Migratory Birds


(Dr. Girish Chandra)

The primary aim of migration is to take advantage of the longer days of the northern summer for breeding and to feed their young and to avoid harsh winters. The extended daylight hours allow diurnal birds to produce larger clutches of eggs than those of non-migratory species that remain in the tropics all the year round. As the days shorten in autumn, the birds return to warmer regions where the available food supply is more.  During northern winters there is little food and cold temperatures, whereas in south, there is more food and less cold.

Between 1500 and 4000 species of birds are known to migrate. In India and South Asia, out of over 2000 species and sub-species, about 350 are migrants. It is estimated that over 100 species of migratory birds fly into India, either in search of food or to escape severe winter of their native habitat. In the Indian subcontinent the majority of migratory birds are winter migrants.

The first naturalist to write about migration was Aristotle, who studied pelicans, turtle doves, swallows, quail, swans and geese as migrants and observed that all migrating birds fatten themselves up before migrating. Every year, during autumn and early winter, birds travel from there breeding grounds in the northern regions of Asia, Europe and America to the southern lands of Asia, Africa and South America. They make the return journey again during spring and early summer.

 Birds of prey, Swallows and Crows migrate in daytime, whereas thrushes, warblers, cuckoos, woodpeckers and most songbirds migrate by night. Large birds fly faster than small birds.  Ducks and geese maintain an average speed of 64-80 km/h, while hawks and ravens fly at 35-45 km/h. Most birds migrate at an altitude of 3,000 feet or less but cranes and geese migrate at altitudes of 15,000-21,000 feet.

Before migration birds eat more food and store it as fat for their long journey. Some migrants almost double their body weights by storing fat before migration. The ruby-throated hummingbird weighs only 4.8 grams and can use stored fat to fuel a non-stop, 24-hour flight across a 600 mile stretch of open sea from the U.S. Gulf coast to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.  

The Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) is a sea bird that breeds in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America in marshes, tundra lakes and shorelines. The species is strongly migratory, seeing two summers each year as it migrates from its northern breeding grounds to the oceans around Antarctica and back, covering a distance of about 38,000 km each year that take 90 days each side. This is the longest regular migration by any known animal. The arctic tern flies as well as glides through the air, performing almost all of its tasks in the air. Arctic Terns are mainly grey, with red beak and feet, white forehead, a black-nape and crown and white cheeks. It is one of the most aggressive birds that fiercely defend its nests and young.  Arctic terns leave the Arctic Circle and head eastwards across the Atlantic Ocean, flying down the west coasts of Europe and Africa. In spring they fly north back to the Arctic, following the east coasts of South and North America. Considering an Arctic tern lives up to 30 years, a single bird may travel more than 650,000 miles in its lifetime. The young stay in the southern hemisphere until they are about two years old and will then migrate back to their birthplace. One Arctic Tern, ringed as a chick on the Farne Islands off the British east coast, reached Melbourne, Australia in just three months from fledging, a sea journey of over 22,000 km. The arctic tern may hold the record for longest migration distance since it flies about 35,000 km each year travelling between its arctic breeding ground and non-breeding area in the Antarctic.

            Pied Crested Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) migrates to large areas in northern India in monsoon and has often been called the harbinger of monsoon or “rain visitor” from Africa. They move across the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to reach India in May or June. Some believe that the bird uses monsoon winds to assist its flight during this migration. It breeds during June-August and leaves the subcontinent in September/October for Africa.

The Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is a widespread summer migrant to Europe and Asia, and winters in Africa. It is a brood parasite, which lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species, such as meadow pipits and reed warblers.


The American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica) breeds in Arctic Tundra and has a long, circular migration route. In the fall it flies offshore from the East Coast of North America non-stop to South America. It leaves the breeding grounds in early summer, but juveniles usually linger until late summer or fall. Some adults arrive on the wintering grounds in southern South America before the last juveniles have left the Arctic. On the return journey in the spring it passes primarily through the middle of North America to reach its arctic breeding grounds. The bird has one of the longest known migratory routes of over 25,000 miles, of which 2,400 miles is over ocean where it cannot stop to feed or drink.

Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) nests in a small number of island colonies from the Western Islands, Iceland, in the Faroes, in northern and western Britain and Ireland, Brittany, to the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries. They nest in burrows, laying one white egg which is only visited at night to avoid predation by large gulls. They form life-long monogamous pair-bonds. Young Manx Shearwaters go to sea at night, without their parents, and immediately head for the winter quarters off the coast of southern Brazil and Argentina. Ringing studies in Stockholm show that some of the young make this 6000–7000 mile journey in less than a fortnight.

 Manx Shearwaters migrate over 11,000 km to South America  in winter, using waters off southern Brazil and Argentina, so this bird has covered a minimum of 1,000,000 km on migration alone in its lifetime. Another bird ringed in 1957 and breeding on Bardsey Island off Wales was calculated by ornithologist Chris Mead to have flown over 8 million km during its life.

Penguins. After breeding most penguin species moult, relying on fat reserves to sustain them for a period of 2-5 weeks without food. After moulting, penguins can enter water to find food and migrate. All penguins, except six species that are adapted to inshore life, migrate over long distances and return to land only for the breeding season. Satellite telemetry of Adelie penguin migration shows that these birds travel a path along the coastline of the Antarctic continent to a winter feeding ground in an area north-west of the Balleny Islands, off the Ross Ice Shelf, a distance of 5,500 km. Tracking of Humboldt penguins revealed that most stayed within a 90 km radius of the island on which they breed. Migration is also the time when penguins are most vulnerable, with annual survival estimates ranging from 75% for the Little Penguin to 95% for the Emperor penguin.

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) is a large wader in the family Scolopacidae, which breeds on Arctic coasts and tundra mainly in the Old World, and winters on coasts in temperate and tropical regions of the Old World. It makes the longest known non-stop flight of any bird and also the longest journey without pausing to feed, 11,680 kilometres along a route from Alaska to New Zealand. It was shown in 2007 to undertake the longest non-stop flight by any bird. Birds in New Zealand were tagged and tracked by satellite to the Yellow Sea in China. According to Dr. Clive Minton, the distance between these two locations is 9,575 kilometres but the actual track flown by the bird was 11,026 kilometres. This is the longest known non-stop flight of any bird. The flight took approximately 9 days. At least three other Bar-tailed Godwits also appear to have reached the Yellow Sea after non-stop flights from New Zealand.

Albatrosses.  Albatrosses are roaming seabirds that live up to 60 years, spending many continuous years at sea before returning to land to breed. Young birds leave New Zealand waters and fly circumpolar through the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans before returning to New Zealand waters to breed as adults when 6-10 years old. Satellite transmitters have been put on wandering albatross and have shown that birds can travel an incredible 700 kilometres a day. Unfortunately, they also reveal huge losses to long line fishing. The Wandering Albatross, Snowy Albatross, or White-winged Albatross, Diomedea exulans, is a large seabird, which has a circumpolar range in the Southern Ocean. Based on tracking the precise movements of 22 birds, reveals that males are most likely to circumnavigate the world, with the fastest managing a distance of 14,000 miles in 46 days – the equivalent of a steady 13mph. More than half then made amazing round-the-world journeys – the fastest in just 46 days. As the loggers only provide two positions per day, an accurate estimate of the distance is impossible but it is likely to have been at least 14,000 miles. Using satellite telemetry scientists have learned that some parent birds fly as much as 1000 kilometres per day, covering anywhere from 2900 kilometres to an astonishing 15,000 kilometres in a single foraging flight.

Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus). The Siberian Cranes nest in Yakutia and western Siberia of Russia and migrate to India. The migration route stretches for 4000 miles. Their resting place at the time of migration is the Lake Ab-i-Estada in Afghanistan. The Kaladeo Ghana National Park or the Bharatpur National Park has been declared a world heritage site because the Siberian Crane traverses nearly half of the globe to reach it. The eastern population winters on the Yangtze River and Lake Poyang in China, the central population at Keoladeo National Park, India (the last Siberian Crane in this population was observed in 2002), and the western population in Fereydoon Kenar in Iran. It breeds and winters in wetlands, where it feeds on the shoots, roots and tubers of aquatic plants.

