Birds and Birding in India

India Bird Checklists

State Birds of India
State Checklists
Indian Peafowl
India Checklist

Following the publication of our Checklist of the Birds of India, we also have similar checklists for each state (and union territory) in India.

Uniquely compared to Indian checklists available elsewhere, these are based on actual verified eBird sightings and—of particular interest to birders planning trips—present relative abundance, or an assessment of the likelihood of seeing each species, for each month of the year.

eBird-driven checklists based on the actual locations visited[1] for each of our tours are also available: the most accurate and useful checklists available anywhere!

Species Likelihood Assessments

The likelihood of seeing a species is based on the proportion of complete lists in eBird that record it, categorised into a range from Very High to Very Low (as well as blank: effectively “highly unlikely”).[2] Likelihood should be taken as the chance of seeing a species, assuming a few days visiting different habitats across the region.

For species that are known from a restricted range, the assessment based on data for the entire region will not be so useful. For example, the likelihood of seeing Forest Owlet in Maharashtra as a whole is Low; however, the likelihood of seeing it at the known site of Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary is High or Very High depending on the time of year. Likelihoods are much more realistic for widespread species. Hence, use them as a guide, and if you have any queries about particular key species please contact us, or leave a comment on the checklist itself.

Printing Checklists

All our checklists can be downloaded as PDFs for the month you are interested in. They are completely FREE for any use, even if you are travelling with a different tour company.

Bubo Birding Checklist

They are designed so that you can use them as a daily log whilst travelling if you wish, filling them in at the end of the day, maybe whilst enjoying a chilled beer! You can also record additional details for eBird to allow you to upload lists later and ensure these meet best practices for useful conservation data. The checklists also include a handy index to the appropriate page in the most popular field guide, Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, and Tim Inskipp.

Bubo Birding Checklist

A lot of work goes into producing these checklists, and keeping them up to date periodically with the latest eBird data, so we do ask for your email address before downloading so that we can send you occasional email updates—you can unsubscribe at any time though.

Of course, please do consider booking your trip with us anyway!

IOC and eBird/Clements Taxonomy

All our checklists follow IOC taxonomy, as this tends to be preferred by most birders across the world to maintain their lists. There are a few taxonomic differences between IOC and eBird/Clements in India; aside from English and Scientific names, family assignments, and ordering, the species level differences are shown in the table below.

eBird SpeciesIOC SpeciesRange (primarily from eBird and Rasmussen & Anderton[3])
Herring Gull Larus argentatus[4]Vega Gull Larus vegaeWinters China, hypothetical in Indian Subcontinent[3].
Recent records in Odisha and West Bengal.
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchosResident throughout Himalayas, mainly 1700-4500m.
Eastern Jungle Crow Corvus levaillantiiResident NE India east from W Bengal, and Andamans; lowlands to c.1000m.
Western limits unclear owing to confusion with Indian Jungle.
Indian Jungle Crow Corvus culminatusResident south from base of Himalayas in N Haryana, throughout plains except arid NW; to 2300m (in Nilgiris).
Eastern limits where overlaps (or intergrades) with Eastern Jungle unclear.
Black-browed Tit Aegithalos iouschistos
Rufous-fronted Bushtit Aegithalos iouschistosResident Himalayas of W Bengal and Sikkim to W Arunachal; 2500-3700m, sometimes lower in winter.
Black-browed Bushtit Aegithalos bonvalotiResident SE Arunachal and S Assam hills (Nagaland, Manipur and Lushai Hills); 1400-2700m.
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia currucaWinter visitor throughout N half of India, east to W Bengal; below 1500m.
Desert Whitethroat Sylvia minulaWinter visitor to NW India (predominantly Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat).
Hume's Whitethroat Sylvia althaeaSummer visitor to Himalayas of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh; 1500-3000m.
Winter range unclear but presumably much of S and SW India.
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurusBreeding visitor Himalayas to Arunachal, and S Assam hills (Assam and Nagaland); 1500-4800m.
Passage migrant and very widespread winter visitor, locally abundant throughout region except S Peninsula; below 2200m.
Stejneger's Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeriAssumed NE, probably Andamans.
Note: no confirmed Indian records.

Since IOC-only species are not so accurately recorded in eBird, likelihood information is not so useful — it has either been taken from the related eBird species, or is an informal assessment.

  1. Species are typically included from the district/county of the main locations visited on the tour, although on occasions we use just the main birding sites↩︎
  2. For each month, we also take into account the preceding and following months (using a weighted average for each week) to come up with the overall likelihood↩︎
  3. Rasmussen, P.C. & Anderton, J.C. 2012. Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide. Vols. 1 and 2. Second Edition. National Museum of Natural History - Smithsonian Institution, Michigan State University and Lynx Edicions, Washington, D.C., Michigan and Barcelona↩︎↩︎
  4. eBird/Clements treat mongolicus, the taxon occurring in India, as a subspecies of Herring Gull, whereas IOC split this (with the extralimital vegae) as Vega Gull↩︎

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