Bird man of Coorg


Aquatic Birds

Painted Stork: (Mycteria leucocephala 93-100cm)

bird watching in coorg

Widespreaded resident in plains ; unrecorded in parts of the north west and north east. Adult has downcurved yellow bill. Bare orange yellow or red face and red legs ; white barring on mainly black upper wing –coverts pinkish tertials and black barring across to breast.

Woolly –necked stork: (Ciconia episcopus 75-92cm)

bird watching in coorg

widespreaded resident unrecorded in parts of north-west, north-east and east india stocky , largely blackish stork with the woolly white neck, black skullcap and white vent and undertail-coverts .

Bar headed goose: Anser indicus 75cm

bird watching in coorg

Diagnostic barring on head highly gregarious high altitude marshy areas by lakes and revers and form land can be seen.

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo 80cm)


From other cormorants much larger size and yellow gular skin extending to eyes and white feathering on sides of head and brownish bronze seen to upperparts found them around lakes rivers ,creeks etc.

Eurasian Spoonbill (Platale leucorodia 82cm)


The long spatulate bill is unique among the larger waterbirds in flight note the entire white plumage (Washed yellow on throat and breast )

Black crowned Night heron Nycticorax Nycticorax 52-65cm


Widespreaded resident unrecorded in parts of north west and north east. Stocky with the thick neck. Adult has black crown and mental contrasting with grey rings and whitish underparts, Juvenile boldly streaked and spotted immature has unskeated brown mantle/seapulars inland and coastal waters.

Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta 65cm)

bird watching in coorg

Widespreaded resident unrecorded in parts of north-west and north-east . Slim and graceful  typically , has a black bill , black legs with yellow feat and grayish lores (Lores reddish during cortiship) Some can be very similar to western Reef. Bill in non-breeding and immature can be paler and pinkish or grayish at base and can be dull yellowish on some , inland and coastal waters.

Common Ringed Plover Cha radrius Hiaticula 18-20cm

bird watching in coorg

Widespreaded winter visitor . Prominent breast band and white hindcollar . Prominent wing bar in flight . Adult breading has orange legs and bill-base (Duller in non-breeding more olive/yellow in juvenile). Non breeding and juvenile have prominent whitish supercilium and forehead compared with little ringed. Found in fresh water and coastal wet lands .

Marsh Sandpiper: (Tringa Stagnatilis 20-25cm)

bird watching in coorg
Widespreaded winter visitor and daintier than common green shank, with proportionately longer legs and finer bill. Legs greenish or yellowish. Upper parts are grey and foreneck and underparts white in non-breeding blumage. In breeding blumage , forneck and the breast streaked and upperparts blotched and barred . Juvenile has dark streaked upperparts with buff fringes . Abrupt , dull mainly in fresh water and wet lands.

Grey Heron: (Ardeacinerea 90-98cm)

bird watching in coorg

Resident , passage migrant and winter visitor. Widespreaded; unrecoreded in parts of north-west and north-east. In flight black flight feathers contrast with the grey upper wing and under wing-coverts.Adults has yellow bill whitish head and neck with black and plumes , and black patches on belly . In breeding season, has whitish scapular plumes bill and legs become orange or reddish . Immature has dark cap with variable crest and greyer neck; lacks or has reduced black on belly. Inland and coastal waters.

Indian Pond heron: (Ardeolagrayii 42-45cm)

bird watching in coorg

Widespreaded resident ; unrecorded in parts of north-west and north-east. Whitish wings contrast with the dark saddle. Adult breeding has yellowish buff head and neck and maroon brown and mantle/scapulars. Head , neck and breast streaked / spotted in breeding blumage. Inland and coastal wet land.

Wood peckers

Lessor yellownape: (Picuschlorolophus 27cm)

bird watching in coorg bird watching in coorg

Male (1a) and female (1b) P.c.chlorolophus; male P.c chlorigaster of peninsula (1c). Resident Himalayas , hills of india , Bangladesh and shrilanka. Tuffed yellow nape, scarlet and white markings in head , and barring or spotting on under parts. Smaller , with less prominent crest and smaller bill , compared with the greater yellownape. Forest, secondary growth plantations.

Common Flameback (Dinopium javanence 28-30cm)

bird watching in coorg

Resident hills of south-west and North-east india and Bangladesh. Smaller size and smaller bill than greater , with the unspotted hindneck, and irregular  line of black spotting down center of throat. Smaller size and bill compared with Himalayan; moustachial stripe lacks clear dividing line (usually solid black , although can appear divided on some and similar to Himalayan). Crown of female is finely spotted with white .Forest.

