Guided Bird Watching Hotspots in Central India

by pateluday

Madhya Pradesh is rich in birds. India has thirteen percent of species of World. Besides prime birding destinations, there are many spectacular avian watching spots. Read On...

One of the finest addictions bird watching is coming of age in India especially among the older and younger generation. An addiction were hours of walking in the serene ambiance of forests, rivers, lakes, and desert takes a toll on illness-causing processes and makes you healthier.

Until now bird watching was confined to North and Eastern India but it is widespread in the contemporary era.

Madhya Pradesh or Central India is rich in avian with more than five hundred species found in every nook and corner along with winter arrivals. The wide-ranging tropical forests, rivers, and waterbodies not forgetting the urban surroundings are ideal for birding in this green state of India. Yes, bird watching is a hobby and passion for many it is the finest form of recreation.

Crested Hawk Eagle

Crested Hawk Eagle
Crested Hawk Eagle
Uday Patel

Madhya Pradesh The Central Indian State

Extended Birdscape

Indian Scops OwlMadhya Pradesh is the second-largest state of India and lies right in the center of the country and hence the name. The agglomeration is known as the Tiger State with the highest population of the feline in the country. Famous for its tiger reserves for safaris it is an equally excellent bird-watching destination. 

The State comprises dense forest ranges namely Satpura and Vindhyas, long flowing rivers criss-cross creating magnificent forest ecosystems where the big cats roam free. Birds abound everywhere and often enthusiasts visit the reserves for watching the spectacular avian besides the big cats. 

Besides the tiger reserves, other hotspots are Pachmarhi, Amarkantak, Chambal River Sanctuary, Kuno Palpur, Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Ghatigaon & Karera Bustard Sanctuary, Rani Durgavati Wildlife Sanctuary, Nauradevi Wildlife Sanctuary near Jabalpur, and many more.       

The long stretches of rivers and the mountain ranges accord ideal habitats for birds and hence they are found everywhere. The major urban agglomerations in MP State are Jabalpur, Bhopal, and Indore. Jabalpur is surrounded by forests and large lakes and is ideal for bird watching with a guide. 

The diverse terrain is the reason that invites the avian species to settle down here besides the annual winter visitors.  

Some Target Birds of Madhya Pradesh 

  • Indian Skimmer
  • Lesser Florican
  • Great Indian Bustard
  • Sarus Crane
  • Red Jungle Fowl
  • Indian Pitta
  • White Rumped Shama
  • Paradise Flycatcher (State Bird)
  • Orange Headed Ground Thrush
  • Racket Tailed Drongo
  • Malabar Pied Hornbill
  • Indian Eagle Owl
  • Painted Bush Quail
  • Golden Oriole
  • Green Avadavat
  • Verditor Flycatcher
  • Griffon Vulture
  • King Vulture
  • White Rumped Vulture
  • Indian Vulture
  • Crested Hawk-Eagle
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Blue Legged Button Quail



Crested Serpent Eagle

Serpent Eagle
Serpent Eagle
Uday Patel

Chambal River Sanctary

Boat Excursions

Bar Headed GeeseSituated about 70 kilometers from Agra the river is a pristine paradise with little pollution. Once famous for sandy dunes and ravines where the dacoits found refuge, these are now in times of peace. Tourism is limited to boat safari at Chambal in Madhya Pradesh. The destination is rich in wildlife and birds were mostly seen along the banks of the river. The Indian Skimmer and Ganges dolphin are on the radar of tourists.

A two and half hours boat is good for bird watching, watching reptiles like the gharial and mugger. The dolphin is frequently seen but the avian abounds. 

The hotels assist by providing bird guides but you need to carry a spotting scope, binoculars, and field guides by acclaimed authors. 

