List of birds of India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of the bird species of India and includes extant and recently extinct species recorded within the political limits of the Republic of India as defined by the Indian government. There have been 1377 species recorded as of 2023,[1] of which 81 are endemic to the country.[1] 212 species are globally threatened.[2] The Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) is the national bird of India.[3] This list does not cover species in Indian jurisdiction areas such as Dakshin Gangotri and oceanic species are delineated by an arbitrary cutoff distance. The list does not include fossil bird species or escapees from captivity.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of the IOC World Bird List, version 13.1. This list also uses British English throughout. Any bird names or other wording follows that convention.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fit within any of these categories.

  • (V) Vagrant - Also known as a rarity, it refers to a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in India-typically less than ten confirmed records.
  • (E) Endemic - a species endemic to India
  • (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in India although populations exist elsewhere

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 45 species which have been recorded in India.

Bar-headed goose
Mute swan
Common shelduck
Indian spot-billed duck
Common name Binomial Comments
Fulvous whistling duck Dendrocygna bicolor
Lesser whistling duck Dendrocygna javanica
Red-breasted goose Branta ruficollis (V);[4] vulnerable
Bar-headed goose Anser indicus
Greylag goose Anser anser
Taiga bean goose Anser fabalis (V)
Tundra bean goose Anser serrirostris (V);[5] by some authorities considered a variety of Anser fabalis
Greater white-fronted goose Anser albifrons
Lesser white-fronted goose Anser erythropus (V);[6][7] vulnerable
Mute swan Cygnus olor (V)
Tundra swan Cygnus columbianus (V); race bewickii sometimes treated as a species[8]
Whooper swan Cygnus cygnus (V)
Knob-billed duck Sarkidiornis melanotos
Common shelduck Tadorna tadorna
Ruddy shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
White-winged duck Asarcornis scutulata Endangered
Mandarin duck Aix galericulata (V)
Wood duck Aix sponsa (V)Least concern
Cotton pygmy goose Nettapus coromandelianus
Baikal teal Sibirionetta formosa (V)
Garganey Spatula querquedula
Northern shoveler Spatula clypeata
Gadwall Mareca strepera
Falcated duck Mareca falcata Near threatened
Eurasian wigeon Mareca penelope
Indian spot-billed duck Anas poecilorhyncha
Eastern spot-billed duck Anas zonorhyncha (V)
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Northern pintail Anas acuta
Eurasian teal Anas crecca
Andaman teal Anas albogularis (E); vulnerable
Marbled duck Marmaronetta angustirostris Vulnerable
Pink-headed duck Rhodonessa caryophyllacea critically endangered (possibly extinct)
Red-crested pochard Netta rufina
Common pochard Aythya ferina Vulnerable
Baer's pochard Aythya baeri Critically endangered
Ferruginous duck Aythya nyroca Near threatened
Tufted duck Aythya fuligula
Greater scaup Aythya marila
Long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis (V); vulnerable
Common goldeneye Bucephala clangula
Smew Mergellus albellus
Common merganser Mergus merganser
Red-breasted merganser Mergus serrator (V)
White-headed duck Oxyura leucocephala Endangered


Order: Galliformes   Family: Megapodiidae

The Megapodiidae are stocky, medium-large chicken-like birds with small heads and large feet. All but the malleefowl occupy jungle habitats and most have brown or black colouring. There is one species within India.

Common name Binomial Status
Nicobar scrubfowl Megapodius nicobariensis (E); vulnerable

Pheasants and allies[edit]

Indian peafowl
A covey of jungle bush-quail

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

Tibetan snowcock flock
Grey francolin

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowl, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings.

Common name Binomial Comments
Snow partridge Lerwa lerwa
Himalayan snowcock Tetraogallus himalayensis
Tibetan snowcock Tetraogallus tibetanus
Chukar partridge Alectoris chukar
Black francolin Francolinus francolinus
Painted francolin Francolinus pictus
Chinese francolin Francolinus pintadeanus
Grey francolin Ortygornis pondicerianus
Swamp francolin Ortygornis gularis Vulnerable
Tibetan partridge Perdix hodgsoniae
Common quail Coturnix coturnix
Japanese quail Coturnix japonica Near threatened
Rain quail Coturnix coromandelica
King quail Synoicus chinensis
Jungle bush quail Perdicula asiatica
Rock bush quail Perdicula argoondah (E)
Painted bush quail Perdicula erythrorhyncha (E)
Manipur bush quail Perdicula manipurensis (E); endangered
Himalayan quail Ophrysia superciliosa (E); critically endangered[9]
Hill partridge Arborophila torqueola
Rufous-throated partridge Arborophila rufogularis
White-cheeked partridge Arborophila atrogularis Near threatened
Chestnut-breasted partridge Arborophila mandellii Vulnerable
Mountain bamboo partridge Bambusicola fytchii
Red spurfowl Galloperdix spadicea (E)
Painted spurfowl Galloperdix lunulata (E)
Blood pheasant Ithaginis cruentus
Western tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus Vulnerable
Satyr tragopan Tragopan satyra Near threatened
Blyth's tragopan Tragopan blythii Vulnerable
Temminck's tragopan Tragopan temminckii
Koklass pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha
Himalayan monal Lophophorus impejanus
Sclater's monal Lophophorus sclateri Vulnerable
Red junglefowl Gallus gallus
Grey junglefowl Gallus sonneratii (E)
Kalij pheasant Lophura leucomelanos
Cheer pheasant Catreus wallichii Vulnerable
Mrs. Hume's pheasant Syrmaticus humiae Near threatened
Tibetan eared pheasant Crossoptilon harmani
Grey peacock-pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum
Indian peafowl Pavo cristatus
Green peafowl Pavo muticus Endangered; (Ex)[10]


Sri Lanka frogmouth

Order: Podargiformes   Family: Podargidae

The frogmouths are a group of nocturnal birds related to the nightjars. They are named for their large flattened hooked bill and huge frog-like gape, which they use to take insects. There are two species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Sri Lanka frogmouth Batrachostomus moniliger ssp. roonwali in India
Hodgson's frogmouth Batrachostomus hodgsoni


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves.

Large-tailed nightjar
Common name Binomial Comments
Great eared nightjar Lyncornis macrotis
Jungle nightjar Caprimulgus indicus
Grey nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka
European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus
Sykes's nightjar Caprimulgus mahrattensis
Jerdon's nightjar Caprimulgus atripennis
Large-tailed nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus
Andaman nightjar Caprimulgus andamanicus (E)
Indian nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus
Savanna nightjar Caprimulgus affinis


Crested treeswift

Order: Apodiformes   Family: Hemiprocnidae

The treeswifts, or crested swifts, are closely related to the true swifts. They differ from the other swifts in that they have crests, long forked tails and softer plumage. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Crested treeswift Hemiprocne coronata


Glossy swiftlet

Order: Apodiformes   Family: Apodidae

Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. There are 16 species which have been recorded in India.

Young common swift
Common name Binomial Comments
Plume-toed swiftlet Collocalia affinis
Indian swiftlet Aerodramus unicolor
Himalayan swiftlet Aerodramus brevirostris
Edible-nest swiftlet Aerodramus fuciphagus
White-rumped spinetail Zoonavena sylvatica
White-throated needletail Hirundapus caudacutus
Silver-backed needletail Hirundapus cochinchinensis
Brown-backed needletail Hirundapus giganteus
Asian palm swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
Alpine swift Tachymarptis melba
Common swift Apus apus
Pallid swift Apus pallidus (V)
Pacific swift Apus pacificus ssp. kurodae
Blyth's swift Apus leuconyx
Dark-rumped swift Apus acuticauda Vulnerable
Little swift Apus affinis
House swift Apus nipalensis


Great Indian bustard courting pair

Order: Otidiformes   Family: Otididae

Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays.

Common name Binomial Comments
Great Indian bustard Ardeotis nigriceps Critically endangered
MacQueen's bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii Vulnerable; earlier as subspecies of houbara bustard, Chlamydotis undulata
Bengal florican Houbaropsis bengalensis Critically endangered
Lesser florican Sypheotides indicus Endangered
Little bustard Tetrax tetrax (V); near threatened


Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. Many are brood parasites. There are 24 species which have been recorded in India.

Jacobin cuckoo in Pune, Maharashtra
Common hawk-cuckoo
Common name Binomial Comments
Greater coucal Centropus sinensis
Lesser coucal Centropus bengalensis
Andaman coucal Centropus andamanensis
Sirkeer malkoha Taccocua leschenaultii
Blue-faced malkoha Phaenicophaeus viridirostris
Green-billed malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis
Chestnut-winged cuckoo Clamator coromandus
Jacobin cuckoo Clamator jacobinus
Asian koel Eudynamys scolopaceus
Asian emerald cuckoo Chrysococcyx maculatus
Violet cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus
Horsfield's bronze cuckoo Chrysococcyx basalis (V)
Banded bay cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii
Plaintive cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus
Grey-bellied cuckoo Cacomantis passerinus
Square-tailed drongo-cuckoo Surniculus lugubris
Fork-tailed drongo-cuckoo Surniculus dicruroides
Large hawk-cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides
Common hawk-cuckoo Hierococcyx varius
Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor
Lesser cuckoo Cuculus poliocephalus
Indian cuckoo Cuculus micropterus
Himalayan cuckoo Cuculus saturatus
Common cuckoo Cuculus canorus


Painted sandgrouse

Order: Pterocliformes   Family: Pteroclidae

Sandgrouse have small, pigeon like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. Their legs are feathered down to the toes. There are seven species which have been recorded in India. India has the largest number of sandgrouse of any country.

Common name Binomial Comments
Tibetan sandgrouse Syrrhaptes tibetanus
Pallas's sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus (V)
Pin-tailed sandgrouse Pterocles alchata (V)
Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse Pterocles exustus
Spotted sandgrouse Pterocles senegallus
Black-bellied sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis
Painted sandgrouse Pterocles indicus

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Andaman green pigeon

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere.

