Wildlife in Delhi
The Bharatpur National Park (Keoladeo Ghana National Park) or-as many people prefer to call it-the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary lies between two of India's most historic cities, Agra and Jaipur. This north Indian sanctuary is situated in the country's northwestern state of Rajasthan, about 190 km from the national capital of Delhi.
Flora and Fauna
'Ghana' means dense, referring to the thick forest, which used to cover the area. Bharatpur hosts a variety of bird species from across the globe. Close to 380 species of birds are found in this 29 sq km stretch, approximately 10 sq km of which comprises of marshes and bogs. Rest of the area comprises of scrublands, grasslands and more than 44,000 trees that are used for nesting by birds each year. This rather intriguing blend of marshes, woodland and flora found here represents and, at the same time, substantiates the density and diversity of the region's forest cover.
Main wildlife found are Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Boar, Migratory Birds. The major attractions of tourists visiting the park are the numerous migratory birds, who come from as far away as Siberia and Central Asia and spend their winters in Bharatpur, before returning to their breeding grounds. Migratory birds at Bharatpur bird sanctuary include, several species of Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks, Eagles, Hawks, Shanks, Stints, Wagtails, Warblers, Wheatears, Flycatchers, Buntings, Larks and Pipits, etc.
Some 377 species have been spotted at Bharatpur Sanctuary, making it one of the most inviting destinations in the world for ornithologists, amateurs and nature lovers. Various species of indigenous water birds, waterside birds, migratory water birds, land migratory birds, and domestic land species are found here. There are approximately 56 different families of birds, of which the Passeriformes (156 species) and Charadriformes (56 species) dominate. One-third of birds at Bharatpur are migrants, many of whom spend their winters before returning to their breeding grounds in the Arctic and Central Asia.
The bird most popular among tourists and ornithologists is the Siberian crane. According to field experts, this bird is known to travel distances of up to 6,500 km migrating from the Ob River basin region (Aral mountains, Siberia). Conservationists are working hard to protect the Siberian crane species as they are on the verge of extinction. Apart from Feredunkenar in Iran, Bharatpur Sanctuary is the only place where the Siberian crane migrates. The cranes arrive in December and stay until early March. According to ornithologists, unlike its Indian counterpart the Siberian crane feeds on Cypress Rotents grass (an underground aquatic root). The intriguing fact is that Siberian cranes have a mixed diet of vegetation, fish and other small creatures back home, but they adopt a vegetarian diet during their stay in India.
Bharatpur national park is a bird watcher's paradise. Bird Watching Trips are very exciting. The park, with its rich Bio-geographic diversity, is home to more than 380 species of birds - about quarter of the total species found in the entire Indian subcontinent! It is Considered one of the true bird parks of the world. Migratory birds at Bharatpur bird sanctuary include, several species of Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks, Eagles, Hawks, Shanks, Stints, Wagtails, Warblers, Wheat ears, Flycatchers, Buntings, Larks and Pipits, etc. The numerous water bodies provide an ideal habitat for Ducks and Waders which are migratory. The park forms a natural crossroad and meeting ground for avian species from high altitude areas, plains and eastern and western regions. Because of this unique location, the bird population is Pretty high throughout the year, with winter visitors, summer visitors, altitudinal migrants, passage migrants and local migrants. The park is an avid bird watcher's destination.