Aerial Nomad Migratory Birds In India

India is a hotbed for many migratory winged visitors. Discover these birds through illustrations on the occasion of World Migratory Bird Day 2021
Take a peek into the colourful world of the migratory birds of India
Take a peek into the colourful world of the migratory birds of India

Amur Falcon

This small raptor from the falcon family is most widely spotted in the jungles of northeast India from mid-October to mid-November. It makes a stopover here during its annual migration from Siberia and northern China to southern Africa in the winter. The sheer numbers in which it flies across India and over the Arabian Sea is astounding. Witnessing it is claimed to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for enthusiastic birders.

Demoiselle Cranes

Named by Queen Marie Antoinette, demoiselle cranes are the smallest species of cranes. They undertake one of the toughest migrations in the world and fly in flocks of 400 all the way from China and Mongolia to the Indian subcontinent, crossing the Himalaya in late August and September. In spring, they begin their journey back north. If you are lucky, you might catch a &lsquoballet&rsquo performance by these visitors.

European Roller

European rollers are distributed in northwest India, extending all the way to the Middle East.They undertake long-distance voyages to winter in southern Africa. The commonly spotted species in India, the Eastern European roller, is also known as the Kashmiri roller.


These beautiful globetrotters come to the Indian subcontinent in winter, flying all the way from Alaska. Shy and secretive, they prefer to skulk through thick vegetation, occasionally giving you a peek when performing a signature flight display or singing from an exposed branch.

Black Redstart

Popularly known as the black redtail or Tithy&rsquos redstart, this shy bird with a two-coloured plumage comes to winter in India from its breeding grounds in south and central Europe. For those who love some good drama, look out for their intense disputes with the Indian robin considering they are similar in size and have common habits.

Yellow Wagtail

This small early winter visitor comes from western Europe. Small and elegant, these bright yellow birds can be spotted running while wagging their white-sided tails up and down.

This Photo Essay was first published in November, 2019.

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