Laughing dove
Rock pigeon
Common name Binomial Comments
Rock dove Columba livia
Hill pigeon Columba rupestris
Snow pigeon Columba leuconota
Yellow-eyed pigeon Columba eversmanni vulnerable
Common wood pigeon Columba palumbus
Speckled wood pigeon Columba hodgsonii
Ashy wood pigeon Columba pulchricollis
Nilgiri wood pigeon Columba elphinstonii (E); vulnerable
Pale-capped pigeon Columba punicea Vulnerable
Andaman wood pigeon Columba palumboides (E); near threatened
European turtle dove Streptopelia turtur (V);[11] vulnerable
Oriental turtle dove Streptopelia orientalis
Eurasian collared dove Streptopelia decaocto
Red collared dove Streptopelia tranquebarica
Spotted dove Spilopelia chinensis
Laughing dove Spilopelia senegalensis
Barred cuckoo-dove Macropygia unchall
Andaman cuckoo-dove Macropygia rufipennis (E); near threatened
Namaqua dove Oena capensis (V)
Common emerald dove Chalcophaps indica
Nicobar pigeon Caloenas nicobarica Near threatened
Orange-breasted green pigeon Treron bicinctus
Grey-fronted green pigeon Treron affinis (E)
Ashy-headed green pigeon Treron phayrei Near threatened
Andaman green pigeon Treron chloropterus (E); near threatened
Thick-billed green pigeon Treron curvirostra
Yellow-footed green pigeon Treron phoenicopterus
Pin-tailed green pigeon Treron apicauda
Wedge-tailed green pigeon Treron sphenurus
Green imperial pigeon Ducula aenea
Nicobar imperial pigeon Ducula nicobarica (E)
Mountain imperial pigeon Ducula badia
Malabar imperial pigeon Ducula cuprea (E)
Pied imperial pigeon Ducula bicolor


Order: Gruiformes   Family: Heliornithidae

Heliornithidae is a small family of tropical birds with webbed lobes on their feet similar to those of grebes and coots. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Masked finfoot Heliopais personatus Endangered

Rails, crakes, and coots[edit]

Andaman crake
White-breasted waterhen

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers.

Eurasian coot
Common name Binomial Comments
Water rail Rallus aquaticus
Brown-cheeked rail Rallus indicus
Corn crake Crex crex (V)[11]
Slaty-breasted rail Lewinia striata
Spotted crake Porzana porzana
Common moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian coot Fulica atra
Grey-headed swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus
Ruddy-breasted crake Zapornia fusca
Black-tailed crake Zapornia bicolor
Brown crake Zapornia akool
Baillon's crake Zapornia pusilla
Little crake Zapornia parva (V)
Slaty-legged crake Rallina eurizonoides
Andaman crake Rallina canningi (E)
Red-legged crake Rallina fasciata (V)
White-browed crake Poliolimnas cinereus (V)[12]
Watercock Gallicrex cinerea
White-breasted waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus


Order: Gruiformes   Family: Gruidae

Sarus crane

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are five species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Siberian crane Leucogeranus leucogeranus Critically endangered, possibly extirpated;[13] last known wintering in India in 2002[14]
Sarus crane Antigone antigone Vulnerable
Demoiselle crane Grus virgo
Common crane Grus grus
Black-necked crane Grus nigricollis Vulnerable

The hooded crane, Grus monacha, was included in many older lists but is considered hypothetical (Rasmussen and Anderton, 2005) or even extirpated[15] by more recent workers.


Little grebe

Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are five species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Little grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Red-necked grebe Podiceps grisegena (V)
Great crested grebe Podiceps cristatus
Horned grebe Podiceps auritus (V); vulnerable
Black-necked grebe Podiceps nigricollis


Greater flamingo

Order: Phoenicopteriformes   Family: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) tall, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume and, uniquely, are used upside-down. There are two species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Greater flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus
Lesser flamingo Phoeniconaias minor Near threatened


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Turnicidae

The buttonquail are small, drab, running birds which resemble the true quails. The female is the brighter of the sexes and initiates courtship. The male incubates the eggs and tends the young. There are three species which have been recorded in India.

Barred buttonquail
Common name Binomial Comments
Common buttonquail Turnix sylvaticus
Yellow-legged buttonquail Turnix tanki
Barred buttonquail Turnix suscitator

Stone-curlews and thick-knees[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Burhinidae

Indian stone-curlew

Stone-curlews are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats.

Common name Binomial Comments
Indian stone-curlew Burhinus indicus Occurrence of Eurasian stone-curlew, Burhinus oedicnemus, in India is not established[16]
Great stone-curlew Esacus recurvirostris Near threatened
Beach stone-curlew Esacus magnirostris Near threatened


Eurasian oystercatcher

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Eurasian oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus Near threatened



Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Ibidorhynchidae

The ibisbill is related to the waders, but is sufficiently distinctive to be a family unto itself. The adult is grey with a white belly, red legs, a long down curved bill, and a black face and breast band.

Common name Binomial Comments
Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii

Stilts and avocets[edit]

Black-winged stilt

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are two species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus
Pied avocet Recurvirostra avosetta


Grey plover
Red-wattled lapwing

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. There are 20 species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus Near threatened
River lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii Near threatened
Yellow-wattled lapwing Vanellus malabaricus
Grey-headed lapwing Vanellus cinereus
Red-wattled lapwing Vanellus indicus
Sociable lapwing Vanellus gregarius critically endangered
White-tailed lapwing Vanellus leucurus
European golden plover Pluvialis apricaria (V)[17]
Pacific golden plover Pluvialis fulva
American golden plover Pluvialis dominica (V)
Grey plover Pluvialis squatarola
Common ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula (V)
Long-billed plover Charadrius placidus
Little ringed plover Charadrius dubius
Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus
White-faced plover Charadrius dealbatus (V)[18]
Lesser sand plover Charadrius mongolus
Greater sand plover Charadrius leschenaultii
Caspian plover Charadrius asiaticus (V)
Oriental plover Charadrius veredus (V)


Greater painted-snipe

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Rostratulidae

Painted-snipes are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Greater painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis


Pheasant-tailed jacana

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Jacanidae

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found throughout the tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. There are two species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Pheasant-tailed jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
Bronze-winged jacana Metopidius indicus

Sandpipers and snipes[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 41 species which have been recorded in India.

Green sandpiper
Common greenshank
Common name Binomial Comments
Eurasian whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Eurasian curlew Numenius arquata Near threatened
Bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica Near threatened
Black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa Near threatened
Ruddy turnstone Arenaria interpres
Great knot Calidris tenuirostris Endangered
Red knot Calidris canutus (V); Near threatened
Ruff Calidris pugnax
Broad-billed sandpiper Calidris falcinellus
Sharp-tailed sandpiper Calidris acuminata (V)
Stilt sandpiper Calidris himantopus (V)[citation needed]
Curlew sandpiper Calidris ferruginea Near threatened
Temminck's stint Calidris temminckii
Long-toed stint Calidris subminuta
Spoon-billed sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (V); critically endangered
Red-necked stint Calidris ruficollis Near threatened
Sanderling Calidris alba
Dunlin Calidris alpina
Little stint Calidris minuta
Buff-breasted sandpiper Calidris subruficollis (V); near threatened
Pectoral sandpiper Calidris melanotos (V)
Asian dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus Near threatened
Long-billed dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus (V)[19]
Eurasian woodcock Scolopax rusticola
Jack snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
Solitary snipe Gallinago solitaria
Wood snipe Gallinago nemoricola Vulnerable
Pin-tailed snipe Gallinago stenura Non-breeding range
Swinhoe's snipe Gallinago megala
Great snipe Gallinago media (V); near threatened
Common snipe Gallinago gallinago
Terek sandpiper Xenus cinereus
Red-necked phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
Red phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius (V)
Common sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Green sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Grey-tailed tattler Tringa brevipes (V)
Common redshank Tringa totanus
Marsh sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Wood sandpiper Tringa glareola
Spotted redshank Tringa erythropus
Common greenshank Tringa nebularia
Nordmann's greenshank Tringa guttifer (V)



Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Dromadidae

The crab-plover is related to the waders. It resembles a plover but with very long grey legs and a strong heavy black bill similar to a tern. It has black-and-white plumage, a long neck, partially webbed feet and a bill designed for eating crabs.

Common name Binomial Comments
Crab-plover Dromas ardeola

Coursers and pratincoles[edit]

Small pratincole

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Glareolidae

Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long, pointed bills which curve downwards. There are six species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Cream-coloured courser Cursorius cursor
Indian courser Cursorius coromandelicus
Jerdon's courser Rhinoptilus bitorquatus Endemic; critically endangered
Collared pratincole Glareola pratincola
Oriental pratincole Glareola maldivarum
Small pratincole Glareola lactea

Gulls, terns, and skimmers[edit]

Common gull
Black-headed gull

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years. Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish.

Arctic tern
Indian river tern
Common name Binomial Comments
Brown noddy Anous stolidus
Lesser noddy Anous tenuirostris (V)[20]
Black noddy Anous minutus (V)[20]
White tern Gygis alba (V)[20][21]
Indian skimmer Rynchops albicollis Vulnerable
Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla (V);[20] vulnerable
Sabine's gull Xema sabini (V)[20][22]
Slender-billed gull Chroicocephalus genei
Brown-headed gull Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus
Black-headed gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Little gull Hydrocoloeus minutus (V)[20][11]
Franklin's gull Leucophaeus pipixcan (V)[20][23]
Pallas's gull Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus
White-eyed gull Ichthyaetus leucophthalmus (V);[24] near threatened
Sooty gull Ichthyaetus hemprichii (V)[20]
Common gull Larus canus (V)[20]
Vega gull Larus vegae (V)
Caspian gull Larus cachinnans
Lesser black-backed gull Larus fuscus
Gull-billed tern Gelochelidon nilotica
Caspian tern Hydroprogne caspia
Greater crested tern Thalasseus bergii
Lesser crested tern Thalasseus bengalensis
Sandwich tern Thalasseus sandvicensis
Little tern Sternula albifrons
Saunders's tern Sternula saundersi
Bridled tern Onychoprion anaethetus
Sooty tern Onychoprion fuscatus
River tern Sterna aurantia Near threatened
Roseate tern Sterna dougallii
Black-naped tern Sterna sumatrana
Common tern Sterna hirundo
White-cheeked tern Sterna repressa
Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea (V)[20]
Black-bellied tern Sterna acuticauda Endangered
Whiskered tern Chlidonias hybrida
White-winged tern Chlidonias leucopterus
Black tern Chlidonias niger (V)[20]


Parasitic jaeger

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are five species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
South polar skua Stercorarius maccormicki (V)[25]
Brown skua Stercorarius antarcticus (V)[25]
Pomarine jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus
Parasitic jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus
Long-tailed jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus (V)[26]


Red-tailed tropicbird

Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.

