Thursday, August 18, 2011

Forest birding in Madhya Pradesh

Though MP is known as the tiger state it is a good birding destination as well. The tiger reserves hitherto popular for tiger safaris as ideal birding spots for those interested in forest species. Most of the tiger reserves in the state are home wetland species as well but the habitats are not extensive like in Bharatpur. Nevertheless on can see them in impressive numbers.    

Among the forest species the most sought after are the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Shama, Racket Tailed Drongo, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Painted Francolin, Black Naped Flycatcher, Iora, Gold Mantled Chloropsis, Jerdon's Leaf Bird, Golden Oriole, Black Hooded Oriole, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Verditor Flycatcher, Brown Fish Owl, Mottled Wood Owl, Malabar whistling Thrush (Pachmarhi), Crested Serpent Eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle, White Eyed Buzzard, Honey Buzzard, and many more. 

The best places for birding in the state are Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Pachmarhi, Nauradehi, Amarkantak, Satpura Tiger Reserve, Bori and many other wildlife sanctuaries. The habitat type differs depending upon the degree of humidity and food factor. The state has tropical dry deciduous, dry deciduous moist, mixed forests, broadleaved Teak forests, Sal Forests, Bamboo Zones  which are excellent habitats for diverse species. Similary grassland in the preserve and places like Karera Bustard Sanctuary are home to many grass dwelling species.    

Pachmarhi, Nauradehi, Amarkantak are lesser known destinations in MP hence tourism in not popular. While accommodation is available in Pachmarhi and Amakantak subject to advance booking, Nauradehi can be visited from Jabalpur where there is no shortage of accommodations. All three are reachable from Jabalpur City in Madhya Pradesh.  

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