Nagarhole national park flourishes with teak and rosewood forests in the south, dry deciduous forest in east, and swamp forest is many areas. This diverse floral landscape allows bird population to flourish here. The park has more than 270 species of birds like Nilgiri wood-pigeon, lesser adjutant, greater spotted eagle, Oriental white-backed vulture, Oriental white ibis, blue-winged parakeet, Malabar grey hornbill, red-headed vulture, and others. Here are some of the areas and trails to cover to enjoy birdwatching.
If you are planning to spot numerous birds, the best place to cover is the banks of River Kabini. This is the best place to spot grey headed fish eagle, spot-billed duck, stork-billed kingfisher, ashy wood-swallow, Indian swiftlet and Malabar pied Hornbill. If you are visiting by dusk, you can spot Jerdon's nightjar, brown hawk owl, and collared scops owl. Focus on dead or submerged trees closer or on the river to spot more birds.
The east part of the park is filled with dry deciduous forests. This is the right place to spot white-cheeked barbet, Malabar parakeet, grey jungle fowl, Indian rufous babbler, changeable hawk eagle, white-napped woodpecker, Malabar lark, and others.
The coracle will take you through some of the deep regions of the park, which allows you to cover dense woodlands. You can find some colorful bird species here like greater racket-tailed drongo, black-hooded orioles, white-bellied drongo, purple-rumped sunbird, southern hill myna, black-headed cuckoo-shrikes, common Iora, small minivet, and others.
If you are choosing any accommodations closer to the Kabini River, take a stroll through the regions around the resort, and you can spot most of these birds. However, you need to cover the region early in the morning to spot most of these bird species.
This is one of the worst routes to cover for birdwatching. You cannot find many bird species in this region as the route will be very dry and patched. You can spot numerous mammals and occasionally tigers or leopards. If you are visiting during peak winter, peacocks are common in this region.
Jeep safaris are more focused on driving deep into the forest to spot predatory animals and large mammals. However, you could spot a few birds like scarlet minivet, yellow-crowned woodpeckers, blue-faced malkoha, and others.
Nagarhole is not just famous for the national park. You can find coffee plantations closer to the park. These plantations are also good spots for birding. Top birds to spot in these plantations are Malabar Trogon, dark-throated munia, white-bellied blue flycatcher, and others. These birds can be spotted only when there is silence. They are easily startled.
Some of the lodges allow night trails in the routes closer to the Nagarhole National Park . This activity is best for spotting some nocturnal birds like Ceylon bay owl, Jerdon'sbaza, pin-tail snipe, brown wood owl, green imperial pigeon, Ceylon frogmouth, rufous-bellied eagle, and others.
Nagarhole is lush and beautiful throughout the year. However, spotting birds is not common throughout the year. There are more than 300 species and if you wish to cover at least a handful, you ought to visit during the peak tourism season October to March. Summers and monsoons are the worst seasons to visit to spot birds. During winter, the place will be filled with bird songs.
Within a day, the morning safaris are best for spotting colorful birds, but you can only spot a few species and only during the initial minutes of your safari. As the sun goes up, the chances of spotting these birds reduce. By sunset, you can watch numerous birds flying around. You can spot numerous owl species after sunset.