Common name Binomial Comments
Red-billed tropicbird Phaethon aethereus (V)
Red-tailed tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda
White-tailed tropicbird Phaethon lepturus (V)


Order: Gaviiformes   Family: Gaviidae

Loons, known as "divers" in Europe, are a group of aquatic birds found in northern North America and northern Eurasia. They are the size of a large duck or small goose, which they somewhat resemble when swimming, but to which they are completely unrelated. There are two species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Red-throated loon Gavia stellata (V)
Black-throated loon Gavia arctica (V)

Austral storm petrels[edit]

Wilson's storm petrel

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Oceanitidae

The storm petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.

Common name Binomial Comments
Wilson's storm petrel Oceanites oceanicus
White-faced storm petrel Pelagodroma marina (V)
White-bellied storm petrel Fregetta grallaria
Black-bellied storm petrel Fregetta tropica (V)


Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Diomedeidae

The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds.

Common name Binomial Comments
Light-mantled albatross Phoebetria palpebrata (V)

Northern storm petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae

The northern storm petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.

Common name Binomial Comments
Swinhoe's storm petrel Hydrobates monorhis Near threatened

Petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary. There are 9 species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Barau's petrel Pterodroma baraui Endangered
Streaked shearwater Calonectris leucomelas Near threatened
Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis (V) [27]
Wedge-tailed shearwater Ardenna pacifica
Sooty shearwater Ardenna grisea (V)
Short-tailed shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris (V)
Flesh-footed shearwater Ardenna carneipes Near threatened
Persian shearwater Puffinus persicus
Tropical shearwater Puffinus bailloni
Jouanin's petrel Bulweria fallax Near threatened


Black-necked stork
Painted stork

Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory.

Common name Binomial Comments
Painted stork Mycteria leucocephala Near threatened
Asian openbill Anastomus oscitans
African openbill Anastomus lamelligerus (V)
Black stork Ciconia nigra
Asian woolly-necked stork Ciconia episcopus
White stork Ciconia ciconia
Black-necked stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus Near threatened
Lesser adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus Vulnerable
Greater adjutant Leptoptilos dubius Endangered


Great frigatebird

Order: Suliformes   Family: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have coloured inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week.[25]

Common name Binomial Comments
Christmas frigatebird Fregata andrewsi (V)
Great frigatebird Fregata minor (V)
Lesser frigatebird Fregata ariel (V)

Gannets and boobies[edit]

Brown booby

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium to large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish.

Common name Binomial Comments
Masked booby Sula dactylatra (V)
Red-footed booby Sula sula (V)
Brown booby Sula leucogaster (V)

Anhingas and darters[edit]

Oriental darter

Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

Darters are often called "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark-brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving.

Common name Binomial Comments
Oriental darter Anhinga melanogaster

Cormorants and shags[edit]

Indian cormorant

Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colourful.

Common name Binomial Comments
Little cormorant Microcarbo niger
Indian cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
Great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Black-headed ibis
Eurasian spoonbill

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers.

Common name Binomial Comments
Black-headed ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus Near threatened
Red-naped ibis Pseudibis papillosa
Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Eurasian spoonbill Platalea leucorodia

Herons and bitterns[edit]

Little bittern

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills.

Common name Binomial Comments
Eurasian bittern Botaurus stellaris
Little bittern Ixobrychus minutus
Yellow bittern Ixobrychus sinensis
Cinnamon bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
Black bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis
White-eared night heron Gorsachius magnificus (V)
Malayan night heron Gorsachius melanolophus
Black-crowned night heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Striated heron Butorides striata
Indian pond heron Ardeola grayii
Chinese pond heron Ardeola bacchus
Javan pond heron Ardeola speciosa (V)
Eastern cattle egret Bubulcus coromandus
Grey heron Ardea cinerea
White-bellied heron Ardea insignis Critically endangered
Goliath heron Ardea goliath (V)
Purple heron Ardea purpurea
Great egret Ardea alba
Intermediate egret Ardea intermedia
Little egret Egretta garzetta
Western reef heron Egretta gularis
Pacific reef heron Egretta sacra
Chinese egret Egretta eulophotes (V)


Great white pelican

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are three species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Great white pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus
Spot-billed pelican Pelecanus philippensis
Dalmatian pelican Pelecanus crispus



Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

The family Pandionidae contains usually only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with most taxonomic authorities consider a worldwide distribution.

Common name Binomial Comments
Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Kites, hawks, and eagles[edit]

Crested honey buzzard
Himalayan vulture
Crested hawk eagle
Black kite

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight.

Common name Binomial Comments
Black-winged kite Elanus caeruleus
Bearded vulture Gypaetus barbatus Near threatened
Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus Endangered
European honey buzzard Pernis apivorus (V)
Crested honey buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
Jerdon's baza Aviceda jerdoni
Black baza Aviceda leuphotes
White-rumped vulture Gyps bengalensis Critically endangered
Indian vulture Gyps indicus Critically endangered
Slender-billed vulture Gyps tenuirostris Critically endangered
Himalayan vulture Gyps himalayensis Near threatened
Griffon vulture Gyps fulvus
Red-headed vulture Sarcogyps calvus Critically endangered
Cinereous vulture Aegypius monachus Near threatened
Crested serpent eagle Spilornis cheela
Great Nicobar serpent eagle Spilornis klossi (E)
Andaman serpent eagle Spilornis elgini (E)
Short-toed snake eagle Circaetus gallicus
Changeable hawk-eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus (Spizaetus restricted to the neotropics by Gjershaug et al., 2008)[28]
Mountain hawk-eagle Nisaetus nipalensis
Legge's hawk-eagle Nisaetus kelaarti[29]
Rufous-bellied eagle Lophotriorchis kienerii
Black eagle Ictinaetus malaiensis
Indian spotted eagle Clanga hastata (earlier treated as C. pomarina hastata)
Greater spotted eagle Clanga clanga
Booted eagle Hieraaetus pennatus[30]
Tawny eagle Aquila rapax
Steppe eagle Aquila nipalensis Endangered
Eastern imperial eagle Aquila heliaca
Golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos
Bonelli's eagle Aquila fasciata
Crested goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus
Shikra Accipiter badius
Nicobar sparrowhawk Accipiter butleri (E)
Chinese sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis (V)
Japanese sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis (V)
Besra Accipiter virgatus
Eurasian sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Eurasian goshawk Accipiter gentilis
Western marsh harrier Circus aeruginosus
Eastern marsh harrier Circus spilonotus (V)
Hen harrier Circus cyaneus
Pallid harrier Circus macrourus Near threatened
Pied harrier Circus melanoleucos
Montagu's harrier Circus pygargus
Red kite Milvus milvus (V)[31]
Black kite Milvus migrans
Brahminy kite Haliastur indus
White-bellied sea eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
Pallas's fish eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus Endangered
White-tailed eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
Lesser fish eagle Haliaeetus humilis
Grey-headed fish eagle Haliaeetus ichthyaetus
White-eyed buzzard Butastur teesa
Rufous-winged buzzard Butastur liventer (V)
Grey-faced buzzard Butastur indicus (V)
Rough-legged buzzard Buteo lagopus (V)
Upland buzzard Buteo hemilasius
Himalayan buzzard Buteo refectus
Long-legged buzzard Buteo rufinus
Common buzzard Buteo buteo (race vulpinus)

Barn owls[edit]

Barn owl

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.

Common name Binomial Comments
Eastern barn owl Tyto javanica
Andaman masked owl Tyto deroepstorffi (E)
Eastern grass owl Tyto longimembris
Oriental bay owl Phodilus badius
Sri Lanka bay owl Phodilus assimilis Western Ghats subspecies ripleyi in India with nominate form in Sri Lanka


Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.

Forest owlet
Tawny owl
Common name Binomial Comments
Andaman scops owl Otus balli (E); near threatened
Mountain scops owl Otus spilocephalus
Indian scops owl Otus bakkamoena
Collared scops owl Otus lettia
Pallid scops owl Otus brucei (V)
Eurasian scops owl Otus scops
Oriental scops owl Otus sunia
Nicobar scops owl Otus alius (E)
Eurasian eagle-owl Bubo bubo
Indian eagle-owl Bubo bengalensis
Spot-bellied eagle-owl Bubo nipalensis
Dusky eagle-owl Bubo coromandus
Brown fish owl Ketupa zeylonensis
Tawny fish owl Ketupa flavipes
Buffy fish owl Ketupa ketupu
Mottled wood owl Strix ocellata
Brown wood owl Strix leptogrammica
Tawny owl Strix aluco
Himalayan owl Strix nivicolum
Collared owlet Taenioptynx brodiei
Asian barred owlet Glaucidium cuculoides
Jungle owlet Glaucidium radiatum
Little owl Athene noctua
Spotted owlet Athene brama
Forest owlet Athene blewitti (E); endangered
Boreal owl Aegolius funereus (V)
Brown boobook Ninox scutulata
Hume's boobook Ninox obscura (E)
Andaman boobook Ninox affinis (E), near threatened
Long-eared owl Asio otus
Short-eared owl Asio flammeus


Malabar trogon

Order: Trogoniformes   Family: Trogonidae

The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage. There are three species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Malabar trogon Harpactes fasciatus
Red-headed trogon Harpactes erythrocephalus
Ward's trogon Harpactes wardi Near threatened



Order: Bucerotiformes   Family: Upupidae

Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Eurasian hoopoe Upupa epops


Oriental pied hornbill
Malabar grey hornbill

Order: Bucerotiformes   Family: Bucerotidae

Hornbills are a group of birds whose bill is shaped like a cow's horn, but without a twist, sometimes with a casque on the upper mandible. Frequently, the bill is brightly coloured.

