underparts are white with heavy dark streaking.

They are fast fliers and they swoop on insects while airborne. They have broad but pointed brown wings.

The Indian Cliff Shallow

– The streak-throated swallow, also called the Indian cliff swallow, is a pretty little bird with brown wings, rump and tail and a blackish-blue mantle.

They have slender bodies, long pointed wings, short and strong bills and great maneuverability and endurance.

Their legs are short and their front toes are partially joined and their feet are better suited to perching.

The Wire-tailed Swallow

– Wire-Tailed Swallow is a small bird of passerine family and it is an Indian bird. Wire-Tailed Swallow is found in open country near water and human habitation.

Wire-Tailed Swallows are fast flyers and they generally feed on insects, especially flies, while airborne. They are typically seen low over water, with which they are more closely associated than most swallows.

It has bright blue upperparts, bright white under parts and a chestnut cap.

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