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Birding in Madhya Pradesh in India

Updated on June 27, 2021
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Uday works as a naturalist and birding guide in India. His love for wildlife and nature encourages him to blog and write articles.

Sarus Crane

Sarus Crane
Sarus Crane | Source

Madhya Pradesh (MP) Protected Areas

Well known for its dense forest cover, enchanting tiger reserves, historical monuments and panoramic splendour, the Indian State is also a birding destination. The State has large number of protected areas they are home to charismatic animals and bewildering bird life.

The State has many wetland areas and grasslands that act as home to wide variety of avian species. The perfect conservation of its tiger habitats makes MP one of the prime birding areas. Large number of birders from all over the World come here to watch and photograph the incredible species found in the reserves.

Some of the much coveted avian species in MP are:

  • Lesser Florican
  • Great indian Bustard
  • Sarus Crane
  • Indian Pitta
  • Painted Stork
  • Painted Francolin
  • Indian Scimitar Babbler
  • Shama
  • Black Stork
  • Black Necked Stork
  • Crested Hawk Eagle
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Blue Bellied Button Quail

Crow Photo

Large Billed Crow
Large Billed Crow | Source

Bird Photos MP

Cotton Pygmy Goose Resident Bird
Cotton Pygmy Goose Resident Bird | Source
Red Munia
Red Munia | Source
Rose ringed parakeet common
Rose ringed parakeet common | Source

Cuckoo Photo

Large Cuckoo Shrike
Large Cuckoo Shrike | Source
Long Billed Vultures
Long Billed Vultures | Source
Large Minivet
Large Minivet | Source

Bird Photos

Purple SUnbird
Purple SUnbird | Source

Pictures of Birds

Griffons at Panna
Griffons at Panna | Source
Great Tit
Great Tit | Source
Binelli's Eagle at Nest
Binelli's Eagle at Nest | Source
Bar Headed Geese
Bar Headed Geese | Source
Black Kite
Black Kite | Source
Chestnut Tailed Starling
Chestnut Tailed Starling | Source
Brown Headed Gull
Brown Headed Gull | Source

Some Birds of Central India

The State of Madhya Pradesh abounds in forest birds but a large number of wetland and grass species are seen alongside as well. Birding in forests is more stressful and causes lot of eyestrain but the sightings are far more exciting than on the shores. I hope the list below is helpful.