Common name Binomial Comments
Great hornbill Buceros bicornis Near threatened
Oriental pied hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris
Malabar pied hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus Near threatened
Malabar grey hornbill Ocyceros griseus (E)
Indian grey hornbill Ocyceros birostris
Austen's brown hornbill Anorrhinus austeni Near threatened
Rufous-necked hornbill Aceros nipalensis Vulnerable
Narcondam hornbill Rhyticeros narcondami (E); endangered
Wreathed hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus
Indian grey hornbill


Indian roller

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Coraciidae

Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected at the base, but the outer toe is not. There are three or four species (depending on taxonomy followed) which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Indian roller Coracias benghalensis
Indochinese roller Coracias affinis Said to intergrade with above but distinctive in plumage in core range[32]
European roller Coracias garrulus
Oriental dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis


Common kingfisher
Stork-billed kingfisher

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There are 13 species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Stork-billed kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis
Brown-winged kingfisher Pelargopsis amauroptera Near threatened
Ruddy kingfisher Halcyon coromanda
White-throated kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
Black-capped kingfisher Halcyon pileata
Collared kingfisher Todiramphus chloris
Blue-eared kingfisher Alcedo meninting
Common kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Blyth's kingfisher Alcedo hercules Near threatened
Oriental dwarf kingfisher Ceyx erithaca
Crested kingfisher Megaceryle lugubris
Pied kingfisher Ceryle rudis


Asian green bee-eater

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Meropidae

Chestnut-headed bee-eater

The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colourful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. There are 7 species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Blue-bearded bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni
Asian green bee-eater Merops orientalis
Blue-cheeked bee-eater Merops persicus
Blue-tailed bee-eater Merops philippinus
Blue-throated bee-eater Merops viridis (V)
Chestnut-headed bee-eater Merops leschenaulti
European bee-eater Merops apiaster
Green bee eater

Asian barbets[edit]

Blue-throated barbet

Order: Piciformes   Family: Megalaimidae

The Asian barbets are plump birds, with short necks and large heads. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. Most species are brightly coloured.

Common name Binomial Comments
Great barbet Psilopogon virens
Brown-headed barbet Psilopogon zeylanicus
Lineated barbet Psilopogon lineatus
White-cheeked barbet Psilopogon viridis (E)
Golden-throated barbet Psilopogon franklinii
Blue-throated barbet Psilopogon asiaticus
Blue-eared barbet Psilopogon duvaucelii
Malabar barbet Psilopogon malabaricus (E)
Coppersmith barbet Psilopogon haemacephalus


Order: Piciformes   Family: Indicatoridae

Honeyguides are among the few birds that feed on wax. They are named for the greater honeyguide which leads traditional honey-hunters to bees' nests and, after the hunters have harvested the honey, feeds on the remaining contents of the hive. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Yellow-rumped honeyguide Indicator xanthonotus Near threatened


Eurasian wryneck

Order: Piciformes   Family: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks.

Common flameback
Brown-capped pygmy woodpecker
Common name Binomial Comments
Eurasian wryneck Jynx torquilla
Speckled piculet Picumnus innominatus
White-browed piculet Sasia ochracea
Heart-spotted woodpecker Hemicircus canente
Brown-capped pygmy woodpecker Yungipicus nanus
Grey-capped pygmy woodpecker Yungipicus canicapillus
Brown-fronted woodpecker Dendrocoptes auriceps
Yellow-crowned woodpecker Leiopicus mahrattensis
Crimson-naped woodpecker Dryobates cathpharius
Necklaced woodpecker Dryobates pernyii
Rufous-bellied woodpecker Dendrocopos hyperythrus
Fulvous-breasted woodpecker Dendrocopos macei
Freckle-breasted woodpecker Dendrocopos analis
Stripe-breasted woodpecker Dendrocopos atratus
Darjeeling woodpecker Dendrocopos darjellensis
Himalayan woodpecker Dendrocopos himalayensis
Sind woodpecker Dendrocopos assimilis
Great spotted woodpecker Dendrocopos major
White-bellied woodpecker Dryocopus javensis
Andaman woodpecker Dryocopus hodgei (E); near threatened
Greater yellownape Chrysophlegma flavinucha
Lesser yellownape Picus chlorolophus
Streak-throated woodpecker Picus xanthopygaeus
Scaly-bellied woodpecker Picus squamatus
Grey-headed woodpecker Picus canus
Himalayan flameback Dinopium shorii
Common flameback Dinopium javanense
Black-rumped flameback Dinopium benghalense
Greater flameback Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
Malabar flameback Chrysocolaptes socialis
White-naped woodpecker Chrysocolaptes festivus
Pale-headed woodpecker Gecinulus grantia
Bay woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis
Rufous woodpecker Micropternus brachyurus
Great slaty woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus Vulnerable

Common woodpecker

Caracaras and falcons[edit]

Pied falconet
Peregrine falcon

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. There are thirteen species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Collared falconet Microhierax caerulescens
Pied falconet Microhierax melanoleucos
Lesser kestrel Falco naumanni
Common kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Red-necked falcon Falco chicquera Near threatened
Red-footed falcon Falco vespertinus (V)
Amur falcon Falco amurensis
Merlin Falco columbarius
Eurasian hobby Falco subbuteo
Oriental hobby Falco severus
Laggar falcon Falco jugger Near threatened
Saker falcon Falco cherrug Endangered
Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus

Old World parrots[edit]

Rose-ringed parakeet

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittaculidae

Characteristic features of parrots include a strong curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. In size they range from 8 cm (3.1 in) to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length. Old World parrots are found from Africa east across south and southeast Asia and Oceania to Australia and New Zealand.

Common name Binomial Comments
Grey-headed parakeet Psittacula finschii Near threatened
Slaty-headed parakeet Psittacula himalayana
Blossom-headed parakeet Psittacula roseata Near threatened
Plum-headed parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala
Red-breasted parakeet Psittacula alexandri Near threatened
Lord Derby's parakeet Psittacula derbiana [33] near threatened
Long-tailed parakeet Psittacula longicauda Near threatened
Blue-winged parakeet Psittacula columboides (E)
Alexandrine parakeet Psittacula eupatria Near threatened
Rose-ringed parakeet Psittacula krameri
Nicobar parakeet Psittacula caniceps (E); near threatened
Vernal hanging parrot Loriculus vernalis

Typical broadbills[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Eurylaimidae

The broadbills are small, brightly coloured birds, which feed on fruit and also take insects in flycatcher fashion, snapping their broad bills. Their habitat is canopies of wet forests. There are two species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Long-tailed broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae
Grey-lored broadbill Serilophus rubropygius


Hooded pitta

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pittidae

Pittas are medium-sized by passerine standards and are stocky, with fairly long, strong legs, short tails and stout bills. Many are brightly coloured. They spend the majority of their time on wet forest floors, eating snails, insects and similar invertebrates.

Common name Binomial Comments
Blue-naped pitta Hydrornis nipalensis
Blue pitta Hydrornis cyanea
Indian pitta Pitta brachyura
Blue-winged pitta Pitta moluccensis [34]
Mangrove pitta Pitta megarhyncha [35][36] Near threatened
Hooded pitta Pitta sordida

Vangas, helmetshrikes, woodshrikes, and shrike-flycatchers[edit]

Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vangidae

The woodshrikes are similar in build to the shrikes.

Common name Binomial Comments
Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus
Large woodshrike Tephrodornis virgatus
Malabar woodshrike Tephrodornis sylvicola (E)
Common woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus

Woodswallows, butcherbirds, and peltops[edit]

White-breasted woodswallow

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Artamidae

The woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-coloured passerine birds. They are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings. There are two species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Ashy woodswallow Artamus fuscus
White-breasted woodswallow Artamus leucorynchus


White-tailed iora female

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Aegithinidae

The ioras are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub, but whereas that group tends to be drab in colouration, ioras are sexually dimorphic, with the males being brightly plumaged in yellows and greens. There are two species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Common iora Aegithina tiphia
Marshall's iora Aegithina nigrolutea
Male common iora


Scarlet minivet

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Campephagidae

The cuckooshrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured. There are 15 species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
White-bellied minivet Pericrocotus erythropygius
Small minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
Grey-chinned minivet Pericrocotus solaris
Short-billed minivet Pericrocotus brevirostris
Long-tailed minivet Pericrocotus ethologus
Orange minivet Pericrocotus flammeus
Scarlet minivet Pericrocotus speciosus
Ashy minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus
Swinhoe's minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis (V)
Rosy minivet Pericrocotus roseus
Large cuckooshrike Coracina macei
Bar-bellied cuckooshrike Coracina striata (V)
Andaman cuckooshrike Coracina dobsoni (E); near threatened
Pied triller Lalage nigra
Black-winged cuckooshrike Lalage melaschistos
Black-headed cuckooshrike Lalage melanoptera

Whistlers and allies[edit]

Mangrove whistler

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pachycephalidae

The family Pachycephalidae includes the whistlers, shrikethrushes, and some of the pitohuis. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Mangrove whistler Pachycephala cinerea


Brown shrike

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Laniidae

Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey.

Long-tailed shrike
Common name Binomial Comments
Brown shrike Lanius cristatus
Red-backed shrike Lanius collurio
Isabelline shrike Lanius isabellinus
Red-tailed shrike Lanius phoenicuroides
Burmese shrike Lanius collurioides
Bay-backed shrike Lanius vittatus
Long-tailed shrike Lanius schach
Grey-backed shrike Lanius tephronotus
Lesser grey shrike Lanius minor (V)[11]
Great grey shrike Lanius excubitor
Woodchat shrike Lanius senator [37]
Masked shrike Lanius nubicus (V)

Vireos, greenlets, and shrike-babblers[edit]

Himalayan shrike-babbler

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vireonidae

Most of the members of this family are found in the New World. However, the shrike-babblers and erpornis, which only slightly resemble the "true" vireos and greenlets, are found in South East Asia.

Common name Binomial Comments
White-bellied erpornis Erpornis zantholeuca
Black-headed shrike-babbler Pteruthius rufiventer
Himalayan shrike-babbler Pteruthius ripleyi
Blyth's shrike-babbler Pteruthius aeralatus
Green shrike-babbler Pteruthius xanthochlorus
Black-eared shrike-babbler Pteruthius melanotis
Clicking shrike-babbler Pteruthius intermedius

Figbirds, orioles, and turnagra[edit]

Indian golden oriole

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Oriolidae

The Old World orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles. There are six species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Maroon oriole Oriolus traillii
Black-hooded oriole Oriolus xanthornus
Indian golden oriole Oriolus kundoo [38]
Eurasian golden oriole Oriolus oriolus
Black-naped oriole Oriolus chinensis
Slender-billed oriole Oriolus tenuirostris


Black drongo

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Dicruridae

The drongos are mostly black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright when perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground. There are ten species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Bronzed drongo Dicrurus aeneus
Lesser racket-tailed drongo Dicrurus remifer
Crow-billed drongo Dicrurus annectens
Greater racket-tailed drongo Dicrurus paradiseus
Andaman drongo Dicrurus andamanensis Near threatened
Hair-crested drongo Dicrurus hottentottus
Ashy drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
White-bellied drongo Dicrurus caerulescens
Black drongo Dicrurus macrocercus

Fantails and silktails[edit]

White-throated fantail

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Rhipiduridae

The fantails are small insectivorous birds which are specialist aerial feeders. There are three species which occur in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
White-throated fantail Rhipidura albicollis
White-spotted fantail Rhipidura albogularis
White-browed fantail Rhipidura aureola


Black-naped monarch

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Monarchidae

The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines which hunt by flycatching. There are four species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Black-naped monarch Hypothymis azurea
Indian paradise flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
Blyth's paradise flycatcher Terpsiphone affinis
Amur paradise flycatcher Terpsiphone incei (V)

Crows and jays[edit]

Common green magpie
House crow

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Corvidae

The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence.