Heart spotted woodpecker: (Hemicicus canente 16cm)

bird watching in coorg

Male (10a), Female (10b) and juvenile (10c).Resident . mainly hills of north-east and east india. Prominent crest ,very short bill. Black and white blumage, with heart shaped black spots on tertials. Male has black crown , female has white crown and juvenile has black spotting on white crown . Broadleaved forest and coffee plantation.

Rufous woodpecker (Celeus brachyurus 25cm)

bird watching in coorg

Resident hImalays north-east , east and W.India and Bangladesh and Shrilanka black bill and shaggy crest. Rufous brown , with prominent black barring male has scarlet patch on ears and coverts. Forest and secondary gowth.

Sun Birds

Purple rumped Sunbird (Female)(Nectarinia Zeylonica 10cm)


Widespread resident unrecorded in parts of north-east and north west sub-continent. Male metallic purple , female has uniform yellowish underparts, with faint superdilium and darker mask (some greyer and whiter). Usually seen open deciduous forest and the gardens.

Purple sunbird (Nectarinia Asiatica 10cm)


Widespreaded resident, unrecoreded in parts of north-east and north-west sub-continent . Male metallic purple . Female has uniform yellowish underparts, with faint supercilium and darker mask (some greyer and whiter ). seen open deciduous forest and the gardens.

Little spiderhunter (Arachnothera Longirostra 16cm)


Resident east Himalayan foothills, hills of India and Bangladesh and Adjacent plains. Very long downcurved bill unstreaked upperparts, yellowish underparts. Wild banana in moist broadlived forest .

Pale-Billed Flowepecker (Dicaeum erythrorynchos 8cm)


Widespreaded resident , unrecorded  in parts of north east and north west , sub-continent. Pale –billed grayish olive upper parts , pale grey underparts . Open broadlived forest and well wooded area’s.

Oriental White Eye (Zosterops palpebrosus 10cm)

bird watching in coorg

Widespreaded resident unrecorded in parts of the north-west. White eye-ring, yellow throat and breast , an whitish belly. Open broadlived forest and wooded area.


White throated Kingfisher (Halcyon Smyrnensis 28cm)

White throated Kingfisher

Widespreaded resident white throat and center of breast , brown head and most of under parts , and turquoise upper parts. White ring patch . Cultivation , forest edges, gardens and fresh water and coastal wet lands.

Pied kingfisher (Cerylerudis 31cm)

Pied kingfisher (2)

Widespreaded resident. Smaller than  crested , with white supercilium white patches on wings, black band across breast . Female has single breast band (double in male ) still fresh waters , slow moving rivers and streams , also tidal creeks and pools.

Common Kingfisher (Alcedoatthis 16cm)

Common kingfisher

Widespreaded resident. Orange hear-coverts . Greenish blue on head, scapulars and wings, and turquoise line down back. Fresh waters in open country, also mangroves and seashore in winter.

Red –Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus  33 cm)

bird watching in coorg

Red face –wattles diagnostic. Races (a) nom (b) atronuchalis.  Juv (not shown) has grey throat and ear –coverts.<2000. Chiefly near fresh water in open country and arable land.

Malabar Parakeet (Psittacula columbodies  38 cm)

bird watching in coorg

Grey back, breast and head together with blue primaries.500-1500.Evergreen and mixed –deciduous forest, second growth, cultivation. Harsh squeaky screet –screet…, cheechi chichi.

Rose -ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri  42cm)

bird watching in coorg

The most common and widespread parakeet throughout most of the region .Is a largely slim green bird distinguished by the black and rose collar, absent in. Both and are much smaller and smaller –billed than the similarly plumaged 11 and lack that specie’s obvious maroon shoulder- patch. Races (a) borealis ( B) manillensis. Mainly lowlands. Variety of (mainly broadleaved) wooded habitats including vicinity of man: cultivation. Squeaky keew: keeow: shrill kee-ak.

Greater Cucal  (Centropus sinensis 48cm)

Greater Coucal

The commonest and most widespread coucla. For distinctions see 4and 6. <2200. Overgrown and tangled shrubbery in light forest, forest edge, gardens , cultivation, tall grassland.6 or more deep hollow (pr) oop notes usually decreasing in volume towards the end .

