Updated: Feb 19
Known for its striking plumage, the peacock is the national bird of India and rightfully earns a spot on this list. These magnificent birds are often seen strutting their stuff in open fields and on busy city streets. The myna is another popular bird found in India. These chatterboxes are known for their ability to mimic human speech and are often kept as pets. Of course, no list of Indian birds would be complete without the sacred cow. While not technically a bird, these revered animals are an important part of Indian culture and religion.
The Common Indian Myna
The Indian myna (Acridotheres tristis), sometimes called the paddybird or ricebird, is a member of the starling family of passerine birds. The bird is particularly common in urban areas of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. It has spread to many other parts of the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the Pacific Islands. The adult Indian myna is a plump bird that measures about 20 cm (8 inches) in length. The body is brown with black and white markings on the wings, tail, and head. The legs and bill are black, and the eyes are dark brown. The Indian myna is easily distinguished from other myna species by its brown body and white vent (undertail area). The Indian myna is an opportunistic feeder and will eat a variety of foods, including fruits, invertebrates, and small vertebrates. The bird is known to cause considerable damage to crops, particularly rice and sugarcane. It will also steal food from other birds' nests. The Indian myna is a highly social bird and often forms flocks of up to 100 birds. The bird is also known to be very aggressive, often chasing away other bird species from its territory. The Indian myna is known to mate for life and will often build its nest in close proximity to human habitation. The Indian myna is considered to be one of the most invasive bird species in the world. The bird was introduced to Australia in the 1860s in an attempt to control insects in sugarcane plantations. It has since spread to other parts of Australia, where it is now considered a pest. The Indian myna is also a serious threat to native bird species in Australia, as it competes for food and nesting sites. The bird is also known to carry diseases that can be harmful to humans, such as avian influenza.
The Great Indian Bustard
The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) is a large bird found in the arid regions of the Indian subcontinent. The species is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN as it has declined precipitously over the last few decades and now only a few hundred individuals remain in the wild. The Great Indian Bustard is a large bird, with males reaching up to 1.2m in height and weighing up to 18kg. The bird has a long neck and legs, and a large, heavy body. The plumage is pale grey orbuff, with black and white bars on the wings. The tail is long and black, with a white tip. The Great Indian Bustard is found in arid grasslands and scrublands. It was once widely distributed across the Indian subcontinent, but has now declined sharply and is confined to a few pockets in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The main threat to the Great Indian Bustard is habitat loss and fragmentation. The bird requires large tracts of unbroken habitat, and as the human population has increased and more land has been converted for agriculture and other uses, the Bustard's habitat has shrunk and become more fragmented. This has made it difficult for the Bustard to find suitable mates, and has also led to an increase in predation of the Bustard's eggs and chicks by feral dogs and other predators. The Great Indian Bustard is protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. In 2011, the Government of India launched a project to conserve the Bustard and its habitat. The project includes measures such as setting up a captive breeding programme, creating a national action plan for the species, and increasing protection for the Bustard and its habitat.
The Oriental White-eye
The Oriental white-eye is a small bird with a sharp black beak and distinctive white rings around its eyes. Found in woodlands and gardens across much of India, this bird is a common sight and makes a cheerful sound. Although it is not shy, the Oriental white-eye is often overlooked as it flits about in the trees. One of the most easily recognised bird species in India, the Oriental white-eye is a striking little bird. It is mostly olive green in colour, with a pale yellow breast and belly. The most distinctive feature is the broad white ring around its dark eyes. Adult birds also have a white patch on their wings. The Oriental white-eye is a sociable bird and is often seen in groups. It is an active forager, feeding on insects, berries and nectar. It is also known to steal food from other birds' nests! Although it is not considered to be a threatened species, the Oriental white-eye is becoming less common in some parts of its range. This may be due to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as competition from introduced species such as the house sparrow. Nevertheless, this little bird is still a common sight in many parts of India and continues to bring a touch of brightness to our gardens and forests.
The Indian Peafowl
The Indian Peafowl, also known as the Blue Peafowl, is a species of peafowl native to South Asia. The male, or peacock, is vividly coloured with a blue-green plumage, while the female, or peahen, is mostly greyish-brown. Both sexes have an elegant tail covered in colourful eyespots. The Indian Peafowl is the national bird of India and is considered sacred in Hinduism. It is often seen in Indian art and literature, and was even mentioned in the ancient Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. The Indian Peafowl is a species of open woodland and forest. It usually feeds on the ground, where it scratching for seeds, insects and other small prey. The peacock's spectacular tail is used in courtship displays, and to startle predators. The Indian Peafowl is widespread throughout India and parts of Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal. It is also found in Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar. The species is introduced in some other countries, including France, Cuba, Jamaica and the Philippines. The Indian Peafowl is not considered threatened, and its numbers are actually increasing in some areas. However, the species is hunted for food and for its feathers, which are used in traditional Indian ceremonies.
The Graylag Goose
The Graylag Goose is one of the top 10 Indian birds that you need to know. This species is also known as the greylag goose, and it is the largest member of the goose family. The graylag goose is found in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and it has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia. This bird is usually gray-bodied with a white head and neck, and it has a pinkish bill. The graylag goose is a very vocal bird, and it often makes a " honking " sound. This bird is a very important species for the ecosystems where it lives. The graylag goose scavenges for food, and it plays a vital role in the decomposition of dead animals and plants. The graylag goose is also hunted for its meat, and its feathers are used to make pillows and quilts.
The Asian Openbill
The Asian Openbill, Anastomus oscitans, is a stork found in South and Southeast Asia. It is the only member of the genus Anastomus. Its name derives from the Greek anastomos, meaning "mouth-to-mouth", and oscitans, meaning "eager" or "swift". The Asian Openbill is a tall, long-necked bird with a bulky body and large bill. The adults have black and white plumage, with a bare head and neck. The bill is black with a yellow or orange longitudinal zone on the upper mandible. The legs are black. The Asian Openbill is a distinctive and easily recognizable bird. The Asian Openbill is a wading bird that feeds on molluscs, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and crabs. It uses its bill to prise open the shells of its prey. The Asian Openbill is a social bird that forms large flocks of up to 100 birds. It is a gregarious bird that breeds in colonies. The nest is a large platform of sticks built in trees or cliffs. The Asian Openbill is monogamous and lays 2-3 eggs. The Asian Openbill is a widespread bird that is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. In India, it is found in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. The Asian Openbill is categorized as least concern by the IUCN. It has a large range and a population that is thought to be stable. The main threats to the Asian Openbill are habitat loss and pollution.
The top 10 Indian birds you need to know are the Great Indian Bustard, Indian Pitta, White-rumped Vulture, Honey Buzzard, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Purple Sunbird, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Black-headed Ibis, White-eyed Buzzard, and Crimson Sunbird. India is home to some of the most beautiful and majestic birds in the world, and these are just a few of them. These birds are an important part of India's ecosystem and play a vital role in the country's biodiversity.