Rufous treepie bird from India
Rufous treepie
Common name Binomial Comments
Eurasian jay Garrulus glandarius
Black-headed jay Garrulus lanceolatus
Yellow-billed blue magpie Urocissa flavirostris
Red-billed blue magpie Urocissa erythroryncha
Common green magpie Cissa chinensis
Rufous treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda
Grey treepie Dendrocitta formosae
White-bellied treepie Dendrocitta leucogastra (E)
Collared treepie Dendrocitta frontalis
Andaman treepie Dendrocitta bayleii (E); near threatened
Eurasian magpie Pica pica
Black-rumped magpie Pica bottanensis (V)
Eurasian nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes
Kashmir nutcracker Nucifraga multipunctata
Red-billed chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Alpine chough Pyrrhocorax graculus
Western jackdaw Coloeus monedula
House crow Corvus splendens
Rook Corvus frugilegus
Carrion crow Corvus corone
Hooded crow Corvus cornix
Large-billed crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Eastern jungle crow Corvus levaillantii
Indian jungle crow Corvus culminatus
Pied crow Corvus albus (V)
Northern raven Corvus corax


Bohemian waxwing

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of birds with soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and cedar waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Bohemian waxwing Bombycilla garrulus



Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hypocoliidae

The grey hypocolius is a small Middle Eastern bird with the shape and soft plumage of a waxwing. They are mainly a uniform grey colour except the males have a black triangular mask around their eyes.

Common name Binomial Comments
Grey hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus

Fairy flycatchers[edit]

Grey-headed canary-flycatcher

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Stenostiridae

Most of the species of this small family are found in Africa, though a few inhabit tropical Asia. They are not closely related to other birds called "flycatchers".

Common name Binomial Comments
Yellow-bellied fantail Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus
Grey-headed canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis

Tits and chickadees[edit]

Cinereous tit
Coal tit

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Paridae

The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects.

Common name Binomial Comments
Fire-capped tit Cephalopyrus flammiceps
Yellow-browed tit Sylviparus modestus
Sultan tit Melanochlora sultanea
Rufous-naped tit Periparus rufonuchalis
Rufous-vented tit Periparus rubidiventris
Coal tit Periparus ater
Grey-crested tit Lophophanes dichrous
Azure tit Cyanistes cyanus
Ground tit Pseudopodoces humilis
Cinereous tit Parus cinereus [39]
Green-backed tit Parus monticolus
White-naped tit Machlolophus nuchalis (E); vulnerable
Himalayan black-lored tit Machlolophus xanthogenys
Indian black-lored tit Machlolophus aplonotus (E)[40]
Yellow-cheeked tit Machlolophus spilonotus

Penduline tits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Remizidae

The penduline tits are a group of small passerine birds related to the true tits. They are insectivores. There is one species which has been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
White-crowned penduline tit Remiz coronatus


Malabar lark

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Alaudidae

Rufous-tailed lark

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds.

Bengal bushlark
Common name Binomial Comments
Greater hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes
Desert lark Ammomanes deserti
Rufous-tailed lark Ammomanes phoenicura
Black-crowned sparrow-lark Eremopterix nigriceps
Ashy-crowned sparrow-lark Eremopterix griseus
Singing bush lark Mirafra cantillans
Bengal bush lark Mirafra assamica
Indian bush lark Mirafra erythroptera
Jerdon's bush lark Mirafra affinis
Oriental skylark Alauda gulgula
Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis
Sykes's lark Galerida deva (E)
Crested lark Galerida cristata
Malabar lark Galerida malabarica (E)
Horned lark Eremophila alpestris
Hume's short-toed lark Calandrella acutirostris
Mongolian short-toed lark Calandrella dukhunensis
Greater short-toed lark Calandrella brachydactyla
Bimaculated lark Melanocorypha bimaculata
Tibetan lark Melanocorypha maxima
Turkestan short-toed lark Alaudala heinei
Sand lark Alaudala raytal


Yellow-throated bulbul
White-eared bulbul

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pycnonotidae

Red-vented bulbul

Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colourful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throats or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests.

Common name Binomial Comments
White-throated bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus
Striated bulbul Alcurus striatus
Cachar bulbul Iole cacharensis (E)
Grey-eyed bulbul Iole propinqua (V)
Ashy bulbul Hemixos flavala
Yellow-browed bulbul Acritillas indica
Mountain bulbul Ixos mcclellandii
Nicobar bulbul Ixos nicobariensis near threatened
Black bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus
Square-tailed bulbul Hypsipetes ganeesa
Grey-headed bulbul Brachypodius priocephalus (E); near threatened
Black-headed bulbul Brachypodius melanocephalos
Andaman bulbul Brachypodius fuscoflavescens (E); near threatened
Black-crested bulbul Rubigula flaviventris
Flame-throated bulbul Rubigula gularis (E)
Crested finchbill Spizixos canifrons
White-browed bulbul Pycnonotus luteolus
Flavescent bulbul Pycnonotus flavescens
Yellow-throated bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus (E); vulnerable
Red-whiskered bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus
Red-vented bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
White-eared bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis
Himalayan bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys
Red whiskered bulbul

Swallows and martins[edit]

Streak-throated swallow

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hirundinidae

The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base.

Barn swallow
Common name Binomial Comments
Grey-throated martin Riparia chinensis
Sand martin Riparia riparia
Pale martin Riparia diluta
Barn swallow Hirundo rustica
Pacific swallow Hirundo tahitica
Hill swallow Hirundo domicola
Wire-tailed swallow Hirundo smithii
Eurasian crag martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
Dusky crag martin Ptyonoprogne concolor
Common house martin Delichon urbicum
Asian house martin Delichon dasypus
Nepal house martin Delichon nipalense
Red-rumped swallow Cecropis daurica
Striated swallow Cecropis striolata
Streak-throated swallow Petrochelidon fluvicola


Scaly-breasted cupwing

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pnoepygidae

The members of this small family are found in mountainous parts of South and South East Asia.

Common name Binomial Comments
Scaly-breasted cupwing Pnoepyga albiventer
Nepal cupwing Pnoepyga immaculata
Pygmy cupwing Pnoepyga pusilla

Cettia bush warblers and allies[edit]

Chestnut-headed tesia

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cettiidae

Cettiidae is a family of small insectivorous songbirds. It contains the typical bush warblers (Cettia) and their relatives. Its members occur mainly in Asia and Africa, ranging into Oceania and Europe.

Common name Binomial Comments
Yellow-bellied warbler Abroscopus superciliaris
Rufous-faced warbler Abroscopus albogularis
Black-faced warbler Abroscopus schisticeps
Mountain tailorbird Phyllergates cucullatus
Broad-billed warbler Tickellia hodgsoni
Manchurian bush warbler Horornis canturians
Brown-flanked bush warbler Horornis fortipes
Hume's bush warbler Horornis brunnescens
Aberrant bush warbler Horornis flavolivaceus
Grey-bellied tesia Tesia cyaniventer
Slaty-bellied tesia Tesia olivea
Cetti's warbler Cettia cetti
Chestnut-crowned bush warbler Cettia major
Grey-sided bush warbler Cettia brunnifrons
Chestnut-headed tesia Cettia castaneocoronata
Asian stubtail Urosphena squameiceps (V)[41]
Pale-footed bush warbler Hemitesia pallidipes


Black-throated tit

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Aegithalidae

Long-tailed tits are a group of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They make woven bag nests in trees. Most eat a mixed diet which includes insects.

Common name Binomial Comments
White-cheeked bushtit Aegithalos leucogenys
Black-throated bushtit Aegithalos concinnus
White-throated bushtit Aegithalos niveogularis
Rufous-fronted bushtit Aegithalos iouschistos
Black-browed bushtit Aegithalos bonvaloti [42]
White-browed tit-warbler Leptopoecile sophiae
Crested tit-warbler Leptopoecile elegans (V)[43]

Leaf warblers and allies[edit]

Tickell's leaf warbler

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Phylloscopidae

Greenish warbler
Pale-rumped warbler

Leaf warblers are a family of small insectivorous birds found mostly in Eurasia and ranging into Wallacea and Africa. The species are of various sizes, often green-plumaged above and yellow below, or more subdued with grayish-green to grayish-brown colors.

Common name Binomial Comments
Wood warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix (V)
Buff-barred warbler Phylloscopus pulcher
Ashy-throated warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis
Hume's leaf warbler Phylloscopus humei
Yellow-browed warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
Brooks's leaf warbler Phylloscopus subviridis
Chinese leaf warbler Phylloscopus yunnanensis (V)
Lemon-rumped warbler Phylloscopus chloronotus
Sichuan leaf warbler Phylloscopus forresti (V)
Pallas's leaf warbler Phylloscopus proregulus (V)
Tytler's leaf warbler Phylloscopus tytleri Near threatened
Sulphur-bellied warbler Phylloscopus griseolus
Tickell's leaf warbler Phylloscopus affinis
Smoky warbler Phylloscopus fuligiventer
Dusky warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus
Plain leaf warbler Phylloscopus neglectus
Buff-throated warbler Phylloscopus subaffinis (V)
Willow warbler Phylloscopus trochilus (V)
Mountain chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus
Common chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
White-spectacled warbler Phylloscopus intermedius
Grey-cheeked warbler Phylloscopus poliogenys
Green-crowned warbler Phylloscopus burkii
Grey-crowned warbler Phylloscopus tephrocephalus
Whistler's warbler Phylloscopus whistleri
Bianchi's warbler Phylloscopus valentini (V)
Green warbler Phylloscopus nitidus
Two-barred warbler Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus (V)
Greenish warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
Large-billed leaf warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris
Pale-legged leaf warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes (V)
Sakhalin leaf warbler Phylloscopus borealoides (V)
Arctic warbler Phylloscopus borealis (V)
Chestnut-crowned warbler Phylloscopus castaniceps
Yellow-vented warbler Phylloscopus cantator
Western crowned warbler Phylloscopus occipitalis
Blyth's leaf warbler Phylloscopus reguloides
Claudia's leaf warbler Phylloscopus claudiae
Grey-hooded warbler Phylloscopus xanthoschistos

Reed warblers, Grauer's warbler, and allies[edit]

Thick-billed warbler

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Acrocephalidae

Blyth's reed warbler

The members of this family are usually rather large for "warblers". Most are rather plain olivaceous brown above with much yellow to beige below. They are usually found in open woodland, reedbeds, or tall grass. The family occurs mostly in southern to western Eurasia and surroundings, but it also ranges far into the Pacific, with some species in Africa.

