Lat:27o12´56´´N/77o´29´25´´E 29,700ha 3,000 (Keoladeo Park), flat 251m 
Keoladeo National Park & Keoladeo Park (Bharatpur) Ramsar and World Heritage site 

Flat with shallow manmade lagoons and more arid areas on the edge of the Thar Desert. 

October to February (Keoladeo/Bharatpur 07.02.94) 

For a map see foot


Birding Site Guide


The park, formerly known as Bharatpur, is located in central N India, Chitwan District, Rajasthan and is easily reached from Agra (56km away) which has an airport, or from Delhi (190km away). As well as the regular buses, Bharatpur has a railway station and of course many travel agencies take tours. If driving, India’s roads are not for the nervous, and road signs can be scarce, but there are always people to ask. 

Hotel accommodation inside the park is at the Bharatpur Forest Lodge. There is a tourist complex, the Park Palace and Govind Niwas with alternative accommodation at Saras Hotel, Shanti Kuteer, Circuit House and Dak Bungalow. There is the Birder’s Inn not far from the gate and also the Sunbird hotel which is small, basic and very cheap (US$10) and only a few hundred metres left from the park gate (as facing). 

This magical place is heaving with birds and other wildlife, and is a former hunting reserve of the India maharajas, and was created using canals from the nearby Narayani river. The Keoladeo Park part of the national park is fenced, with a small fee at the entrance gate, and is closed at night and opens at sunrise. It is possible to walk, hire pushbikes or take a rickshaw (cUS$0.50) around the grid of main paths and sandy tracks. The licensed rickshaws in the park have been trained by park staff as bird-spotters and are very good and quite knowledgeable. They can easily locate the various bitterns and other waterbirds. Further through the park and at the rear, where there are no lagoons the more arid desert edge provides the possibility of locating different birds.

Species Notes

The park boasts a list of 375 species of bird. Siberian Cranes appear to no longer return here (not seen 2003 and 2004). For a bird checklist try Nature Safari India. 


Birds seen

We saw 115 species each in the first 3 hours. Guides showed us from the rickshaws, Chestnut, Black and Yellow Bitterns. Siberian Cranes (re-introduced). At evening a guide who was called Gordon sneaked us back into the park and showed us Tickell`s and Orange-headed Ground-Thrushes in the Nursery area, we also saw Indian and Long-tailed Nightjars.

The following day we hired some bikes from inside the park, be warned the best bikes are kept for people who are actually staying in the Lodge, not for hard up birders staying in cheap B+B outside. So with our more `well used steeds` we birded the route around the west of the reserve and found a couple of Collared Scops Owl and later on saw Dusky Horned Owl. Other species were Avadavat, Sirkeer Cuckoo, Marshall's lora, Brainfever Bird, Imperial Eagle and our only White Necked Stork. 

The semi-arid field at the rear of the reserve are good for a number of open area species, we saw Pintail Snipe, Rufous-tailed Finch-Lark, Isabeline, Pied and Desert Wheatears. 

