very local resident

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.

Barn Owl

Sexes alike. Dull golden-buff above, finely speckled black and white; white below, often with fine , dark spots; heart-shaped, white facial disc striking. Solitary or in pairs; nocturnal, but sometimes hunts during day; normally rests during day, mostly in a tree-cavity, dense creepers or some dark loft; perches upright; flies silently, mostly under 4m from ground; pounces on prey.

Cotton Pygmy-goose

A miniature pied duck with a very small black bill. Breeding male has green-black upperparts, white underparts with black cap and breast band and pale grey flanks. Striking white wingbars are visible in flight. Non-breeding plumage resembles the drabber, browner female (also shown) but retain the white wingbars. Habits: Feeds on aquatic vegetation and animals. Engages in aerobatic courtship chases.

Rain Quail

Smaller than the Japanese and Common Quail, the male has a very noticeable stripe on the crown and supercilium with a black and white pattern on the head and neck, a black ‘anchor’ mark on the throat and a prominent black patch on the breast. A black border highlights the white neck. The flanks are streaked with black. The female is very similar to the female Common, except that it has no barring on the primaries. Found in small coveys. Builds shallow, grass-lined nests in standing crops.

Asian Barred Owlet

Small, relatively long-tailed owl, with darkly barred body; similar to Jungle, but larger, with buff, not rufous, primaries; body not so finely barred; longer, broader tail; lower flanks streaked not barred; heavily barred crown contrasts with spotted of Collared; also, no hind neck ‘face’; solitary, or in pairs; diurnal; often perches in open to search for prey; wags tail from side to side when disturbed or alarmed; undulating flight.

Grey-bellied Cuckoo

Small, distinctive cuckoo, with grey head and upper body, and unbarred grey breast and belly; white vent and white-barred undertail coverts; hepatic female  and immature similar to Plaintive, but brighter rufous; lack supercilium and barred tail of Banded Bay; lighter barring on crown and nape; cross-barred back,
narrow-barred white underparts; mostly solitary; as with Plaintive, mainly arboreal, keeping to treetops and restlessly changing perches while singing; may descend to ground in pursuit of insects.

Sirkeer Malkoha

Sexes alike. Olivebrown plumage; long, graduated tail, with broad white tips to blackish outer feathers diagnostic in flight; cherryred beak, with yellow tip. Solitary or in pairs; sometimes 4 or 5 birds in the neighbourhood; move mostly on ground, in dense growth; may clamber out on some bush tops or low trees; flight weak and short