Common name Binomial Comments
Great reed warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus [11]
Oriental reed warbler Acrocephalus orientalis
Clamorous reed warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus
Black-browed reed warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps [11]
Moustached warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon
Sedge warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus [11]
Blunt-winged warbler Acrocephalus concinens
Large-billed reed warbler Acrocephalus orinus
Paddyfield warbler Acrocephalus agricola
Blyth's reed warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum
Thick-billed warbler Arundinax aedon
Booted warbler Iduna caligata
Sykes's warbler Iduna rama

Grassbirds and allies[edit]

Broad-tailed grassbird

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Locustellidae

Striated grassbird

Locustellidae are a family of small insectivorous songbirds found mainly in Eurasia, Africa, and the Australian region. They are smallish birds with tails that are usually long and pointed, and tend to be drab brownish or buffy all over.

Common name Binomial Comments
Pallas's grasshopper warbler Helopsaltes certhiola
Lanceolated warbler Locustella lanceolata
Long-billed bush warbler Locustella major Near threatened
Brown bush warbler Locustella luteoventris
Common grasshopper warbler Locustella naevia
Chinese bush warbler Locustella tacsanowskia (V)
Baikal bush warbler Locustella davidi (V) [44]
West Himalayan bush warbler Locustella kashmirensis
Spotted bush warbler Locustella thoracica
Russet bush warbler Locustella mandelli
Striated grassbird Megalurus palustris
Broad-tailed grassbird Schoenicola platyurus (E); vulnerable
Bristled grassbird Schoenicola striatus Vulnerable

Cisticolas and allies[edit]

Zitting cisticola

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cisticolidae

The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub.

Ashy prinia
Common name Binomial Comments
Zitting cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Golden-headed cisticola Cisticola exilis
Himalayan prinia Prinia crinigera Circumscription changed in 2020[45]
Rufous-crowned prinia Prinia khasiana
Hill prinia Prinia superciliaris
Grey-crowned prinia Prinia cinereocapilla
Rufous-fronted prinia Prinia buchanani
Rufescent prinia Prinia rufescens
Grey-breasted prinia Prinia hodgsonii
Delicate prinia Prinia lepida
Jungle prinia Prinia sylvatica
Yellow-bellied prinia Prinia flaviventris
Ashy prinia Prinia socialis
Plain prinia Prinia inornata
Common tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
Dark-necked tailorbird Orthotomus atrogularis

Sylviid babblers[edit]

Lesser whitethroat

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sylviidae

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. They mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent, Africa. Many species are difficult to identify by appearance, but many have distinctive songs.

Common name Binomial Comments
Eurasian blackcap Sylvia atricapilla (V)
Garden warbler Sylvia borin [11]
Barred warbler Curruca nisoria [11]
Desert whitethroat Curruca minula
Lesser whitethroat Curruca curruca
Hume's whitethroat Curruca althaea
Eastern Orphean warbler Curruca crassirostris
Asian desert warbler Curruca nana
Common whitethroat Curruca communis

Parrotbills and allies[edit]

Yellow-eyed babbler

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Paradoxornithidae

The parrotbills are a group of peculiar birds which are diverse along the Himalayas east into Southeast Asia, though feral populations exist elsewhere. They are generally small, long-tailed birds which inhabit reedbeds and similar habitat. They feed mainly on seeds, e.g. of grasses, to which their bill, as the name implies, is well-adapted.

Common name Binomial Comments
Fire-tailed myzornis Myzornis pyrrhoura
Golden-breasted fulvetta Lioparus chrysotis
Yellow-eyed babbler Chrysomma sinense
Jerdon's babbler Chrysomma altirostre Vulnerable
White-browed fulvetta Fulvetta vinipectus
Brown-throated fulvetta Fulvetta ludlowi
Manipur fulvetta Fulvetta manipurensis
Black-breasted parrotbill Paradoxornis flavirostris Vulnerable
Spot-breasted parrotbill Paradoxornis guttaticollis
Great parrotbill Conostoma aemodium
Brown parrotbill Cholornis unicolor
Grey-headed parrotbill Psittiparus gularis
White-breasted parrotbill Psittiparus ruficeps
Rufous-headed parrotbill Psittiparus bakeri
Fulvous parrotbill Suthora fulvifrons
Black-throated parrotbill Suthora nipalensis
Pale-billed parrotbill Chleuasicus atrosuperciliaris


Indian white-eye

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Zosteropidae

The white-eyes are small and mostly undistinguished, their plumage above being generally some dull colour like greenish-olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests, many species have a white ring around each eye.

Common name Binomial Comments
Striated yuhina Staphida castaniceps
Black-chinned yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta
Whiskered yuhina Yuhina flavicollis
White-naped yuhina Yuhina bakeri
Stripe-throated yuhina Yuhina gularis
Rufous-vented yuhina Yuhina occipitalis
Chestnut-flanked white-eye Zosterops erythropleurus (V)
Indian white-eye Zosterops palpebrosus

Babblers and scimitar babblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Timaliidae

Rusty-cheeked scimitar babbler

The babblers, or timaliids, are somewhat diverse in size and colouration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage.

Golden babbler
Indian scimitar babbler
Common name Binomial Comments
Chestnut-capped babbler Timalia pileata
Tawny-bellied babbler Dumetia hyperythra
Dark-fronted babbler Dumetia atriceps
Pin-striped tit-babbler Mixornis gularis
Golden babbler Cyanoderma chrysaeum
Black-chinned babbler Cyanoderma pyrrhops
Rufous-capped babbler Cyanoderma ruficeps
Buff-chested babbler Cyanoderma ambiguum
Rufous-throated wren-babbler Spelaeornis caudatus
Mishmi wren-babbler Spelaeornis badeigularis (E)
Bar-winged wren-babbler Spelaeornis troglodytoides
Naga wren-babbler Spelaeornis chocolatinus (E)
Chin Hills wren-babbler Spelaeornis oatesi
Tawny-breasted wren-babbler Spelaeornis longicaudatus (E)
Grey-bellied wren-babbler Spelaeornis reptatus
Coral-billed scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus ferruginosus
Red-billed scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps
Slender-billed scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus superciliaris
Streak-breasted scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis
White-browed scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus schisticeps
Indian scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus horsfieldii
Large scimitar babbler Erythrogenys hypoleucos
Rusty-cheeked scimitar babbler Erythrogenys erythrogenys
Spot-breasted scimitar babbler Erythrogenys mcclellandi
Grey-throated babbler Stachyris nigriceps
Sikkim wedge-billed babbler Stachyris humei
Cachar wedge-billed babbler Stachyris roberti
Snowy-throated babbler Stachyris oglei

Ground babblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pellorneidae

These small to medium-sized songbirds have soft fluffy plumage but are otherwise rather diverse. Members of the genus Illadopsis are found in forests, but some other genera are birds of scrublands.

Common name Binomial Comments
Indian grassbird Graminicola bengalensis
White-hooded babbler Gampsorhynchus rufulus
Yellow-throated fulvetta Schoeniparus cinereus
Rufous-winged fulvetta Schoeniparus castaneceps
Rufous-throated fulvetta Schoeniparus rufogularis
Rusty-capped fulvetta Schoeniparus dubius
Puff-throated babbler Pellorneum ruficeps
Marsh babbler Pellorneum palustre
Spot-throated babbler Pellorneum albiventre
Buff-breasted babbler Pellorneum tickelli
Rufous-vented grass babbler Laticilla burnesii
Swamp grass babbler Laticilla cinerascens
Abbott's babbler Malacocincla abbotti
Streaked wren-babbler Gypsophila brevicaudata
Eyebrowed wren-babbler Napothera epilepidota
Long-billed wren-babbler Napothera malacoptila

Alcippe fulvettas[edit]

Brown-cheeked fulvetta or Quaker babbler

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Alcippeidae

The genus once included many other fulvettas and was previously placed in families Pellorneidae or Timaliidae.

Common name Binomial Comments
Brown-cheeked fulvetta Alcippe poioicephala
Nepal fulvetta Alcippe nipalensis

Laughingthrushes and allies[edit]

Nilgiri laughingthrush

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Leiothrichidae

Bar-throated minla
Rufous sibia
Red-billed leiothrix
Jungle babbler
Streaked laughingthrush

The members of this family are diverse in size and colouration, though those of genus Turdoides tend to be brown or greyish. The family is found in Africa, India, and southeast Asia.