Species seen 

  • Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
  • Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus Vulnerable K
  • Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
  • Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger
  • Darter Anhinga melanogaster K
  • Gray Heron Ardea cinerea
  • Purple Heron Ardea purpurea K
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia K
  • Little Egret Egretta garzetta
  • Indian Pond-Heron Ardeola grayii
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
  • Striated Heron Butorides striata
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax K
  • Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis K
  • Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus K
  • Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis K
  • Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala Near-threatened K
  • Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans K, BB
  • Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus K, R, C
  • Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus Near-threatened K, C
  • Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus several places
  • Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus K
  • Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
  • Lesser Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna javanica K
  • Greylag Goose Anser anser K
  • Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus K, BB
  • Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea K, R
  • Cotton Pygmy-goose Nettapus coromandelianus K
  • Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope K
  • Gadwall Anas strepera K
  • Eurasian Teal Anas crecca K
  • Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  • Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha K, BB
  • Northern Pintail Anas acuta
  • Garganey Anas querquedula K
  • Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
  • Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina K
  • Common Pochard Aythya ferina K
  • Ferruginous Pochard Aythya nyroca Near-threatened K
  • Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula K
  • Osprey Pandion haliaetus several places
  • Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus several places
  • Black Kite Milvus migrans everywhere
  • Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus many places
  • White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis Critically endangered thousands
  • Eurasian Griffon Gyps fulvus many places
  • Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela many places
  • Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus K
  • Shikra Accipiter badius K, KR
  • Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga Vulnerable K, C
  • Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax K
  • Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis K
  • Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca Vulnerable K
  • Changeable Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus K, N
  • Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
  • Gray Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus K, C
  • Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus several places
  • Small Buttonquail Turnix sylvaticus
  • Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus Critically endangered K
  • Sarus Crane Grus antigone Vulnerable K
  • Common Crane Grus grus K
  • White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus several places
  • Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio K, BB
  • Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  • Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
  • Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus K
  • Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus K
  • Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis K
  • Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
  • Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus K
  • Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus K
  • Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus
  • White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus K
  • Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus K
  • Pintail Snipe Gallinago stenura K
  • Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago K
  • Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
  • Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
  • Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus K, BB
  • Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
  • Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis K, BB
  • Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola K
  • Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii K, R
  • Ruff Philomachus pugnax K
  • Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida several places
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
  • Red Collared-Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica K
  • Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis
  • Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
  • Yellow-footed Pigeon Treron phoenicopterus K
  • Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri
  • Common Hawk-Cuckoo Cuculus varius K, BB
  • Sirkeer Malkoha Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii K
  • Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis K
  • Collared Scops-Owl Otus lettia K
  • Dusky Eagle-Owl Bubo coromandus K
  • Spotted Owlet Athene brama K, KR
  • Gray Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus K
  • Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus K
  • Little Swift Apus affinis several places
  • Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
  • White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
  • Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata K
  • Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
  • Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
  • Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis
  • Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
  • Indian Gray Hornbill Ocyceros birostris K, KR
  • Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala D, K
  • Yellow-crowned Woodpecker Dendrocopos mahrattensis K
  • Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense K, KR
  • Rufous-tailed Lark Ammomanes phoenicura Endemic K
  • Plain Martin Riparia paludicola
  • Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
  • Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  • Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii K, BB
  • Eurasian Crag-Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris K
  • Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
  • Streak-throated Swallow Petrochelidon fluvicola K
  • Oriental Pipit Anthus rufulus
  • Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris K, R
  • Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni K, N
  • White Wagtail Motacilla alba
  • White-browed Wagtail Motacilla madaraspatensis
  • Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava K
  • Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola several places
  • Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike Coracina melaschistos K
  • Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus K, BB
  • White-cheeked Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys
  • Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
  • White-tailed Iora Aegithina nigrolutea K
  • Blue Whistling-Thrush Myophonus caeruleus
  • Orange-headed Thrush Zoothera citrina K
  • Tickell's Thrush Turdus unicolor K
  • Rufescent Prinia Prinia rufescens K, BB, N
  • Plain Prinia Prinia inornata K, N, C
  • Blyth's Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum K
  • Clamorous Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus K
  • Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita K, N
  • Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
  • Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca K, N, ST
  • Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva K, C
  • Gray-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis K, C
  • Bluethroat Luscinia svecica K, BB
  • Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicatus K, BB, C
  • Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros K, BB
  • White-capped Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus
  • Plumbeous Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosa
  • Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus
  • Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata K, C
  • Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka K
  • Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti K
  • Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina K
  • Yellow-eyed Babbler Chrysomma sinense K, BB
  • Common Babbler Turdoides caudata K, BT
  • Large Gray Babbler Turdoides malcolmi several places
  • Jungle Babbler Turdoides striata K
  • Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus K, BB
  • Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus K
  • Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
  • Northern Shrike Lanius excubitor
  • Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
  • Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda K, BB, KR
  • House Crow Corvus splendens D, K, BB, A
  • Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos many sites
  • Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
  • Asian Pied Starling Gracupica contra D, K, BB, A
  • Chestnut-shouldered Petronia Petronia xanthocollis K
  • Bengal Weaver Ploceus benghalensis K
  • Red Avadavat Amandava amandava K, BB


  • areas not given for commoner species
  • SAT TAL and/or BIMTAL ST
  • DELHI or near D
  • AGRA A

Mammals seen

  • Short-nosed Fruit Bat Cynopterus shinx K
  • Five-striped Palm Squirrel Funambulus pennanti D, K, BB, A
  • Jackal Canus aureus K
  • Indian Grey Mongoose Herpestes edwardsi K
  • Jungle Cat Felis chaus K
  • Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus K
  • Spotted Deer Axis axis K, KR, C
  • Gazelle Gazella gazella K
  • Sambar Cervus unicolor K, C

Herptiles seen

  • Indian Rock Python Python molurus K
  • Gecko ? Hemidactylus K
  • Soft-backed Turtle K

Butterflies seen (all sites)

  • Indian Tortoiseshell Aglais cashmiriensis
  • Pioneer Anaphaeis aurota
  • Indian Cabbage White Artogeia canidia
  • Malabar Spotted Flat Celaenorrhinus ambareesa
  • Common Crow Euploea core
  • Common Grass Yellow Eurema hecabe
  • Grass Jewel Freyeria trochylus
  • Great Eggfly Hypolimnas bolina
  • White Orange Tip Ixias marianne
  • Peacock Pansy Junonia almana
  • Yellow Pansy Junonia hierta
  • Lemon Pansy Junonia lemonias
  • Blue Pansy Junonia orthya
  • Common Sailor Neptis hylas
  • Lime Butterfly Papilio demoleus
  • Common Mormon Papilio polytes
  • Glassy Tiger Paratica aglea
  • Spot Swordtail Pathysa nomius
  • Pale Grass Blue Zizeeria maha

India Wildlife Tours bird list 

Other Fauna 

Other wildlife is abundant and includes Spotted Deer (Chital) Cervus axis, Sambar Cervus Unicolor, Black Buck Antilopa cervicapra, Blue Bull Boselaphus Tragocamelus, Fishing Cat Felis viverrina, Asiatic Jackal (Indian or Golden) Canis aureus, Smooth Indian Otters Lutra perspicillata, Striped Hyena Hyaena hyaena, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus, and Wild Boar Sus scrofa. Commoner reptiles are Indian Rock Python Python molurus molurus and Yellow Monitor Lizard Varanus flavescens


India Wildlife Tours very good information on Indian national parks. 

Nature Safari India, this is the best website for all information. 

Author: BSG and Geof Grafton