India is home to a large number of rare species of flora and fauna, which includes beautiful birds, varied animals, and abundant forests. We all know that the peacock is the national bird of India. But, did you know that each of the 29 states of our awesome country also has a special state bird of their own?
Check out this list of all the birds from each state in India and find out which one is your state bird!
1. Indian Roller
Widely distributed across Asia, the bird is locally known as Neelkanth, due to the bluish tint on its wings. It feeds on insects, arachnids, small snakes and reptiles. Interestingly, it’s due to the acrobatic displays of the male, during breeding season, that this bird got its unique name!
2. Great Hornbill
The Hornbill is a large bird that mainly feeds on fruits and figs and can live for up to 50 years. Hunting and poaching poses a great threat to this bird, which has been evaluated as near threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
3. White-winged Wood Duck
The White-winged Wood Duck is one of the largest species of ducks in the world. The bird is known to be very secretive and feeds only during the night! Due to habitat loss, the White-winged Wood Duck has also been enlisted as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The house sparrow is found all across the world. It is most commonly found in cities and towns due to its association and adaptability to human co-habitation. Although, its numbers have declined in recent years.
5. Hill Myna
Also known as the Mynah, the Hill Myna is slightly bigger than the common Myna. Both the male and the female of this species can produce a wide range of sounds such as whistles, screeches, gurgles, wails and other sounds that are so melodious and unique that they are sometimes mistaken for actual people!
6. Black-crested Bulbul
Found all across the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, the head of the Black-crested Bulbul is jet black while the rest of the body is tinted in different shades of yellow. The bird resides mainly in forests and dense scrub and feeds on insects and fruits.
7. Greater Flamingo
Found mostly in the Indian Subcontinent, Africa, the Middle East, and southern Europe, the Greater Flamingo is the largest species of flamingo in the world. Young flamingos are whitish-grey and attain their patented pink colour around their legs and bills only as they enter adult life.
8. Black Francolin
The Black Francolin is widespread in the northern and central parts of India. They mostly reside in areas of thick vegetation and close to water sources. The call of this bird is a loud klik cheek-cheek-cheerakik, commonly heard during the entire day when the birds are breeding.
9. Western Tragopan
This beautiful, medium-sized bird prefers to nest in dense temperate, sub-alpine, and broad-leaved forests. It is known as the rarest of all living species of pheasants. Its local name is Jujurana, which means, the King of Birds.
10. Black-necked Crane
The Black-necked Crane is easily identified by its black neck and black-tipped wings and breeds on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. It is most commonly found in China, Vietnam, Bhutan and also in India, in smaller numbers. The bird is widely respected and held in high reverence in Buddhism.
11. Asian Koel
More commonly known as the Koel and popular for its melodious voice, the bird is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of crows and other birds, who then raise its offspring as their own!
12. Indian paradise flycatcher
While the male bird of this species has long central tail feathers, the females are rather short-tailed. This bird prefers thick and well-wooded forests as their habitat and hunt during flight.
13. Yellow-footed Green Pigeon
Locally known as Hariyal in Marathi, due to its green colour, the Yellow-footed pigeon is mainly found in the Indian subcontinent. These birds fly in flocks and feed mainly on fruits.
14. Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant
Also known as the Hume’s pheasant, this rare bird was named after Mary Ann Grindall Hume, wife of Allan Octavian Hume, the famous British naturalist in India. It is widely found in the forests of China, India, Burma, and Thailand.
15. Blyth’s Tragopan
The population of this rare pheasant, that mainly feeds on seeds, berries, fruits, and buds, is rapidly decreasing due to deforestation. This bird is now a legally protected species. Hunting has also contributed to the decline of these beautiful birds.
16. Northern Goshawk
A large bird of prey with broad wings, the Northern Goshawk is a secretive bird that attacks its prey silently during flight. This bird is also have been known to attack humans who wander too close to its nest!
17. Great Indian Bustard
Commonly found in India and the adjoining regions of Pakistan, the Great Indian Bustard looks like a miniature Ostrich due to its huge body and long, bare legs. It was considered a delicacy during the British rule in India, and was among the top game birds around. It’s a now threatened species as their numbers are rapidly declining.
18. Blood Pheasant
This small, short-tailed pheasant is a common sight in the eastern Himalayas and in the mountains of Nepal, Sikkim, northern Myanmar, Tibet, and central and south-central China. With their population slowly decreasing, they have now been evaluated as Least Concern by IUCN.
19. Emerald Dove
This medium-sized bird is also known as the Green-winged Pigeon and they are usually found in pairs or small groups. They are most commonly located in the tropical and sub-tropical parts of the Indian Subcontinent and east through Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, the Sakishima Islands of Japan and Indonesia, to northern and eastern Australia.
20. Green Imperial Pigeon
As the name suggests, the Green Imperial Pigeon is a large pigeon which is widespread in tropical southern Asia from India to Indonesia. This bird builds its nest with sticks on trees and fly around in small flocks.
21. Sarus Crane
The tallest among flying birds, the Sarus Crane stands at a maximum height of up to 5 ft 11 in. This bird is regarded as a symbol of marital fidelity in India, due to their long lasting pair bonds.
22. Himalayan Monal
The Himalayan Monal is a bird of the pheasant family. It’s also the national bird of Nepal, where it’s locally called Danphe. The bird was named after Lady Mary Impey, the wife of the British chief justice of Bengal, Sir Elijah Impey.
23. White-breasted Kingfisher
The White-breasted Kingfisher is a tree kingfisher which is commonly found in Asia. The major prey of this bird are large crustaceans, insects, earthworms, rodents, snakes, fish, and frogs. Back in the 17th century, the White-breasted Kingfisher was hunted for its bright feathers which were then used to adorn hats.
Incredible India, indeed!
Images designed by Disha Bhanot