Migratory Birds of Sariska
Sariska is an enchanting place located in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan.The
landscape of Sariska includes hills and narrow valleys of the Aravali Mountain range.
The forests of Sariska constitutes of grasslands, dry deciduous forests, tropical forests, and scrub-thornyarid forests.The climateof Sariskaincludesdistinct winter, summer, monsoon and post-monsoon seasonswith an overall subtropical climate.The highest temperature recorded was 49⁰C whereas the lowest recorded temperature was-4⁰C.
The biodiversity of Sariska is an excellent example of the varied ecological adaption and
tolerance displayed by variety of flora and fauna found in Sariska.
Wildlife enthusiasts, amateur bird lovers and ornithologists usually find Sariska as abirding hotspotdue to the presence of different landscapes which harbour variety ofresident as well as seasonal migratory birds.
The seasonal movement of birds in search of feeding grounds in which flocks fly hundreds or thousands of kilometres as a natural process of survival.
The birds usually follow established routes ofmigration which allow them to rest and refuel along the way to reach their destination.
These established routes are obtained by landmarks, stars or astronomicalaids (like moon cycles), earth’s magnetic field and different wind patterns and climate.
Migration of birds during various seasons in search of feeding grounds from their breeding ranges is termed as ‘seasonal migration’.
Birds have a high metabolic rate and thus require large amount of energy (food) at frequent intervals. This is not possible all year around especially during winters where most of the vegetation dries up. Thus, birds migrate in search of food and water to locations which provide favourable conditions for them to inhabit.
Longitudinal and Latitudinal migration
The migration of birds from north to the south direction and vice versa is termed as ‘Latitudinal migration’; whereas the migration of birds from east to the west direction and vice versa is termed as ‘Longitudinal migration’.
Reasons for migration
The birds migrate mainly in search of food. During winters the northern regions experience scarcity of food due to which some birds migrate to the tropical regions in search of food. After few months when spring arrives in the northern hemisphere the food stock gets replenished and the migratory birds fly back to their native (breeding) grounds.
Some birds are smart enough to migrate in search of better locations to raise their young ones. The birds migrate to location which has better availability of food, favourable breeding colonies, and adequate shelter, this increases the chances of healthy offspring.
Some of the other reasons for migration are; to escape harsh environments (such as extreme climate), avoidance of predatory birds, and to move away from susceptible human encroachments.
Why birds migrate to Sariska?
The habitat found in and around Sariska consists of forest which is mainly tropical dry deciduous and dry tropical thorny forest. The presence of different kinds of trees provides varied food availability such as grains, vegetation, rodents, and insects which attract many bird species.
This varied forest diversity attracts many migratory bird species like starlings, cisticolas, chats, prinias, buntings, and some raptor species.
Other than the forest, the farmlands, fallow lands, isolated trees and hedgerows provide a neat hideaways, roosting locations, and perches for the migratory birds to thrive.
Sariska receives about 90 percent of its annual rainfall during the monsoon months of July, August, and September which fills ups perennial springs like Paras Nath, Talvriksh, Bhrartrahari, and Naladeshwar. Apart from these springs few dams such as Mangalsar,
Somasagar, Silised, and Kankwadi; lakes like Mansarovar and Karna ka Bas provide valuable habitats for water birds like geese, ducks, storks, cranes, pelicans, herons, egrets and many more.
1. Black crowned Night Heron 2. Black Redstart 3. Black winged Stilt
4. Common Kingfisher 5. Common Sandpiper 6. Common Teal
7. Rose Finch 8. Great Cormorant 9. Great Egret
10. Great white Pelican 11. Little ringed Plover (juvenile) 12. Painted Stork
13. Red-naped Ibis 14. Sarus Crane 15. Yellow wattled Lapwing
Many of these migratory birds start arriving in mid-October which includes a variety of birds such as ducks, geese, raptors, warblers, waders and cranes. Some of the birds seen in and around Sariska are mentioned above.
Around 296 species of birds have been seen and documented in and around Sariska and most of these can be observed when visiting Sariska national park, and water bodies such as Mallana dam, and Mansarovar lake (Mangalsar lake).
We at Utsav Camp Sariska provide many experiences which would allow an individual get in touch with nature and enjoy the flora and fauna in and around Sariska. The experiences are led by in-house naturalists who are expert in field of wildlife.
The experiences provided by Utsav Camp Sariska include bird watching activities in and around the property, nature trails, boulder hike, jungle jeep safari inside the Sariska national park and excursion drives to Mallana dam, Mansarovar lake, Neelkanth temple and Bhangarh fort.
Blog by Mr. Kushagra Gupta and Mr. Aakash Upare, Naturalists at Utsav Camp Sariska.