  • Lesser Florican (Kharmour)
  • Great Indian Bustard
  • Sarus Crane
  • Indian Courser
  • Malabar Pied Hornbill
  • Eurasian Eagle Owl
  • Spot Bellied Eagle Owl
  • Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  • Long Billed Vulture
  • White Backed Vulture
  • Indian Pitta
  • Greater Racket Tailed Drongo
  • Orange Headed Ground Thrush
  • Black Headed Oriole
  • Golden Oriole
  • Common Rosefinch
  • King Vulture
  • Himalayan Griffon
  • Eurasian Griffon
  • Crested Hawk Eagle
  • Serpent Eagle
  • White Eyed Buzzard
  • Honey Buzzard
  • Tickell's Thrush
  • Peacock
  • Red Jungle Fowl
  • Painted Spurfowl
  • Ruddy Shelduck
  • Grey Lag Geese
  • Bar Headed Geese
  • Sirkeer Malkhoha
  • Tawny Babbler
  • Indian Scimitar Babbler
  • Puff Throated Babbler
  • Large Grey Babbler
  • Common Babbler
  • Jungle Babbler
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Red necked Falcon
  • Shikra
  • Common Kestrel
  • Black Francolin
  • Blue Breasted Quail
  • Painted Snipe
  • Common Snipe
  • Plum Headed Parakeet
  • Alexandrine Parakeet
  • Rose Ringed Parakeet
  • Savannah Nightjar
  • Grey Nightjar
  • Indian Nightjar
  • Black Bittern
  • Great Bittern
  • Yellow Bittern
  • Chestnut Bittern
  • Blue Tailed Bee eater
  • Little Green Bee eater
  • Chestnut Headed Bee eater
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Stork Billed Kingfisher
  • Little Blue Kingfisher
  • White Throated Kingfisher
  • Blue Throated Kingfisher
  • Black Capped Kingfisher
  • Jungle Bush Quail
  • Barred Button Quail
  • Verditor Flycatcher
  • Black Naped Monarch
  • White Naped Woodpecker
  • Black Rumped Flameback
  • Rufous Woodpecker
  • Yellow Crowned Woodpecker
  • Black Stork
  • Wooly Necked Stork
  • Lesser Adjutant Stork
  • Open Bill Stork
  • Spotbilled Duck
  • Blue Winged Teal
  • Common Teal
  • Brown Fish Owl
  • Tawny Fish Owl
  • Mottled Wood Owl
  • Brown Hawk Owl
  • Indian Scops Owl
  • Barred Jungle Owlet
  • Spotted Owlet
  • Shama
  • Coppersmith Barbet
  • Grey Headed Barbet
  • Red Spurfowl
  • Grey Headed Fish Eagle
  • Pallas Fish Eagle
  • Eurasian Spoonbill
  • Ferruginous Duck
  • Red Headed Pochard
  • Common Pochard
  • Pygmy Cotton Goose
  • Oriental Darter
  • Malabar Thrush
  • Eurasian Wigeon
  • Dabchick
  • Gadwall
  • Northern Pintail
  • Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
  • Orange Breasted Green Pigeon
  • Pheasant Tailed Jacana
  • Bronze Winged Jacana
  • Eurasian Thicknee
  • Great Thicknee
  • River Lapwing
  • Eurasian Marsh Harrier
  • Pallid Harrier
  • Rufous Bellied Eagle
  • Eurasian Sparrow Hawk
  • Osprey
  • Black Bellied Tern
  • Indian Skimmer
  • River Tern
  • Common Crane
  • Sand Lark
  • Black Headed Gull
  • Brown Headed Gull
  • Chestnut Bellied Sandgrouse
  • Spangled Drongo
  • Ashy Drongo
  • Black Drongo
  • White Bellied Drongo
  • Siberian Ruby Throat
  • Blue Throat
  • Ultramarine Flycatcher
  • Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher
  • White Browed Flycatcher
  • WhiteThroated Flycatcher
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher
  • Laggar Falcon
  • White Bellied Minivet
  • Green Munia
  • Scaly Bellied Munia
  • Black Headed Munia
  • White Backed Munia
  • Indian Silverbill
  • Baya
  • Streaked Throated Baya
  • Rufuous Treepie
  • Bar Winged Flycatcher Shrike
  • Grey Bushchat
  • Common Stone Chat
  • Pied Stone Chat
  • Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark
  • Rufous Tailed Lark
  • Syke's Lark
  • Singing Bush Lark
  • Indian Bush Lark
  • Blyth's Reed Warbler
  • Blyth's Leaf Warbler
  • Hume's Warbler
  • Sulphur Bellied Warbler
  • Tickell's Warbler
  • Greenish Warbler
  • Rufous Faced Warbler?
  • Black Faced Warbler
  • Booted Warbler
  • Paddyfield Warbler
  • Dusky Warbler
  • Western Crowned Warbler
  • Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
  • Hill Blue Flycatcher
  • Long Billed Pipit
  • Tawny Pipit
  • Richard's Pipit
  • Paddyfield Pipit
  • Tree Pipit
  • Olive Backed Pipit
  • Crested Bunting
  • Red Headed Bunting
  • Black Headed Bunting
  • White Capped Bunting
  • Brown Rock Chat
  • Blue Capped Rock Thrush
  • Blue Rock Thrush
  • Oriental Turtle Dove
  • Red Turtle Dove
  • Eurasian Ring Dove
  • Spotted Dove
  • Laughing Dove
  • Common Iora
  • Brown Cheeked Fulvetta
  • Gold Mantled Cholorpsis
  • Blue Winged Leafbird
  • Common Woodshrike
  • Pied Myna
  • Chestnut Tailed Myna
  • Brahminy Myna
  • Rosy Starling
  • Bank Myna
  • Green Sandpiper
  • Striated Heron
  • Grey Heron
  • Purple Heron
  • Pond Heron
  • Great Cormorant
  • Little Cormorant
  • Median Cormorant
  • Little Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Median Egret
  • Great Egret
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Green Shank
  • Common Red Shank
  • Spotted Red Shank
  • Little Stint
  • Temminck's Stint
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Purple Sunbird
  • Red Whiskered Bulbul
  • Red Vented Bulbul
  • White Browed Bulbul
  • Ashy Prinia
  • Plain Prinia
  • Jungle Prinia
  • Grey Breasted Prinia
  • Common Tailor Bird
  • Great Tit
  • Black Lored Tit
  • House Sparrow
  • Large Billed Crow
  • Common Crow
  • Streak Throated Swallow
  • Red Rumped Swallow
  • Wire Tailed Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Crested Tree Swift
  • Dusky Crag Martin
  • Plain Martin
  • House Martin
  • Bay Backed Shrike
  • Long Tailed Shrike
  • Brown Shrike
  • Southern Grey Shrike
  • Grey Backed Shrike
  • Common Chiff Chaff
  • Pariah Kite
  • Red Wattled Lapwing
  • Yellow Wattled Lapwing
  • Common hawk Cuckoo
  • Indian Cuckoo
  • Eurasian Cuckoo
  • Grey Bellied Cuckoo
  • Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike
  • Large Grey Cuckoo Shrike
  • Oriental Hobby
  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Black Winged Stilt
  • Pied Avocet
  • Bonelli's Eagle
  • Red Avadavat
  • Lesser White Throat
  • Lesser Whistling Teal
  • Indian Robin
  • Magpie Robin