Ducks, shovellers, teals and geese.  Some duck species, mainly those breeding in the temperate and Arctic Northern Hemisphere, are migratory; those in the tropics, however, are generally not. Some ducks, particularly in Australia where rainfall is patchy and erratic, are nomadic, seeking out the temporary lakes and pools that form after localised heavy rain.

Black-headed bunting (Emberiza melanocephala). The males are quite gorgeous with their black heads, brilliant yellow underparts and rich reddish-brown upperparts. The females are much duller although they often show at least a hint of yellow, especially on the undertail coverts and the head is usually distinctly darker than the throat, creating a hooded effect which mimics the pattern of the male. Migratory, wintering in western and central India. Arrives in the breeding areas in late April or May and departs in July or early August.

Black poll warbler (Dendroica striata) is a New World warbler. These birds breed in northern North America, from Alaska, Canada, and up to New England and winter in north-western South America.   Part of their fall migratory route is over the Atlantic Ocean from the north-eastern United States to Puerto Rico, the Lesser Antilles, or northern South America. This route averages 1,864 miles over water, requiring a potentially non-stop flight of up to 88 hours. To accomplish this flight, they nearly double their body mass and take advantage of a shift in prevailing wind direction.

Humming birds. Most hummingbirds of the U.S. and Canada migrate south in fall to spend the winter in northern Mexico or Central America.  Ruby-throated hummingbird flies 600 miles across the Gulf of Mexico in 25 hours non-stop. A few southern South American species also move to the tropics in the southern winter. A few species are year-round residents in the warmer coastal and interior desert regions.

Migratory Birds Coming to India in Winter Season

Siberian Cranes, Greater Flamingo, Ruff, Black winged Stilt, Common Teal, Common Greenshank, Northern Pintail, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Northern Shoveler, Rosy Pelican, Gadwall, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Eurasian Wigeon, Black tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Starling, Bluethroat, Long billed Pipit.

Migratory Birds Coming to India in Summer Season

Asian Koel, Black crowned Night Heron, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Comb Duck, Blue-cheeked Bee Eater, Blue-tailed Bee-Eater, Cuckoos.


Birds use a number of methods to find their way during migration. Many use celestial navigation, a method of orienting the body to the arc of the sun, to the phases of the moon, or to the pattern of the stars in a particular season, which is called menotaxis. Others, such as hummingbirds and pigeons, are able to determine the position of the sun even on overcast days because they can detect the ultraviolet radiation it emits.

Experiments in planetarium on night migrant birds, such as white throated warblers and indigo buntings reveal that they orient themselves by the position of stars in the night sky.

Some birds are sensitive to coriolis force that arises by deflection of winds in the northern hemisphere by earth’s rotation.

  Some diurnal birds use topographical landmarks such as mountains, river valleys, and forests to orient themselves on the migration route. Some are able to detect infrasound or low-frequency sounds that are produced by pounding of the ocean surf that travel long distances and are detected by birds. Many birds, particularly seabirds, identify their destinations by characteristic odours.

Many birds possess instinct or some kind of internal compass or biological clock that guide them to the route of migration. Young birds follow the migration route accurately without previous training or experience.

Some birds such as oil birds of South America possess echolocation and can be guided by it.

The classic experiment proving the internal-clock theory was done by German Gustav Kramer during the early 1950’s. He placed caged Starlings wanting to migrate so they could see the sun. The birds would sit looking in the direction toward which they wanted to fly. Significantly, if the Starlings couldn’t see the sun, they didn’t face in any particular direction.

Also during the 1950’s, the German Franz Sauer did a similar experiment with birds that could and could not see the night stars. The results were the same: Certain species can orient themselves according to the sky’s major stars. In fact, an experiment with Mallard Ducks found that if the moon is so bright that important stars are hidden by glare, released ducks can’t orient themselves as well as on darker, moonless nights.

