very local resident

Short-toed Snake Eagle

A bulky raptor that is usually rather pale below; variable but most have closely barred, white underparts and underwings and a barred, squareended tail. No carpal patches and head to upper breast are often brown as upperparts. Large owl-like head, very evident yellow irises and grey legs. Some individuals even paler. Sexes alike.

Red-headed Vulture

Sexes alike. Black plumage with white on thighs and breast; naked red head, neck and feet; in overhead flight, the white breast, thigh patches and grey-white band along wings are distinctive; widely spread primaries. Young birds are darkish-brown with white abdomen and under tail. Mostly solitary but 2 to 4 may be seen at a carcass along with other vultures; usually does not mix with the rest.

Indian Vulture

A large raptor in varying shades of beige and brown with a yellow bill, white thighs and ruff and bare, dark brown head and neck with scattered white fluff. The dark flight feathers and tail form a striking contrast to the pale underparts. Other features are broad wings, small head, long neck and short tail. Sexes alike. Immature even paler with pale head and neck and grey bill. This is a peninsular vulture recently separated from the northern Slender-billed, G. tenuirostris, which has a plain dark head and neck and a dark and slender bill.

White-rumped Vulture

Sexes alike. Blackish-brown plumage; almost naked head has whitish ruff around base; white rump (lower back) distinctive, when perched and often in
flight; in overhead flight, white underwing-coverts contrast with dark underbody and flight feathers. Young birds are brown and show no white on underwing
in flight. Increasingly becoming uncommon, now rarely seen at carcasses, slaughter houses, refuse dumps. When resting, the head and neck are dug into the shoulders; soars high on thermals; several converge onto a carcass; basks in sun.

Indian Courser

Sexes alike. Bright rufous crown; white and black stripes above and through eyes to nape; sandybrown above; chestnut throat and breast and black belly; long, whitish legs; in flight, dark underwings. Small parties in open country; strictly a ground bird, runs in short spurts and feeds on ground, like plovers, suddenly dipping body when disturbed, flies strongly for a short distance and lands; can fly very high.

White-tailed Lapwing

Sexes alike. Pink-brown above, with grey-white forehead, supercilium; ash-grey chin, throat, turning dark-grey on breast; yellow legs; in night, white rump, tail, black and white in wings diagnostic. Small to medium-size flocks, often with other waders; makes short runs when feeding; less boisterous and active than the commoner Redwattled, but overall similarity in habits.

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Male: sandy-buff above, speckled brown and dull yellow; black gorget and chocolate-black belly. Female: buffy above, streaked and barred darker; black-spotted breast; rufous and black-barred belly and flanks. Pointed central tail feathers and black wing-underside distinctive in flight. Huge gatherings at waterholes in dry season; regularly arrives at water; strictly a ground bird, squatting tight or shuffling slowly; rises en masse.


A huge, chicken-like crake. In breeding plumage, the male is mainly blackish in colour with brownish feather edgings to upperparts; red legs with orange bill with upstanding red shield. Otherwise resembles immature and smaller female which is variably barred brown, darker above with greenish legs and yellowish bill.

Brown Hawk Owl

A slim, medium-sized, very dark owl with long banded tail. Chocolate brown with some white on back and wings and heavily-streaked underparts. Andaman and Nicobar race all dark. Face mainly dark. No ear tufts. Irises yellow. Sexes alike. Hunts, singly or in pairs, insects, birds and other animals from favoured perch. Sweeping hawk-like flight with flaps and long glides. Usually crepuscular or nocturnal, roosting in thick canopy. Will also hunt on cloudy days. Nests in tree hole.

Brown Fish Owl

Huge, flat-headed, brown streaked owl with horizontally held ear tufts and yellow irises. Dark brown above with buff feather edges. Dark streaking on paler underparts. Yellow irises. Broad barred wings and very short tail. Scarcer Tawny Fish Owl is larger, richer brown with heavier streaking below and whitish forehead. Sexes alike. Mainly nocturnal, roosting in leafy trees. Hunts fish, crabs and frogs.