Birds of India


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Birds of India:

Birds of India ENVIS-Center Bombay Natural History Society

What are Birds?:

What are Birds? Warm blooded animals – body covered with feather – which can fly, swim and walk – lay eggs – shows parental care They evolved from dinosaurs millions of years ago The first bird is called as Archaeopteryx

Some facts about the birds:

Some facts about the birds Birds are found all over the world - Antarctic and Arctic to Deserts of Sahara and Kalhari, Tropical South America and Africa to Himalayan forest and Pelagic islands They can tolerate extreme cold and extreme heat They migrate long distances – Arctic Tern trips from North Pole to South Pole twice a year Some migrate non-stop over the oceans – Bar-tailed Godwit Some flies at very high altitude – Bar-headed Geese were observed at an altitude of 20,000 feet above sea level

Diversity of the Birds:

Diversity of the Birds There are about 10,000 species of birds found all over the world Of them 1400 species found in South Asia 1200 found in India 565 + found in Maharashtra 350 found in and around Mumbai According to our study there were 140 bird species in New Mumbai

Indian Pond-heron Ardeola grayii:

Indian Pond-heron Ardeola grayii Very common bird found near water bodies Mainly feeds on fish, frogs and aquatic insects During breeding season get very attractive golden plumage

Indian Shikra Accipiter badius:

Indian Shikra Accipiter badius One of the common birds of prey found in countryside and in forests Feeds on small birds, lizards and frogs Specialised hunter and hunt the birds in midair.

Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela:

Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela One of the huge birds of prey. Found mainly in well wooded streams in forests Specialised in killing reptiles such as snakes and larger reptiles Build huge nests on big trees

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus :

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus Commonly found near water in marshes and swamps. Known for its chorus call during breeding season Its long legs and fingers enable it to walk on floating vegetaion

Barn Owl Tyto alba:

Barn Owl Tyto alba Wide spread through out the world. Except Antarctica and remote pelagic islands Specialised rodent hunter. 90% food contains mice. Very common bird in Mumbai

Greater Coucal Centrops sinensis:

Greater Coucal Centrops sinensis Very strong and effective hunter feeds on various types of animals such as rats, lizards, frogs, insects and small birds Member of cuckoo family but makes its own nest and takes care of the eggs and offsprings Considered as good omen if seen during morning

Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala:

Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala Common bird found in gardens and well wooded areas Famous for its typical call from which it gots its name Feeds especially on fig fruits

White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis :

White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis Found near water bodies, streams, fields and water logged areas Feeds on variety of animals such as fish, frogs, large insects, lizards, small snakes etc. Known for its magnificent colours and patience for catching the prey

Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis :

Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis As the name suggests it eats honey bees, wasps dragonflies and other insects. Most of the hunting is carried out on wings They live in small flocks and hunt together or solitarily Very interesting roosting behaviour – they sit in closely tight flocks in green leafy trees. Communal breeding sites

Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis:

Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis Nests on Palmera Palms Highly dependent on palm and could have co-evolved with it Feeds in air itself live in large colonies Nests on palm in colonies

Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach:

Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach Local migrant to our region during winters Small bird of prey feeds on insects, frogs, lizards and small birds Peculiar habit of hanging the food remains on thorny bushes – therefore also called as Butcher Bird

Jungle Babbler Turdoides striatus (somervillei):

Jungle Babbler Turdoides striatus ( somervillei ) Live in groups of 7-9 birds. They are mainly members of same clan Hunt in groups feeds on insects and berries Communal nesting behaviour – 2-3 females lay eggs in single nest

Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer :

Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer Commonly found in well wooded and moist areas. Feeds on fruits, berries and occasionally on insects Famous for

Purple-rumped Sunbird Nectarinia zeylonica:

Purple-rumped Sunbird Nectarinia zeylonica One of the beautiful birds of India, found every where Can be seen easily over the flowers sucking nectar Works as pollinator for many flowering plants

Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile:

Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile One of the smallest birds of India Very active and agile bird Very important factor in forest ecosystem works as pollinator for many flowering plants

Oriental Magpie-robin Copsycus saularis:

Oriental Magpie-robin Copsycus saularis One of the songster birds of India Prefers wooded areas Feeds exclusively on insects Male sings melodious songs during breeding season

Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus:

Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus Commonly found in forested areas. Famous for mimicking calls of other birds Some times steals food from other birds by mimicking predators call

Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda:

Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda Commonly found in forests and well wooded areas. Hunt in pairs of parties Predator of chicks and eggs of small birds

Threatened Birds of India:

Threatened Birds of India

Slide 24:

Why birds are threatened Habitat Destruction Expansion of Agriculture Rapid Industrialization Poaching and Trade Global Warming and Climate Change

Categories of threatened birds:

Categories of threatened birds Extinct – not seen at least for 50 years Critically Endangered – likely to be extinct Endangered – high risk of extinction Vulnerable – risk of extinction Near threatened – close to vulnerable Least Concern – not qualify any of the above Data deficient – no information available

Threatened Birds Scenario:

Threatened Birds Scenario Species World India Critically Endangered 181 9 Endangered 351 12 Vulnerable 674 59 Near Threatened 795 58 Total 2001 138

Critically Endangered:

Critically Endangered In Central India we have 9 species of the birds which come under this category

White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis :

White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis This species is widely distributed in India Till late 1990 it was in abundant but declined rapidly Cause – veterinary use of diclofenac for livestock

Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus:

Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus This species is also widely distributed in India Like White-backed Vultures their population declined rapidly after 1990 Cause – veterinary use of diclofenac for cattle

Jerdon's Courser Rhinptilus bitorquatus:

Jerdon ' s Courser Rhinptilus bitorquatus This is endemic bird found in south-eastern Andhra Pradesh. Earlier known from few places in Central India from Godavari River basin. Habitat specialist bird found only in scrub forest Threats – habitat destruction because of human activities

Forest Owlet Heteroglaux blewitti:

Forest Owlet Heteroglaux blewitti This bird is endemic to Satpuda Mountains known from only from six places in Central India. Because of the Forest Owlet, the Central Indian Forests come under Endemic Bird Area Only found in dry deciduous forests Threats – habitat destruction for fuel wood, illicit wood cutting, overgrazing and direct persecution by tribal


Endangered We have 12 bird species which come under this category

Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps:

Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps Historically spread all over Indian subcontinent. Now restricted to only a few places in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Habitat specialist birds representative of Grassland Threats – expansion of agriculture, habitat fragmentation, overgrazing, pesticides and hunting


Vulnerable We have 59 species which come under this category

Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis:

Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis The species found all over India in large wetlands The population is declining very fast Threats – destruction of nesting habitat, drainage and pollution of wetlands and dearth of food

Sarus Crane Grus antigone :

Sarus Crane Grus antigone Historically widespread all over south Asia and Australia. Now declining all over its range Threats - primarily threatened by a combination of habitat loss and modification (owing primarily to agricultural expansion), pollution and persecution

Near Threatened :

Near Threatened We have 58 species which fall under this category

Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala:

Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala Widespread and locally common resident in South east Asia It frequents freshwater marshes, lakes and reservoirs, flooded fields, paddy fields, freshwater swamp forests, riverbanks, intertidal mudflats and saltpans Threats - habitat loss, disturbance, pollution and hunting of adults and collection of eggs and nestlings from colonies is cause for concern

Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor:

Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor Found only in Asia and African Continent Every year 10% population decline is observed in Africa. It breeds in Little Run of Katch in Gujarat After breeding, disperse over Indian Subcontinent Threats – water pollution, disturbance to nesting sites and habitat destruction

Thank You!:

Thank You!

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