Sunderbans National Park | Sundarbans Bird Watching
Birdwatching in the Sundarbans is a year-round activity, thanks to the park’s unique and diverse avian ecosystem. The Sundarban National Park is a paradise for bird enthusiasts, where the entire forest is surrounded by water, and the landscape consists of low-lying alluvial islands, mud banks, sandy beaches, and coastal dunes. With over 230 species of birds residing in the park, there are ample opportunities for birdwatching and photography.
The Sunderban Tiger Camp offers daily boat safaris, making it convenient for bird lovers and photography enthusiasts to observe the thriving avifauna in this ideal waterfowl habitat. Expert boatmen and forest guides navigate through the park’s intricate network of creeks and rivers, stopping at strategic locations to provide the best chances of spotting the local birdlife.
In addition to the boat safaris, the embankments, nearby villages, and areas outside the national park are also popular birdwatching locations, attracting both Indian and international visitors. Places like Jatirampur and Tibligiri Bazaar, located just half an hour away from the Sunderban Tiger Camp, are well-known nesting areas for migratory birds during the winter months.
Unlike many other regions in India, the Sundarbans offer year-round birdwatching opportunities. The year can be divided into distinct periods for birdwatching, each with its unique attractions and seasonal bird species.
- November to February (Winter)
- March to May (Summer)
- June to October (Monsoon)
November to February (Winter)
In India, November marks the onset of the winter season. During the period from November to February, numerous migratory birds flock to the forests with the dual intention of breeding and nesting. Among the migratory bird species that can be observed, you will find Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Curlew, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Purple Heron, and more. Additionally, the region is home to indigenous birds such as the Brown Winged Kingfisher and the Black Capped Kingfisher.
March to May (Summer)
Mangrove trees in the Sundarban National Park come alive with blossoms starting from March onwards. With the assistance of our knowledgeable naturalists and forest guides, visitors can delight in spotting and identifying a diverse array of bird species that migrate to the park during this season. Among the avian treasures waiting to be discovered are the Lesser Adjutant Stork (Madan tak), Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike, Plaintive Cuckoo, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Oriental White Eye, Minivet, Long Tail NightJar, Ashy Wood Swallow, Flying Fox, Indian Roller, Grey Headed Lapwing, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Buffy Fish Owl, Mangrove Whistler, and many more.
June to October (Monsoon)
In June, as the monsoon season commences, it signals the onset of the breeding season for many bird species in the Sundarbans. This time of year presents a captivating opportunity for bird enthusiasts to observe a variety of elusive birds, including the Mangrove Pitta, Indian Pitta, Goliath Heron, Gray Heron, Ruddy Kingfisher, Barn Owl, Collared Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, White Throated Kingfisher, Stork Billed Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, and the Blue Eared Kingfisher, among others.
Itinerary For Bird Watching Tour
Day 1: Kolkata to Sundarbans National Park
The tour starts in the morning from Kolkata, so if you are travelling from elsewhere you should aim to arrive the day before, and we can provide accommodation and airport transfers if necessary.
We will drive from Kolkata to the jetty at Gadhkali, where our private boat, the M B Sundari awaits. We then have a couple of hours gentle cruising down the rivers Hogol, Gomor, Durgaduani, Bidya and Gumdi, looking out for some of the six different species of kingfishers that we might find! After lunch at the Sunderbans Jungle Camp on the island of Bali, we will head out by boat and visit the Mangrove Interpretation Centre at Sajnekhali, and return via the Sudhyanakhali watchtower.
Days 2-4: Sundarbans National Park
Our three full days in the Sundarbans will involve lots more exploration of this vast area by boat. This will include the canopied walk at Dobanki, where we will hope to find Mangrove Whistler in the mangroves. We will also visit the furthest point that we can easily access, Netidhopani, where we will spend some time scanning from the watchtower. Whilst we will need some luck to come across one of the famous swimming tigers of the Sunderbans, we should definitely find some impressive basking Estuarine Crocodiles and maybe the elusive Irrawaddy Dolphins.
Day 5: Sundarbans to Kolkata
We leave back to Kolkata after lunch today, and the morning will be flexible depending on our successes over the previous days. The island village of Bali is well worth a stroll: as well as the villagers fishing, weaving and boat-making, we may see one of the resident Barn Owls roosting in a village hut!
Interested in Birds of the Sundarbans?
Are you interested in doing this tour, or something similar? Maybe the scheduled dates don’t suit you, but different dates would? Let us know by sending a message below and we will reply soon to discuss further.