Coorg (also known as the Scotland of India) is well-known for being a bird watcher’s paradise thanks to the variety of birds present in its forests. Largely green, this special place is conveniently located between the evergreen Western Ghats and the plains. Rich in green coffee plantations and several sacred groves, over 300 different species of birds call the area their home. In addition to these, there are also several migratory visitors that come around each year.
Birds of Coorg
Four main areas in Coorg have been identified areas for birdwatching and these include the Brahamagiri, Pushpagiri and Talakaveri wildlife sanctuaries. The Nagarhole national Park is another popular birdwatching spot.
White Bellied Shortwings, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and Black and Orange Flycatchers are found on the grassy hilltops. Along streams and rivers, you are likely to spot Kingfishers – Stork Billed Kingfisher, the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher and the Blue-Eared Kingfisher. The common bird in the forests of Coorg is the Sri Lankan Frogmouth. The white-bellied Treepie is known for its comical way of calling loudly as it jumps up and down on a branch. These birds are commonly spotted along Coorg’s southern edge.
Around plantations, the orange-headed Thrush is commonly sighted. They enjoy living in wooded areas. These birds are omnivorous and popular among coffee planters as they eat insects that would otherwise spoil the coffee plants. The Oriental White-eye is another popular bird with a vivid yellow plumage and distinctive eye patch of white.
Amongst the most difficult to spot are the Wyanad Laughing Thrush, these birds are found in small bamboo patches along the rivers and feed on insects on the ground. Small bodied, they have glossy black wings and contrasting white fronts.
The Malabar Trogon is a bird that is so quiet that you probably won’t even hear its wings flutter when it takes off. It has rich bright red breast. It is most often spotted in moist evergreen forests but has also been spotted in the Nagarhole area.
Tips to Remember While Bird Watching in Coorg
Depending on whether you are a seasoned bird watcher or an amateur, there are a few things that are essential before you set out to do bird watching in Coorg. Remember to pack basics such as a good pair of binoculars and a field guide.
Dress appropriately for rough terrain and sudden weather changes. Carry a small first aid kit if necessary.
A bottle of water is bound to come in handy. To have a successful time birdwatching, for beginners it may be wise to spend some time learning to identify ad differentiate between the common birds. Or have a naturalist accompany you.
Besides spotting a few elusive feathered friends, a walk or trek through the forests of Coorg is bound to uplift anyone’s spirits. Cool fresh air, green goodness for the eyes and the anticipation of wildlife around the corner, what more could one ask for? Come, enjoy bird watching in Coorg.