Bird Watching in Pakistan
The Chukar (Alectoris chukar) is a
Eurasian upland game bird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order
Galliformes, gallinaceous birds. Its native range in Asia from Pakistan and
Kashmir, India and Afghanistan. It is closely related and similar to its western
equivalent, the Red-legged Partridge, Alectoris rufa. The Chukar is a rotund
32-35 cm long bird, with a light brown back, grey breast, and buff belly. The
face is white with a black gorget. It has rufous-streaked flanks and red legs.
When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly, but if necessary it flies a
short distance on rounded wings. Chukar prefer rocky, steep, and open hillsides.
The Chukar is a resident breeder in dry, open, and often hilly country. In the
wild, Chukar travel in groups of 5-40 birds called coveys. It nests in a
scantily lined ground scrape laying 8 to 20 eggs. Chukars will take a wide
variety of seeds and some insects as food. When in captivity, they will lay 1
egg per day throughout the breeding season if the eggs are collected daily. For
hunters, Chakur is a very challneging bird becuase of its surgical upward
flights and sudden disappearances in the bushes.
Western Tragopan pheasant - Pallas's
Fish-eagle - Greater Spotted Eagle
Pakistan, due to its diverse weather
and varied land is home to some of the rare and exclusive birds in the world.
Its wetlands and lakes attract millions of migratory birds from across the
globe, specially Siberia each year, which besides its own native birds in their
natural habitat in the jungles and mountains, provide an excellent opportunity
to the bird watchers around the world. Western Tragopan pheasant (Tragopan
melanocephalus) is one of the rare species that exists in the northerly
mountains and the Macharia National Park, where it is being bred and chances are
that this beautiful bird will be able to be saved of its near extinction in
Some of the bird sanctuaries and wild
life habitats in Pakistan are as under:-
Park: This park provides refuge to the elusive leopard and
the black bear along with excellent birding.
Gol National Park: The park is the home of the elusive snow leopard
and some interesting birds.
National Park: Birds in the park include Golden eagle, Lammagier
Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Laggar falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Indian
Sparrow Hawk and Snow cock.
Drigh Lake: The lake is an
important breeding and wintering area for a wide variety of water
Lammagier Vulture - Griffon Vulture -
Laggar falcon - Kestrel
Haleji Lake: Asia's
greatest water fowl reserve, Haleji Lake is 70 km (about 52 miles) from
Karachi. During winter, a hundred thousand birds fly down to Haleji from the
cold of Siberia. It is a bird watchers' paradise. Between Bhanbhore and
Thatta, if you turn into the countrylane by the 82km (51/1 mile-furlong stone)
a 6-km long drive will bring you to the largest bird sanctuary of the country,
Haleji Lake. During the winter, migatory birds come to this lake in very large
numbers to the great delight of the bird watchers. You can drive along the 16
km. (10 miles) track around the lake for photography or bird watching.
Ganji Chiltan National Park: In the folds of these mountains, many
species of birds make their homes.
National Park: Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus)
Indus Dolphin Reserve and Kandhkot
Wetland: The vast Indus Basin wetland include Common Teal (Anas crecca),
Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), Great Egret (Casmerodius
albus),Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax
niger), Pallas's Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus), Greater Spotted Eagle
(Aquila clanga), Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa
limosa), Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), Little Stint (Calidris minuta),
Small Pratincole (Glareola lactea), River Tern (Sterna aurantia), Indian
Skimmer (Rynchops albicollis), Pale-backed Pigeon (Columba
Black-tailed Godwit - Dalmatian Pelican
- Mallard - Northern-Shoveler
Kinjhar (Kalri) Lake:
The largest freshwater lake in Pakistan with extensive reedbeds.
National Park: The park is home to some rare species of mammals as
well as a great variety of birds.
Keti Bundar North Wildlife
Sanctuary: Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), Dalmatian Pelican
(Pelecanus crispus), Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga), Imperial Eagle
(Aquila heliaca), Indian Skimmer (Rynchops albicollis)
Khabbaki Lake: The lake is
important as a staging and wintering area for a wide variety of water
Kheshki Reservoir: A small
storage reservoir, originally created to supply local villages with water, now
popular with birds.
National Park: Watch for birds as the hills move back from the road,
the valley opens out and the river dwindles to a tiny mountain stream with the
odd tuft of grass, willow or birch along its banks
Kandar Dam: A tiny water
storage reservoir (at maximum capacity its area is only 47ha) set in stony
hills to the west of the Indus river.
Suhanra National Park: The park is actually a wildlife sanctuary and
features watch towers and tourist huts. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Northern
Shoveler (Anas clypeata), Pallas's Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus),
Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) and Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) are
some of the birds that can be seen here.
Imperial Eagle - Indian Skimmer - Common
National Park: Located in the Azad kashmir, this park of special
significance since here rare breeds of pheasants, specially the Western
Tragopan pheasant (Tragopan melanocephalus) is bred and efforts are at hand to
save this beautiful bird from extinction.
Malugul Dhand: A shallow,
brackish lake formed by seasonal flooding of a "dead arm" of the Kurram
Mangla Lake: Mallard (Anas
platyrhynchos), Common Teal (Anas crecca), Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta
angustirostris), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) and Tufted Duck (Aythya
fuligula) are some of the birds that flock the vast blue waters of Mangla Dam
Marala Game Reserve: Mallard
(Anas platyrhynchos) and Common Teal (Anas crecca) can be seen
Hills National Park: Park provides an excellent opportunity for bird
Naran Reserve Forest to
Saif-ul-Maluk Lake: The clear blue water of the lake, surrounded by snoa
covered "Malka Parbat" mountain attract White-cheeked Tit (Aegithalos
leucogenys), Brooks's Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus subviridis), Spectacled Finch
(Callacanthis burtoni) and Orange Bullfinch (Pyrrhula aurantiaca) each year.
Nothing could be more awe inspiring than watching birds at 12,000
Brooks's Leaf-warbler - Spectacled Finch
- Ruddy Shelduck
Palas Valley: The
temperate forest in this high valley supports around 325 pairs of the very
rare and beautiful Western Tragopan, along with a number of other west
Rann of Kutch Wildlife
Sanctuary: The endless marshes of Rann of Kutch on the border of India and
Sind Province of Pakistan are home to Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea),
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope), Northern
Shoveler (Anas clypeata), Northern Pintail (Anas acuta), Common Teal (Anas
crecca), Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), Indian Vulture (Gyps
indicus), Sarus Crane (Grus antigone), Common Crane (Grus grus), Pied Avocet
(Recurvirostra avosetta), Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Little
Stint (Calidris minuta) and Ruff (Philomachus pugnax).
Rasool Barrage Wildlife
Sanctuary: Northern Pintail (Anas acuta), Common Teal (Anas crecca),
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) and Common Coot (Fulica atra) can be watched
from the sanctuary, besides resting on the bank of River Chenab and watching
the Rasool Barrage.
Northern Pintail - Sarus Crane - Greater
Flamingo -Eurasian Wigeon
Tanda Dam: The site is of
national importance as a wintering and staging area for a wide variety of
Thanedar Wala: Most of the
area consists of a complex of braided river channels and sandy or muddy
Ucchali Wetland Complex:
Located in the Salt Ranges, the Ucchali Wetland is home to a number of
migratory birds like Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), White-headed
Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia),
Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Pallas's Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus
leucoryphus), White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis), Imperial Eagle (Aquila
heliaca) and Common Coot (Fulica atra).