The great variety of habitat in Corbett is reflected in its impressive diversity in the bird life. Over 600 species, many of them rare and endangered, have been recorded in and around the park. These include nearly fifty kinds of birds of prey that provide a unique character to the avifauna.
This inherent richness in bird life increases even further during winter with the arrival of numerous migrants – some, like osprey and ducks, coming all the way from East Africa, Europe and Central Asia. Winter also brings many Himalayan birds from higher regions that come to take refuge in Corbett to escape the extreme conditions in the mountains above. These include many flycatchers, great barbet and the wallcreeper.
While Corbett is justly famous for its healthy population of large mammals including the Indian Tiger and the Asiatic Elephant, it is as famous for its birds with over 500 species recorded from the area. Lesser Fish Eagle, Cinereous Vulture, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Tawny Fish and Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Ibisbill, Wallcreeper, Hodgson's Bushchat, Bright-headed Cisticola, Rosy Minivet, White-tailed Rubythroat are just some of the species that are regularly seen in and around the park.
Jim Corbett National Park is exceptionally rich in its avifauna. According to a survey conducted by the Zoological Survey of India team, there are about 600 birds species in the Jim Corbett National Park, that comprises of domestic as well as migratory birds including a variety water-birds and waterside-birds. The variety and the number of birds, the Jim Corbett National Park offers, never fail to impress its visitors.
For your convenience, the birds of the Jim Corbett National Park can be divided into the following 6 categories.
Water Birds And Waterside Birds:
The water-birds and the waterside-birds in the Jim Corbett National Park comprises of both resident and migrant species. The commonly noticed resident species include Cormorants, the Darter, the Grey Heron, Egrets, the Cattle Egret, the White-necked and Black-necked Storks, the Spotbill, the Large Pied Wagtail and White-capped Redstart.
The migrant species of water-birds in the park include the Great Crested Grebe, Graylag Geese, White Storks, Black Storks, Sandpipers, Snipe, the Great Black-headed Gull, about 15 kinds of ducks, and a variety of Wagtails. Another occasionally noticed water-bird in the park is White or Rosy Pelicans.
Birds of Prey:
The resident birds of prey include Crested Serpent Eagle, the Black-winged Kite, the Indian Shikra, the Himalayan Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Himalayan Vultures and Lesser and Greater Spotted Eagles. Other resident birds (not very commonly found) are Hawk-Eagles, the Crested Honey Buzzard and the Black Eagle.
The migratory birds of prey include the Osprey, the Peregrine Falcon, the Booted Hawk- Eagle and the Steppe Eagle.
In this category come the owls, the nightjars and the thick-knees. There are over 18 kinds of owls identified in the Jim Corbett National Park including the Spotted Owlet, Fish Owls, and the Scops Owls. The nightjars in the park include the Jungle Nightjar, the Franklin's Nightjar, the Stone Curlew and the Great Stone Plover.
In this category come the Green Pigeons, Parakeets, Cuckoos, Hornbills, Barbets, Woodpeckers, Orioles, Drongos, Pies, Babblers and Thrushes. Among the ground-birds (woodland) are the Peafowl, the Red Junglefowl, and the White-crested Kalij Pheasant.
Grassland and Open Ground Birds:
The birds included in this category are the Black Partridge, Doves, Bea-eaters, Rollers, the Hoopoe, Shrikes, Larks, Mynas, Bulbuls, Warblers, Tailor Bird, Robins, Chats, Redstarts, Bayas and Finches.
In this category belong the Swifts including the famous Indian Alpine Swift, Crested Swifts, the Dusky Crag Martin, Striated (or Red-rumpled) Swallows, the Indian Cliff Shallow, and the Wire-tailed Swallow.
A visit to the Jim Corbett National Park would surely be a rewarding experience for ornithologists as well as bird lovers.