Common name Binomial Comments
Striated laughingthrush Grammatoptila striata
Himalayan cutia Cutia nipalensis
Scaly laughingthrush Trochalopteron subunicolor
Brown-capped laughingthrush Trochalopteron austeni
Blue-winged laughingthrush Trochalopteron squamatum
Streaked laughingthrush Trochalopteron lineatum
Bhutan laughingthrush Trochalopteron imbricatum
Striped laughingthrush Trochalopteron virgatum
Variegated laughingthrush Trochalopteron variegatum
Black-faced laughingthrush Trochalopteron affine
Elliot's laughingthrush Trochalopteron elliotii [46]
Chestnut-crowned laughingthrush Trochalopteron erythrocephalum
Assam laughingthrush Trochalopteron chrysopterum
Banasura laughingthrush Montecincla jerdoni (E)
Nilgiri laughingthrush Montecincla cachinnans (E)
Palani laughingthrush Montecincla fairbanki (E)
Ashambu laughingthrush Montecincla meridionalis (E)
Long-tailed sibia Heterophasia picaoides
Rufous sibia Heterophasia capistrata
Beautiful sibia Heterophasia pulchella
Grey sibia Heterophasia gracilis
Hoary-throated barwing Actinodura nipalensis
Streak-throated barwing Actinodura waldeni
Blue-winged minla Actinodura cyanouroptera
Bar-throated minla Actinodura strigula
Rusty-fronted barwing Actinodura egertoni
Red-billed leiothrix Leiothrix lutea
Silver-eared mesia Leiothrix argentauris
Red-tailed minla Minla ignotincta
Rufous-backed sibia Leioptila annectens
Bugun liocichla Liocichla bugunorum (E)[47]
Red-faced liocichla Liocichla phoenicea
Large grey babbler Argya malcolmi
Slender-billed babbler Argya longirostris
Rufous babbler Argya subrufa (E)
Jungle babbler Argya striata
Yellow-billed babbler Argya affinis
Common babbler Argya caudata
Striated babbler Argya earlei
Spot-breasted laughingthrush Garrulax merulinus
Lesser necklaced laughingthrush Garrulax monileger
White-crested laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus
Rufous-chinned laughingthrush Ianthocincla rufogularis
Moustached laughingthrush Ianthocincla cineracea
Spotted laughingthrush Ianthocincla ocellata
Wynaad laughingthrush Pterorhinus delesserti (E)
Rufous-vented laughingthrush Pterorhinus gularis
Yellow-throated laughingthrush Pterorhinus galbanus
Rufous-necked laughingthrush Pterorhinus ruficollis
Chestnut-backed laughingthrush Pterorhinus nuchalis
White-browed laughingthrush Pterorhinus sannio
Greater necklaced laughingthrush Pterorhinus pectoralis
Mount Victoria babax Pterorhinus woodi
White-throated laughingthrush Pterorhinus albogularis
Grey-sided laughingthrush Pterorhinus caerulatus


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Irenidae

The fairy-bluebirds are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub. The males are dark-blue and the females a duller green. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Asian fairy-bluebird Irena puella

Goldcrests and kinglets[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Regulidae

The kinglets, also called crests, are a small group of birds often included in the Old World warblers, but frequently given family status because they also resemble the titmice. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Goldcrest Regulus regulus


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Elachuridae

This species, the only one in its family, inhabits forest undergrowth throughout South East Asia.

Common name Binomial Comments
Spotted elachura Elachura formosa


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Troglodytidae

The wrens are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud songs. These birds have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. There is one species which occurs in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Eurasian wren Troglodytes troglodytes


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sittidae

Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet.

Common name Binomial Comments
White-cheeked nuthatch Sitta leucopsis
Beautiful nuthatch Sitta formosa
Velvet-fronted nuthatch Sitta frontalis
Yunnan nuthatch Sitta yunnanensis (V)[48]
White-tailed nuthatch Sitta himalayensis
Chestnut-vented nuthatch Sitta nagaensis
Kashmir nuthatch Sitta cashmirensis
Indian nuthatch Sitta castanea
Chestnut-bellied nuthatch Sitta cinnamoventris


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Tichodromidae

The wallcreeper is a small bird related to the nuthatch family, which has stunning crimson, grey and black plumage.

Common name Binomial Comments
Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Certhiidae

Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees.

Common name Binomial Comments
Hodgson's treecreeper Certhia hodgsoni
Bar-tailed treecreeper Certhia himalayana
Rusty-flanked treecreeper Certhia nipalensis
Sikkim treecreeper Certhia discolor
Hume's treecreeper Certhia manipurensis [49][50]
Indian spotted creeper Salpornis spilonota

Starlings and rhabdornis[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.

Common starling
Common name Binomial Comments
Asian glossy starling Aplonis panayensis
Spot-winged starling Saroglossa spilopterus
Golden-crested myna Ampeliceps coronatus
Common hill myna Gracula religiosa
Southern hill myna Gracula indica
Great myna Acridotheres grandis
Jungle myna Acridotheres fuscus
Collared myna Acridotheres albocinctus
Bank myna Acridotheres ginginianus
Common myna Acridotheres tristis
Red-billed starling Spodiopsar sericeus (V)
White-cheeked starling Spodiopsar cineraceus (V)
Indian pied myna Gracupica contra
Daurian starling Agropsar sturninus
Chestnut-cheeked starling Agropsar philippensis (V)[51]
White-shouldered starling Sturnia sinensis (V)
Chestnut-tailed starling Sturnia malabarica [52]
White-headed starling Sturnia erythropygia (E) [52]
Malabar starling Sturnia blythii (E) [52]
Brahminy starling Sturnia pagodarum [52]
Rosy starling Pastor roseus
Common starling Sturnus vulgaris


White-collared blackbird
Chestnut thrush
Black-throated thrush

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs.

Common name Binomial Comments
Pied thrush Geokichla wardii
Orange-headed thrush Geokichla citrina
Siberian thrush Geokichla sibirica
Alpine thrush Zoothera mollissima
Himalayan thrush Zoothera salimalii [53]
Long-tailed thrush Zoothera dixoni
Scaly thrush Zoothera dauma
Nilgiri thrush Zoothera neilgherriensis (E)
Long-billed thrush Zoothera monticola
Dark-sided thrush Zoothera marginata
Grandala Grandala coelicolor
Tickell's thrush Turdus unicolor
Black-breasted thrush Turdus dissimilis
Japanese thrush Turdus cardis (V)
White-collared blackbird Turdus albocinctus
Grey-winged blackbird Turdus boulboul
Tibetan blackbird Turdus maximus
Indian blackbird Turdus simillimus
Chestnut thrush Turdus rubrocanus
White-backed thrush Turdus kessleri (V)
Grey-sided thrush Turdus feae
Eyebrowed thrush Turdus obscurus
Black-throated thrush Turdus atrogularis
Red-throated thrush Turdus ruficollis
Naumann's thrush Turdus naumanni (V)
Dusky thrush Turdus eunomus
Fieldfare Turdus pilaris (V)
Song thrush Turdus philomelos (V)[11]
Chinese thrush Turdus mupinensis (V)[54]
Mistle thrush Turdus viscivorus
Purple cochoa Cochoa purpurea
Green cochoa Cochoa viridis

Chats and Old World flycatchers[edit]

Indian robin
Oriental magpie robin, male on the left and female
Pale blue flycatcher
Verditer flycatcher
Himalayan rubythroat
Golden bush robin
Malabar whistling thrush
Red-flanked bluetail
Plumbeous water redstart
Blue rock thrush
Pied bush chat
Red-tailed wheatear

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Muscicapidae

Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls.

Common name Binomial Comments
Rufous-tailed scrub robin Cercotrichas galactotes
Indian robin Copsychus fulicatus
Oriental magpie-robin Copsychus saularis
White-rumped shama Copsychus malabaricus
Andaman shama Copsychus albiventris (E)
White-crowned shama Copsychus stricklandii
Spotted flycatcher Muscicapa striata
Dark-sided flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica
Asian brown flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
Brown-breasted flycatcher Muscicapa muttui
Ferruginous flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea
White-gorgeted flycatcher Anthipes monileger
Pale blue flycatcher Cyornis unicolor
White-bellied blue flycatcher Cyornis pallidipes (E)
Pale-chinned blue flycatcher Cyornis poliogenys
Hill blue flycatcher Cyornis whitei Split from C. banyumas[55]
Large blue flycatcher Cyornis magnirostris
Tickell's blue flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae
Blue-throated blue flycatcher Cyornis rubeculoides
White-tailed flycatcher Cyornis concretus
Nicobar jungle flycatcher Cyornis nicobaricus (E)
Rufous-bellied niltava Niltava sundara
Vivid niltava Niltava vivida
Large niltava Niltava grandis
Small niltava Niltava macgrigoriae
Blue-and-white flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana (V)[56]
Zappey's flycatcher Cyanoptila cumatilis (V)
Verditer flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus
Nilgiri flycatcher Eumyias albicaudatus (E)
Gould's shortwing Heteroxenicus stellatus
Rusty-bellied shortwing Brachypteryx hyperythra
Lesser shortwing Brachypteryx leucophris
Himalayan shortwing Brachypteryx cruralis
Indian blue robin Larvivora brunnea
Siberian blue robin Larvivora cyane (V)
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
White-bellied redstart Luscinia phaenicuroides
Himalayan rubythroat Calliope pectoralis
Chinese rubythroat Calliope tschebaiewi
Siberian rubythroat Calliope calliope
Firethroat Calliope pectardens (V)
White-tailed robin Myiomela leucura
Nilgiri blue robin Sholicola major (E)
White-bellied blue robin Sholicola albiventris (E)
White-browed bush robin Tarsiger indicus
Rufous-breasted bush robin Tarsiger hyperythrus
Red-flanked bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus
Himalayan bluetail Tarsiger rufilatus
Golden bush robin Tarsiger chrysaeus
Little forktail Enicurus scouleri
Black-backed forktail Enicurus immaculatus
Slaty-backed forktail Enicurus schistaceus
White-crowned forktail Enicurus leschenaulti
Spotted forktail Enicurus maculatus
Malabar whistling thrush Myophonus horsfieldii (E)
Blue whistling thrush Myophonus caeruleus
Blue-fronted robin Cinclidium frontale
Yellow-rumped flycatcher Ficedula zanthopygia (V)
Slaty-backed flycatcher Ficedula erithacus
Mugimaki flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki (V) [57]
Pygmy flycatcher Ficedula hodgsoni
Rufous-gorgeted flycatcher Ficedula strophiata
Sapphire flycatcher Ficedula sapphira
Ultramarine flycatcher Ficedula superciliaris
Little pied flycatcher Ficedula westermanni
Slaty-blue flycatcher Ficedula tricolor
Snowy-browed flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra
Rusty-tailed flycatcher Ficedula ruficauda
Taiga flycatcher Ficedula albicilla
Red-breasted flycatcher Ficedula parva
Kashmir flycatcher Ficedula subrubra
Black-and-orange flycatcher Ficedula nigrorufa (E)
Eversmann's redstart Phoenicurus erythronotus
Blue-capped redstart Phoenicurus coeruleocephala
Black redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
Common redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus (V)[11]
Hodgson's redstart Phoenicurus hodgsoni
White-throated redstart Phoenicurus schisticeps
Daurian redstart Phoenicurus auroreus
Güldenstädt's redstart Phoenicurus erythrogastrus
Blue-fronted redstart Phoenicurus frontalis
Plumbeous water redstart Phoenicurus fuliginosus
White-capped redstart Phoenicurus leucocephalus [58]
Common rock thrush Monticola saxatilis
Blue rock thrush Monticola solitarius
Chestnut-bellied rock thrush Monticola rufiventris
Blue-capped rock thrush Monticola cinclorhyncha
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra (V)
White-browed bush chat Saxicola macrorhynchus
White-throated bush chat Saxicola insignis
Siberian stonechat Saxicola maurus
Amur stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri
White-tailed stonechat Saxicola leucurus
Pied bush chat Saxicola caprata
Jerdon's bush chat Saxicola jerdoni
Grey bush chat Saxicola ferreus
Northern wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe (V)[59]
Isabelline wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
Desert wheatear Oenanthe deserti
Pied wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka
Brown rock chat Oenanthe fusca
Variable wheatear Oenanthe picata
Hume's wheatear Oenanthe albonigra
Finsch's wheatear Oenanthe finschii (V)
Red-tailed wheatear Oenanthe chrysopygia
Common tailorbird


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cinclidae

Dippers are a group of perching birds whose habitat includes aquatic environments in the Americas, Europe and Asia. They are named for their bobbing or dipping movements. There are two species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
White-throated dipper Cinclus cinclus
Brown dipper Cinclus pallasii


Orange-bellied leafbird

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Chloropseidae

The leafbirds are small, bulbul-like birds. The males are brightly plumaged, usually in greens and yellows.