Birding takes place mostly in winters whence the visitors arrive from far and wide. But the summer time offers greater scope for resident bird watching. In hot summer the reducing forest canopy increases visibility. From October onward right till the start of monsoon in July birding is possible in the State. Cities like Jabalpur with diverse habitats offer good opportunities.

A good pair of binoculars, spotting scope, reference books and guides are most useful. One can also hire a guide to make the trip more successful.

Video Great Indian Bustard

Video Lesser Florican

Gray Wagtail Photo

Gray Wagtail Winter Visitor
Gray Wagtail Winter Visitor | Source

Madhya Pradesh Bird Spots

Birds are everywhere, but at some places there are habitats that are home to many resident and winter migratory species. These are the places most suitable for organised expeditions. At one place you see a larger number of species This makes your tour less expensive and less cumbersome. Hence in Central India there are many destinations, especially the tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries that are most visited by the birders.

The most popular reserves are:

  • Kanha
  • Pench
  • Panna
  • Bandhavgarh
  • Satpura
  • Madhav National Park
  • Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve
  • Ratapani Tiger Reserve
  • Kuno Palpur Lion Sanctuary

    Other protected areas are:
  • Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Pachmarhi WLS
  • Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve
  • Sardarpur Bird Sanctuary
  • Sailana Bird Sanctuary.

Many towns in the State are good for this activity due to the diverse habitats that prevail there. Some major water bodies are visited by water fowls in large number attracting many enthusiasts.

Local Birding in Central India

If you do not have the resources to travel in search of the avian then you can search for them in the backyards or outskirts of towns and cities in Madhya Pradesh. My home town Jabalpur is ideal for bird watching with diverse habitats all across the district. You can travel few miles and come across hot spots on all sides of the city. You need a pair of quality binoculars, spotting scope and a camera. Please carry some food and water as well. You will need warm clothes in winters and light dressing in hot summer.


Peacock national Bird of India
Peacock national Bird of India | Source

Bird Watching in MP: How to?

The most common approach to birding in MP is to visit the tiger reserves as well as some sanctuaries. The remote wildlife sanctuaries can be visited in company of a birding guide for assistance.

In order to organise a bird trip one needs help of a professional tour operator. There are many companies that offer best packages for birding in MP State in India. These companies can organise trips just anywhere even in remote areas. The best option for regular visitors is to visit lesser known destinations.

Visiting many places offers greater sightings of targeted species. But this requires extended travel and long period of stay. Companies that specialise in Indian Birding for inbound tourists are in plentiful. They offer guided itineraries all over the country.

Indian Owl

Indian Scops Owl
Indian Scops Owl | Source

Threatened Birds of Madhya Pradesh

Some birds like the Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican are critically endangered. These species are loosing ground due to habitat destruction. Sarus Crane is loosing ground in India due to the same reason.

The status of Green Munia is also unknown. The threat to vultures arises from pain killer diclofenac which is injected to the cows. When the vultures scavenge on dead cows they ingest this medicine which damages their kidneys. Similarly many species are suffering from chemicals and pesticides used in agriculture and those in our daily lives.

In haste for development, the natural places in the State are being destroyed at an alarming rate. This is not only threatening the bird species but other life forms as well.

Pied Crested Cuckoo

Photo Pied Crested Cuckoo
Photo Pied Crested Cuckoo | Source

Coucal Photo

Greater Coucal Photo
Greater Coucal Photo | Source

MP Map

© 2012 Uday Patel


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