Some Birds of Chambal 

  • Indian Skimmer
  • Laggar Falcon  
  • Sand Lark
  • Gulls
  • Bonelli's Eagle
  • Indian Eagle Owl
  • Sarus Crane
  • Pelicans
  • Storks
  • Warblers 
  • Minivets
  • Long Legged Buzzard
  • Blue Rock Thrush 
  • Desert Wheatear
  • Chestnut Bellied Sand Grouse
  • Black-bellied Tern 


John Matthai

Pachmarhi & Amarkantak & Nauradehi WLS

Hill Resorts & WLS

PachmarhiAlbeit Madhya Pradesh has few hill resorts Amarkantak and Pachmarhi are highly popular across the country. Both Pachmarhi, Amarkantak, And Nauradehi are lesser-known birding stations where every little exploration has been done.  

Pachmarhi at Satpuras 

Being a hill resort, wildlife sanctuary, and Cantt: Pachmarhi has received stringent protection from rabid construction and is well preserved unlike other hill resorts in India. It is part of the Central Indian ranges with Dhoopgarh Mountain being the highest point in MP at 3000 MSL. 

It is home to Malabar Whistling Thrush and along with neighboring Satpura Tiger Reserve home to many winged wonders including the migratory warblers and wetland species.  

This Biosphere Reserve includes Satpura Tiger Reserve and Bori Sanctuary in Mahadeo Hills. 

Amarkantak Hills 

The origin of River Narmada and Son is at this destination and hence a popular religious center for Hindus. Little exploration has been done here a home for winter migrants and resident birds. It is near  Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary in the neighboring Chhattisgarh State. 

My initial survey yielded a large range of warblers and thrushes besides the forest species. A trip down here could result in exciting discoveries. 

Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary

Situated just 100 km from Jabalpur Airport, it is slated to host the African Cheetah besides the tigers which were trans-located earlier. It has rich species of avian including the spotted Grey creeper and wintering migrants. The terrain is mostly mixed forest with a considerable amount of grassy plains. 


Indian Vulture

Indian Vulture
Indian Vulture
Teerath SIngh

The Tiger Reserves of MP

Protacted Areas

BandhavgarhThere are many tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh and some of them are immensely popular for tiger tourism for a long. With abundant avifauna, the industry is picking up. The most popular ones are:

These are protected areas where tourism takes place for organized wildlife safaris and bird watching tours. They have a sound infrastructure for tourism excursions, luxury accommodation, and travel. These destinations are connected with Jabalpur Airport and Railhead. They are well connected by a road network that passes through the township close to the reserves. 

The reserves contain 250 bird species including the migrants. The best seasons are winters whence the migrants arrive but summer birding is equally rewarding for resident birds. 

There are birding guides available for identification and elaboration. A pair of good-quality binoculars and guides will be of immense help during the expedition. 

Tiger Reserves

Central India
Find a page on Bandhavgarh National Park and its wildlife that is an amazing display of biodiversity. Discover the home of Bengal Tigers as they flourish and breed here.
This is an article about Kanha National Park situated in Central India in the State of MP. The article informs how to organize a successful and enjoyable tiger safari in Kanha.
Find write-up on Pench National Park also a Tiger Reserve in India. Read about wild animals, birds you can see on tiger safari at Pench.
Updated: 07/12/2021, pateluday
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pateluday on 02/16/2020

yes! But Asiatic Cheetahs are not aviailable for reintroduction Iran is not willing hence african cheetahs. Grey jungle fowl is seen in Satpura Tiger Reserve in MP or Central India.

pateluday on 02/16/2020


DerdriuMarriner on 02/16/2020

pateluday, Thank you for the practicalities and products.
Are the African cheetahs that you mention under Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary part of the recently approved reintroduction effort? Is it not possible to reintroduce surviving Asiatic cheetahs?
It's nice to see red jungle fowl listed under Madhyra Pradesh. Blue Indian peafowl and red jungle fowl relatives, the grey junglefowl, remain pretty much absent still from Maharashtra areas around Ajanta and Ellora, no?

pateluday on 02/16/2020

We have rosy, white and dalmatian pelicans in India. Yes some large birds are raptors and they prey on other birds. But some large birds are cranes, vultures and ducks they do not prey on smaller birds. Thanks for comment.

blackspanielgallery on 02/16/2020

I see many larger birds in the lists. Are they preying on smaller birds and limiting their population? Also, are the pelicans both types? We have white and brown pelicans here.

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