Common name Binomial Comments
Blue-winged leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis
Jerdon's leafbird Chloropsis jerdoni
Golden-fronted leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons
Orange-bellied leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii


Thick-billed flowerpecker

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Dicaeidae

Pale-billed flowerpecker

The flowerpeckers are very small, stout, often brightly coloured birds, with short tails, short thick curved bills and tubular tongues.

Common name Binomial Comments
Thick-billed flowerpecker Dicaeum agile
Yellow-vented flowerpecker Dicaeum chrysorrheum
Yellow-bellied flowerpecker Dicaeum melanozanthum
Pale-billed flowerpecker Dicaeum erythrorhynchos
Nilgiri flowerpecker Dicaeum concolor
Plain flowerpecker Dicaeum minullum
Andaman flowerpecker Dicaeum virescens (E)
Fire-breasted flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus
Scarlet-backed flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Nectariniidae

Green-tailed sunbird
Purple-rumped sunbird

The sunbirds and spiderhunters are very small passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed.

Common name Binomial Comments
Ruby-cheeked sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis
Purple-rumped sunbird Leptocoma zeylonica
Crimson-backed sunbird Leptocoma minima (E)
Van Hasselt's sunbird Leptocoma brasiliana
Purple sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus
Olive-backed sunbird Cinnyris jugularis
Loten's sunbird Cinnyris lotenius
Mrs. Gould's sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae
Green-tailed sunbird Aethopyga nipalensis
Black-throated sunbird Aethopyga saturata
Crimson sunbird Aethopyga siparaja
Vigors's sunbird Aethopyga vigorsii (E)
Fire-tailed sunbird Aethopyga ignicauda
Little spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra
Streaked spiderhunter Arachnothera magna

Old World sparrows and snowfinches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.

House sparrow
Common name Binomial Comments
House sparrow Passer domesticus
Spanish sparrow Passer hispaniolensis
Sind sparrow Passer pyrrhonotus
Russet sparrow Passer cinnamomeus
Eurasian tree sparrow Passer montanus
Pale rockfinch Carpospiza brachydactyla (V)[60][61]
Rock sparrow Petronia petronia [62]
Yellow-throated sparrow Gymnoris xanthocollis
Black-winged snowfinch Montifringilla adamsi
White-rumped snowfinch Onychostruthus taczanowskii (V)
Rufous-necked snowfinch Pyrgilauda ruficollis
Blanford's snowfinch Pyrgilauda blanfordi

Weavers and widowbirds[edit]

Baya weaver

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Ploceidae

The weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches. They are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black, some species show variation in colour only in the breeding season. There are four species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Black-breasted weaver Ploceus benghalensis
Streaked weaver Ploceus manyar
Baya weaver Ploceus philippinus
Finn's weaver Ploceus megarhynchus

Waxbills, munias, and allies[edit]

Chestnut munia

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Estrildidae

Black-throated munia

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have wide variation in plumage colours and patterns.

Common name Binomial Comments
Indian silverbill Euodice malabarica
Scaly-breasted munia Lonchura punctulata
Black-throated munia Lonchura kelaarti
White-rumped munia Lonchura striata
Tricoloured munia Lonchura malacca
Chestnut munia Lonchura atricapilla
Green avadavat Amandava formosa (E)
Red avadavat Amandava amandava


Alpine accentor

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Prunellidae

The accentors are in the only bird family, Prunellidae, which is completely endemic to the Palearctic. They are small, fairly drab species superficially similar to sparrows. There are seven species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Alpine accentor Prunella collaris
Altai accentor Prunella himalayana
Robin accentor Prunella rubeculoides
Rufous-breasted accentor Prunella strophiata
Brown accentor Prunella fulvescens
Black-throated accentor Prunella atrogularis
Maroon-backed accentor Prunella immaculata

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Citrine wagtail

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Motacillidae

Long-billed pipit

Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 21 species which have been recorded in India.

Oriental pipit
Common name Binomial Comments
Forest wagtail Dendronanthus indicus
Western yellow wagtail Motacilla flava
Eastern yellow wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis (V)
Citrine wagtail Motacilla citreola
Grey wagtail Motacilla cinerea
White wagtail Motacilla alba
White-browed wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis
Richard's pipit Anthus richardi
Paddyfield pipit Anthus rufulus
Blyth's pipit Anthus godlewskii
Tawny pipit Anthus campestris
Long-billed pipit Anthus similis
Tree pipit Anthus trivialis
Olive-backed pipit Anthus hodgsoni
Rosy pipit Anthus roseatus
Red-throated pipit Anthus cervinus
Buff-bellied pipit Anthus rubescens
Water pipit Anthus spinoletta
Nilgiri pipit Anthus nilghiriensis (E)
Upland pipit Anthus sylvanus
Meadow pipit Anthus pratensis (V)

Finches and euphonias[edit]

Pink-browed rosefinch

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 44 species which have been recorded in India.

Common name Binomial Comments
Eurasian chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
Black-and-yellow grosbeak Mycerobas icterioides
Collared grosbeak Mycerobas affinis
Spot-winged grosbeak Mycerobas melanozanthos
White-winged grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes
Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
Brown bullfinch Pyrrhula nipalensis
Orange bullfinch Pyrrhula aurantiaca
Red-headed bullfinch Pyrrhula erythrocephala
Grey-headed bullfinch Pyrrhula erythaca
Asian crimson-winged finch Rhodopechys sanguineus (V)
Trumpeter finch Bucanetes githagineus
Mongolian finch Bucanetes mongolicus
Blanford's rosefinch Agraphospiza rubescens
Spectacled finch Callacanthis burtoni
Golden-naped finch Pyrrhoplectes epauletta
Dark-breasted rosefinch Procarduelis nipalensis
Plain mountain finch Leucosticte nemoricola
Brandt's mountain finch Leucosticte brandti
Common rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
Scarlet finch Carpodacus sipahi
Streaked rosefinch Carpodacus rubicilloides
Great rosefinch Carpodacus rubicilla
Blyth's rosefinch Carpodacus grandis
Himalayan beautiful rosefinch Carpodacus pulcherrimus
Pink-rumped rosefinch Carpodacus waltoni (V)
Pink-browed rosefinch Carpodacus rodochroa
Dark-rumped rosefinch Carpodacus edwardsii
Spot-winged rosefinch Carpodacus rodopeplus
Vinaceous rosefinch Carpodacus vinaceus
Pale rosefinch Carpodacus stoliczkae (V)
Sillem's rosefinch Carpodacus sillemi
Himalayan white-browed rosefinch Carpodacus thura
Chinese white-browed rosefinch Carpodacus dubius (V)[63]
Red-fronted rosefinch Carpodacus puniceus
Crimson-browed finch Carpodacus subhimachalus
Three-banded rosefinch Carpodacus trifasciatus [64]
Yellow-breasted greenfinch Chloris spinoides
Black-headed greenfinch Chloris ambigua [33][46][65]
Desert finch Rhodospiza obsoleta (V)
Twite Linaria flavirostris
Common linnet Linaria cannabina [11]
Red crossbill Loxia curvirostra
European goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Red-fronted serin Serinus pusillus
Tibetan serin Spinus thibetanus
Eurasian siskin Spinus spinus (V)



Order: Passeriformes   Family: Emberizidae

The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns.

Reed bunting
Common name Binomial Comments
Crested bunting Emberiza lathami
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella (V)[11][66]
Pine bunting Emberiza leucocephalos
Rock bunting Emberiza cia
Godlewski's bunting Emberiza godlewskii [65]
White-capped bunting Emberiza stewarti
Grey-necked bunting Emberiza buchanani
Ortolan bunting Emberiza hortulana (V)
Striolated bunting Emberiza striolata
Tristram's bunting Emberiza tristrami (V)[67]
Chestnut-eared bunting Emberiza fucata
Little bunting Emberiza pusilla
Yellow-browed bunting Emberiza chrysophrys (V)
Rustic bunting Emberiza rustica (V)
Yellow-breasted bunting Emberiza aureola
Chestnut bunting Emberiza rutila
Black-headed bunting Emberiza melanocephala
Red-headed bunting Emberiza bruniceps
Black-faced bunting Emberiza spodocephala
Common reed bunting Emberiza schoeniclus

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lepage, Denis (24 August 2021). "Checklist of Birds of India". Avibase bird checklists of the world. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  2. ^ Manakadan, Ranjit; Khan, Asif N. (March 2020). "Birds of the Indian Subcontinent—In a Nutshell". Buceros. BNHS-ENVIS. 24 (2 & 3).
  3. ^ "National bird of India". Know India. Govt. of India. Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  4. ^ Baker, E. C. S. (1904). "The occurrence of the Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis in India". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 16 (1): 155–156.
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Other sources[edit]

  • Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Anderton, J. C. (2005). Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Smithsonian Institution & Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-84-87334-67-2.
  • Clements, James F. (2000). Birds of the World: A Checklist. Cornell University Press. p. 880. ISBN 978-0-934797-16-0.