Some birds, such as pigeons, are sensitive to changes in the earth’s magnetic field and to gravity because of magnetite they possess in their head and neck muscles. During the early 1970’s, W.T. Keeton did a series of elegant experiments to get the answer.  He glued small, non-magnetic brass bars on the backs of pigeons and on the backs of a similar group he glued miniature magnets which, he thought, might disrupt the Earth’s magnetic field in the vicinity of the pigeons. When released at locations the birds had never seen before, the pigeons with non-magnetic brass bars found their ways home much better than those with magnets on their backs.

In a 2007 article in the German journal Naturwissenschaften scientists announced that they’d found tiny iron oxide crystals in the skin lining of the upper beak of homing pigeons, laid out in a 3-dimensional pattern in a way that the birds might be able to sense the Earth’s magnetic field independent of their motion and posture, and thus identify their geographical position.

The researchers discovered molecules called cryptochromes, which change their chemistry in the presence of a magnetic field, in the retinas of migratory birds’ eyes. When light hits these molecules, their chemistry changes and magnetism can influence them. The molecules might then affect light-sensing cells in the retina to create images, which would help the brain navigate during flight.

Infrasound travels much farther than ordinary sound and it comes from many different natural sources, including ocean waves, surf, winds, storms, earthquakes and other geologic events. If you can hear infrasound, you can listen to the whole world.  

© Dr. Girish Chandra






 (Local migratory birds are excluded)

(By Dr. Girish Chandra)



Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) – Breeds from Europe to Siberia. Winter  visitor to northern India.

Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) – Eurasia, Africa and North America. Winter visitor in northern and western India.


White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) – A Palaearctic species visiting all over India in winter.

Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) – A Palaearctic species winter in India.


Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) – Breeds in Siberia and winters in India, China & Asia.

Grey Lag Goose (Anser anser) – A Palaearctic species wintering in Mediterranean, India and China.

Barheaded Goose (Anser indicus) – Breeds in Ladakh and north and visits all over northern India in winter.


Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) – Breeds in Eurasia and North America and winters in Europe, USA, Asia and India.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) – Breeds in Europe and winter visitor to northwestern India.


Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) – A Palaearctic breeding species that is winter visitor in Indian subcontinent.

Pintail Duck (Anas acuta) – A Holarctic species that winters all over Indian subcontinent and southern North America.

Common Teal (Anas crecca) – A Holarctic species wintering in Asia and Africa.

Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos) – A Holarctic breeding species, winter visitor to all over India up to Burma.

Gadwall Duck (Anas strepera) – A holarctic breeding species that visits throughout the Indian subcontinent in winter.

Wigeon Duck (Anas penelope) – Breeds in palaeactic region, visitor to norther India.

Garganey Teal (Anas querquedula) – A Palaearctic breeding species that visits throughout the Indian subcontinent in winter.

Shoveller (Anas clypeata) – Breeds in Holarctic region and winters in India.

Redcrested Pochard (Netta rufina) – Breeds in Mediterranean area and winter visitor to northern and southern India.

Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) – A Palaearctic breeding species, winter visitor to Africa and southern Asia.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) – A Palaearctic breeding species that winters in northern India.

Godeneyed Duck (Bucephala clangula) – Holarctic breeding species winter visitor to northern India.

Whiteheaded Stifftailed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) – A Mediterranean species that is winter visitor to northern India.

Common Crane (Grus grus) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in North Africa, India and China.

Siberian Crane or Great White Crane (Grus leucogeranus) – Found in Southeastern Russia and Siberia, wintering in northwestern India and China.

Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo) – From southeastern Europe to Mongolia, wintering in Africa, India, Burma and China.


Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) – A holarctic breeding species, wintering in southern India and southern latitude around the world.

Golden Plover(Pluvialis apricaria) – Breeds in northern Europe and winters in Mediterranean and up to India.

Eastern Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) – Breeds in North America and Europe and winters in South America and all over the Indian subcontinent.

Large Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii) – Breeds in northern Asia and winter visitor to Africa, Asia and Australia.

Sand Plover (Charadrius asiaticus) – Breeds in Europe, Russia and Mongolia and winters in Africa, southern Asia and Australia.

Persian Shearwater (Procellaria persica) – Breeds in Persian gulf and migrates to India and southeast Asian islands.


Curlew (Numenius arquata) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in Africa and southeastern Asia including India.

Blacktailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in Asia, Africa and Australia.

Bartailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) – A holarctic breeding species, wintering in Afica, Asia and Australia.

Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) – Breeds in southeastern Europe and winters in Africa, southern Asia and Australia.

Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in Africa, southern Asia and islands of Australia and New Zealand.

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in the African and Asian regions.

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in Asia, Africa and Australia.

Spotted Greenshank (Tringa guttifer) – Breeds in Siberia and winters in the Indochinese subregion.

Terek Sandpiper (Tringa terek) – Breeds in Finland and winters in Africa and southern Asia to Australia.

Common Sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucos) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in Europe, Africa and southern Asia.

Pintail Snipe (Gallinago sternura) – Breeds from Siberia to Tibet and winters from India to Indonesia.

Great Snipe (Gallinago media) – Breeds in northern Europe and winters in Africa, Sri Lanka and southern India.

Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) – A Palaearctic breeding species up to Himalaya and winter visitor to Assam and south Indian hills in shady forests.

Eastern Little Stint (Calidris ruficollis) – Breeds in Siberia, wintering in eastern Asia to Australia.

Little Stint (Calidris minuta) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in Africa, Southern Asia and Middle East.

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris testacea) – Breeds in northern Asia and winters in Africa, India and up to Australia.

Broadbilled Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in the Indochineses subregion.

Ruff and Reeve (Philomachus pugnax) – Breeds in Siberia and winters in Africa, India and China.

Blackbacked Gull (Larus fuscus) – Visits from northern Europe.

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) – A Holarctic species, wintering in southern Asia.

Whitewinged Black Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) – Breeds in southern Europe, wintering in Africa, India and up to Australia.

Indian Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) – Winter visitor from Europe.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) – Migrates from Europe to Asia.



Sparrow Hawk (Accipiter nisus) – A Palaearctic breeding species, visits Indian subcontinent in winter.

Fish Hawk (Pandion haliatus) – Breeds in Europe and winter visitor in India.

Buzzard (Buteo buteo) – A Palaearctic breeding species, winter visitor to all over India.

Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) – Found from Romania to Mongolia. Winter visitor to India.

Booted Hawk Eagle (Hieraetus pennatus) – Breeds in South Europe and northern Africa and visits all over India.

Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in India and


Pale Harrier (Circus macrourus) – Breeds in Europe and winters in India and Sri Lanka.

Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) – A Palaearctic breeding species wintering in Asia and Africa.

Perregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) – A holarctic breeding species that winters in Asia, Africa and Australia.

Merlin (Falco columbarius) – A Palaearctic breeding species wintering in Africa, India and other parts of Asia.

Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) – A Mediterranean species that winters in Africa and India.

Scops Owl (Otus scops) – Breeds in Europe, Africa and Asia and summer visitor in the hills of Indian subregion.



Little Bustard (Otis tetrax) – European species visits northern Indian grasslands and cultivation in winter.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in Indian subcontinent.

Greyheaded Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) – Breeds from Mongolia to Japan, winters in eastern India to Indo-Chinese subregion.


Rufous Turtle Dove (Steptopelia orientalis) – Breeds from Siberia to Himalaya and winters in Indochinese subregion.


The Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in Africa and summer visitor to the hilly regions of India.

Himalayan Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus) – Breeds in eastern and southern Asia and winters in Africa.

Small Cuckoo (Cuculus poliodephalus) – Breeds in Japan and winters in Africa. Summer visitor in Himalayan region.


The Swift (Apus apus) – A Palaearctic species, summer visitor to the Himalayan region


European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) – Breeds from Europe to Kashmir and winters in Africa. Summer visitor to most of the northern India.


Hoopoe (Upupa epops) – Breeds in Europe and Asia and summer visitor to the hills of India and winter visitor to the plains and foothills of India.


Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in Mediterranean, northern Africa, India and the Indochinese subregion.


Skylark (Alauda arvensis) – Migrates from Europe to northern Africa, winter visitor in India.


Swallow (Hirundo rustica) – A holarctic species wintering in the Indian subcontinent.


Redbacked Shrike (Lanius collurio) – A palaearctic species wintering in Africa and southeastern Asia including in northern India.

Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) – Breeds from Siberia to Asia, winter visitor to northern India and up to Sri Lanka.


Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) – Found from Europe to Northern Asia and wintering in Africa. Partly migratory in northern India and Himalayas.

Blacknaped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) – Breeds in northern Asia, Manchuria and Korea and winter visitor to northern India.


Rosy Pastor (Sturnus roseus) – Breeds in southeastern Europe and winter visitor to northern India.

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) – Found throughout Europe and winter visitor to India.

Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris) – Breeds in the Palaearctic region and Himalaya and winter visitor to most parts of India.

Brownbreasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui) – Breeds in Himalayan range and winters in dense evergreen forest of peninsular India.

Redbreasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa parva) – A Palaearctic species winter visitor to plantations and gardens.


Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti) – Distributed from Southern Europe to northern Africa. Winter visitor to the plain of India.

Streaked Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella lanceolata) – Breeds in Siberia and winter visitor to northern India to Burma.

Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naeva) – Northern Europe to Mongolia and winter visitor to the Indian subcontinent.

Thickbilled Warbler (Acrocephalus aedon) – Breeds in USSR and winters in the Indochinese subregion.

Easter Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) – Breeds from Siberia to Japan and winters in the Indochinese subregion.

Paddyfield Warbler (Acrocephalus agricola) – Breeds in USSR and winter in India.

Booted Warbler (Hippolais caligata) – From USSR to Mongolia and winters in India to

eastern Africa.

Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca) – Breeds from Europe to Mongolia and winters in India, Africa and Sri Lanka.

Desert Warbler (Sylvia nana) – Breeds in north Africa, Iran to Turkestan and winters in scrub and semi-desert areas of northern India.

Brown Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus collybita) – A Palaearctic species wintering from tropical Africa to India.

Dusky Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus fuscatus) – Breeds in Siberia to Mongolia and winter visitor to Himalayan foothills in scrub jungles, low bushes and hedges.

Rubythroat (Erithacus calliope) – Breeds from Siberia to Bering Islands and winters all over India and Asia up to Philippines.

Bluethroat (Erithacus svecicus) – Breeds in Europe and northern Asia and winters in India, SE Asia and China.


Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) – A Palaearctic breeding species that winters in northeastern Africa, Arabia, India and northern Vietnam.

Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) – An European species migrating to Africa and India.

Hodgson’s Redstart (Phoenicurus hodgsoni) – Breeds in northwestern China and migrates to northern Burma and northern India.


Dark Thrush (Turdus obscurus) – Breeds in Siberia and winters from eastern India to Taiwan.

Redthroated Thrush (Turdus ruficollis) – Breeds in Siberia to Mongolia and winters in Indian subcontinent to China.


Indian Tree Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) – Breeds from northern Asia to Siberia and winters in India and up to Philippines and Korea.

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis) – A Palaearctic breeding species that winters in Middle East, Africa and India.

Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris) – Breeds from Europe to Mongolia and  winters in northern India in semidesert areas.


Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) – A Palaearctic breeding species, wintering in northern India to Burma in pastures and moist grasslands.

Yellowheaded Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) – Breeds from Siberia to Mongolia and winters in Indian subcontinent and southern China.

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) – A Palaearctic species wintering in tropical Africa and Asia. Recorded in northern India up to Andhra Pradesh.

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla caspica) – Winter visitor from Siberia, Russia, Afghanistan.


Spanish Sparrow (Passer ispaniolensis) – Breeds from Europe to northern Africa and

Pine Bunting (Emberiza leucocephalos) – Breeds in Europe to Siberia, wintering in India, China and Japan.

Blackheaded Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala) –  Breeds in Europe and winters in India in cereal cultivations.

winter visitor in northern India in cultivations and semi-desert.

Yellowbreasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola) – A palaearctic species, winter visitor in northeastern India in cultivations and grasslands.

Blackfaced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala) – Breeds in Siberia to western China and winter visitor to northeastern India and Bangladesh in rice fields and marshes.


Indian Jungle Nightjar (Caprimulgus indicus) – Breeds from Siberia to Japan and winter visitor to northern India.