birding.in

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary


Sultanpur National Park & Bird Sanctuary is located in Gurgaon district of Haryana, 50 km from Delhi and 15 km from Gurgaon on the Gurgaon-Farukh Nagar road. This park, ideal for bird watchers, is best visited in winters when a large number of migratory birds come here. In old maps this area is shown as marshy land where water accumulates during rains and dries out in summer. A number of organisms like crustaceans, fish and insects thrive during floods which attract birds to this area. It's potential as a bird preserve, was first identified by an enthusiastic bird watcher, Mr. Peter Jackson. He convinced Mrs Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, of the need for giving protection to this area. Keeping in view it's potential, the area covering 359 acres was declared a Bird Sanctuary in 1971 and was upgraded to the status of National Park in 1991.

The  Wildlife department has carried out a number of development works like construction of mounds, and widening of paths, four tube wells have also been dug. Efforts are being made to improve vegetation in area by planting more trees like Acacia Nilotica, Acacia Tortilis, Beris and Neem have been planted. For the benefit of bird lovers certain facilities have been provided like an education and interpretation center, a library as well as films, slides and binoculars. To facilitate bird watching, there are four watch towers (machans) located at different points. In addition there is parking and facilities for toilets and drinking water. For birders and tourists, interested in staying for the night, there is a resort just near the entrance providing food and lodging.

The educational Interpretation Center has over 70 color photographs of different species of birds, varying from 16"x16" to 38"x40". The photographs are accompanied with informative write-ups about these birds. The Haryana Wild Life Department has dedicated to the memory of Dr. Salim Ali, an internationally renowned Ornithologist, a room which contains his bust, photographs, write ups, and certain of his personal effects.

In the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary about 250 species of Birds have been recorded. Some of them are resident, while others come from distant regions like Siberia, Europe and Afghanistan. Some of the resident birds: Common Hoopoe, Paddyfield Pipit, Purple Sunbird, Little Cormorant, Eurasian Thick-knee, Gray Francolin, Black Francolin, Indian Roller, White-throated Kingfisher, Spot-billed Duck, White Ibis, Black-headed Ibis, Painted Stork, Little Egret, Crested Lark, Red-vented Bulbul, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Red-wattled Lapwing, Shikra, Eurasian-collared Dove, Red-collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Spotted Owlet, Rock Pigeon, Magpie Robin, Greater Coucal, Weaver Bird, Bank Myna, Common Myna and Green Bee Eater.

Every year over a 100 species of migratory birds arrive here. In winter the sanctuary provides a picturesque view of birds such as Siberian Crane, Greater Flamingo, Ruff, Northern Pintail, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Rosy Pelican, Eurasian Wigeon, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Bluethroat and Long-billed Pipit. In summer about 11 species of migratory birds such as Asian Koel, Comb duck, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Black-crowned Night Heron, Blue-cheeked Bee Eater, Blue-tailed Bee Eater and Cuckoos come here.

A leisurely walk along the perimeter of the whole park can take up to two hours. In addition to hundreds of species of birds, antelopes like Neelgai (Blue Bull) and Black Buck are also seen here.