Birds are one of the most beautiful creations of Mother Nature and are a treat to watch. Most of us are aware of the frequently talked about and widely known migratory birds coming to India after flying hundreds and thousands of kilometres like Siberian Crane, Flamingo, Bar-Headed Goose; but very few of us know about some of the common but least known migratory birds species.
So, in this post I’m going to highlight those lesser known gypsy beauties that spend a season in Indian sub-continent and the other in some foreign land. You can learn more about such birds in the most valued book of all times – The Book of Indian Birds
10 Least known Migratory Birds of India
Blue Tailed Bee Eater : Merops philippinus
This vibrantly coloured Bee-Eater is a silent migrator. The bird nests and breeds in North Indian states in summer season and migrate to the South peninsular India in the winter months. Blue tailed Bee-Eaters are found around streams, lakes or other water bodies with bushes or wooded tracts, and make underground tunnels for nesting. As their names suggests, they feed on bees, wasps, dragonflies, hornets and other alike birds.
Kingfisher : Alcedo atthis
A very common and strikingly coloured bird, Kingfisher breeds in summer months in Eurasian warm and moist areas near water bodies like lakes, ponds, water reservoirs and tanks; it migrate to warm South Asian coastal regions in winter months. It generally feeds on small fishes, tadpoles and small aquatic organisms.
You can know more about most beautiful birds of India in one of my previous post.
Yellow Wagtail : Motacilla ctreola
Yellow Wagtail got its name from its distinct habit of constantly wagging its tail. The bird can be noticed solitary but nests in large groups in bushes and reeds around swamps, springs or other water bodies. They travel to different places according to climatic conditions. Usually they migrate to Indian sub-continent in the early winter months and fled back to European countries with the onset of springs.
Common Starling : Sternus vulgaris
Common Starling is a local migrator. It stays in cooler Himalayan areas in the summer seasons, built up their nests in tree trunks or cavities around and breeds there. In the winter months they migrate to warmer North Indian places.
Short Eared Owl : Asio flammeus
The Short Eared Owls are winter visitors to Indian sub-continent. They are nocturnal birds but can prey in dusks and dawns. They breed in the late winter to spring season, nesting in summers in furrows made in grounds. They are normally observed in woodlands, grasslands, bushy areas, conifer forests and agricultural fields. These owls feed on almost everything from rats and voles to small birds, caterpillars, insects and other small animals.
Learn about owls and other animals with a single loyal life partners in one of my previous posts.
Osprey : Pandion haliaetus
The dark brown coloured hawk is a kind of a bird of prey and is a winter migrator to Indian sub-continent. The bird lives solitary around water bodies such as springs, lakes, ponds, water reservoirs, tanks and sea coasts as they mostly feed on fishes. They breed and nest in European countries in summer months.
Jakobin/Pied Creasted Cuckoo : Clamator jacobinus
Distinctively noticed by its crested plumage, the Jackobin Cuckoo is referred to as ‘Rain thurster’ by Indian poets, as it migrates to India before the onset of monsoon. The bird breeds in Himalayan areas in rainy seasons and moves back to Central Africa in winters. The bird feed on insects, seeds and berries and mostly nest in shrubs, woodland or bushy areas.
Large Egrets : Casmerodius albus
The most common bird to be found near water bodies are Egrets. They generally reside in warm moist areas; they breed in South India and Andaman Island in winter months and migrate to North India in summers. They make their nests with sticks and foliage on a high branch. They mostly feed on fishes, frogs, insects and other aquatic organisms.
Eurasian Sparrow Hawk : Accipiter nisus
This bird of prey is a winter migrator to the Indian sub-continent. It breeds and nests in Eurasian regions in the summers months along the woodlands. It spends the winter months in warm coastal areas of India such as Andaman Island. It normally feeds on small birds and animals.
Asian Koel : Eudynamys scolopacea
No doubt that Koel is the most widely known bird of Indian subcontinent. It is noted for its black plumage yet a melodious voice. These birds make no nests, as most of us already know that these lazy but clever birds put their eggs in the crow’s nest. They breed in summer season and locally migrate within the Indian Sub-continent.
Thank You for reading!
So, this was my list of 10 Least Known Migratory Birds of India. I hope you had a thoughtful read! Don’t forget to give it a thumbs up! And Do share this knowledge with others too!