Malabar Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros griseous 59 cm)

bird watching in coorg

Very like 1 but has no casque: basal half of bill reddish in , only SHOWING A small patch of black in. Beware of juv 1 which also lacks casque but has completely yellow bill and no white tips to the wings. <1600. Moist open broadleaved forest. Loud squeaky laughing quah..quah…quah..Ka-ka-kakakakka, kyaeh. 

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradisesus 33cm)

bird watching in coorg

From all other drongos except 8 by the long tail-streamers. From 8 by the deeply forked tail, longer crest the “rackets” at ends of the tail only on one side of the exposed shaft (and usually twisted). Races (a) nom (b) lophorinus of SW Sri Lanka. Later lacks the long tail- streamers of nom, but has a short crest –tuft making head appear more like 8, but has deeply forked tail with broad outer tail feathers twisted slightly out and up. < 1700. Forest and secondary jungle. Extremely varied: from harsh and metallic calls to rich mellow songs: excellent mimic. Normally singly or in pairs, often in mixed flocks.

Long –tailed Shrike (Lanius schach, 946-88 25cm )

bird watching in coorg

The commonest shrike throughout most of its range. Separated from most other grey-mantled shrikes by the rufous flanks and long tail. See 7 for differences with that species. Races (a) caniceps (b) erythronotus (c) tricolor. < 3000. Variety of open habitats.

Brahminy Starling (Sturnus pagodarum 22cm)

bird watching in coorg

Crest not obvious unless raised. <1600(2400). Open broadleaved forest, gardens, second growth, and cultivation. Creaking and chattering notes, rambling warble mixed with mimicry.

Red –whiskered Bulbul

bird watching in coorg

(Pycnonotus jocosus, 1118-22) 20 cm. From all bulbuls except 11 by red vent. From latter by jaunty crest, white ear-coverts with red post –ocular “whiskers” (reduced or absent in some birds of the extreme north – east and in immature). <1800. Parks, gardens, scrubs, light forest, second growth. Usually in moister habitats than 11 and 13. Normally in pairs or small parties: occasionally in flocks. Cheery (kick)-Pettigrew, pleased –to-meet-you.  

White –rumped Munia (Lonchura striata 10cm)

bird watching in coorg

Where belly, flanks and rump on otherwise dark brown bird. Races (a) nom, southern India: b) acuticauda, northern India, Nepal and BhutanLc) fumigate, Andaman’s. < 1800. Light scrub, secondary jungle, grassy areas and cultivation. Plaintive peeping: tr-tr-tr, prrril: brrt.

Laughing dove (Streptopelia senegalensis, 27 cm Adult)

bird watching in coorg

Widespread resident: unrecorded in most of Himalayas, the northeast and Sri Lanka. Slim, small with fairly long tail. Brownish –pink head and under parts, uniform upper parts, and black stippling on upper breast. Dry cultivation and scrub – covered hills.

Spotted dove  (Streptopelia chinensis, 30cm. Adult S.c.suratensis : adult S.c. tigrina of NE subcontinent)

bird watching in coorg

Widespread resident:  unrecorded in most of northwest and N Himalayas. Spotted upper parts, and black- and white chequered patch on neck sides. S.c tigrina of NE sub continent has buff scaling on upper parts. Cultivation, habitation and open forest.

Yellow footed green pigeon (Treron phoenicoptera, 33cm Adult T.P phoenicoptera  : adult T.p chlorigaster)

Yellow footed Green pigeon bird watching in coorg

Wide spread resident: unrecorded in most of Himalayas and northwest. Large size, broad olive –yellow collar, pale grayish –green upper parts, mauve shoulder patch , yellowish band at base of tail, and yellow legs and feet. Populations in peninsular India and Sri Lanka (T. P chlorigaster) have greenish – yellow belly and flanks. Deciduous forest and fruiting trees around villages and cultivation.

Common Babbler  (Turdoides caudatus, 23 cm Adult )

bird watching in coorg

Widespread resident: unrecorded in most of NE and E India, W Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Unstreaked whitish throat and breast centre. Legs and feet are yellowish. Dry scrub in plains and low hills.

Oriental skylark (Alauda gulgula, 16 cm Adult A.G. australis : adult A. g.inconspicua)

bird watching in coorg

Widespread resident and winter visitor. Variable in coloration and prominence of streaking on upper parts and under parts. Fine bill, buffish-white outer tail feathers, and indistinct rufous wing panel. Race of W peninsula and Sri Lanka, australis, is warmer buff compared with other races: note smaller bill and shorter crest and bazz bazz flight call which are useful differences from Malabar lark. Grass land, cultivation and coastal mudflats.



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