Bird Sanctuaries in Delhi became my subject of interest two years back during my first encounter with birds in their natural habitat.
I was on a tour to Odisha with my family.
We had temples on our travel list, however, we had not planned any further itinerary apart from Bhubaneshwar and Puri.
After visiting the most famous and scientifically miraculous Jagannath temple in Puri, we started exploring other nearby sites that we could visit on our week-long trip.
We had no prior information and knowledge when we ended up being in Chilika Lake which hosts one of the biggest bird sanctuaries of India i.e. Nalbana Bird Sanctuary.
It was the month of October, therefore, we could only see local birds.
For the first time, I was consciously hearing the names of some of the common and celebrated birds in India such as Egret, Cormorant, Black Headed Gull, Moorhen, Heron, and so on.
I am a nature lover and have also been to many National Parks and Wild Life Sanctuaries to see animals.
However, birds never caught my attention until I visited Chillika.
These wonderful creatures got my interest Perhaps because of two reasons.
First, we took a boat ride specifically to see birds, and second, due to the explanations given by enthusiastically expressive guides.
It made such an impression on me that I started searching for bird sanctuaries in Delhi right after coming back from the Odisha trip.
Top 9 Bird Sanctuaries in Delhi NCR
- Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
- Okhla Bird Sanctuary
- Yamuna Biodiversity Park
- Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary
- Sanjay Van
- Aravalli Biodiversity Park
- Kamala Nehru Ridge Park
- Surajpur Bird Sanctuary
- Najafgarh Jheel Bird Sanctuary
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is located in Gurugram, Haryana, and Okhla Bird Sanctuary is situated on Delhi Noida Border.
The access and movement are free in these two. However, Yamuna Biodiversity Park and Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary organize guided tours that you have to do with dedicated guides.
You may not simply see the others as bird sanctuaries in Delhi. The purpose of these sites is to particularly preserve endangered species of mammals, insects, trees, and so on.
However, you can find many species of local as well as migratory birds there.
Delhi has many rich bird sanctuaries. We’ve compiled the information for the top nine bird sanctuaries in Delhi.
#1 Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary has around 250 bird species out of which more than a hundred species migrate from Siberian, European, and other central Asian countries during winters.
The Sultanpur bird sanctuary is situated in Haryana state. It is also known as Sultanpur National Park, this site is located at Gurgaon Farukh Nagar Road. It is around 15 km away from Gurugram city and around 50 km from Delhi.
Since it is away from the city center, it will be a good idea to hire a taxi or go using your personal vehicle. It might be slightly difficult to find your way if you are going in that direction for the first time.
The Best time to visit the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is in mid-January to watch migrated from, Europe and Central Asian countries.
It opens from 7:00 AM up till 4:30 PM. The Entry Fee is Rs. 5 with an additional camera fee of Rs.25. The Park is well maintained with various facilities for visitors including basic amenities, bird-watching equipment, and educational guides like films and books.
There’s no specific time duration for the visit so you can walk around, watch birds, enjoy nature and do photography at your own pace.
You can view pictures and read more about my visit to Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary here.
#2 Okhla Bird Sanctuary
Okhla Bird sanctuary is located on the Delhi Noida border.
It has two entries- one towards Mayur Vihar (gate no.1) right at the entrance of Noida and the other towards Kalindi Kunj (gate no.2).
It offers you a 3.5 km straight track which you can utilize for your morning walks amidst nature.
Before visiting the sanctuary I had the impression that this place must be having a dirty water body, in a dying state with very fewer birds.
To my surprise, it had a huge number and variety of birds, chirping, playing, and flying around. However, the first assumption about water quality was true.
Okhla Bird Sanctuary claims to have around 300 species of both local and migratory birds.
Unlike Sultanpur, where nests made of stubble are spread across the water body, making it difficult to spot the birds, Okhla has a better view.
The best time to visit the Okhla bird sanctuary is in January to spot a large number of birds.
The sanctuary is open from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM during winters.
The ticket fee is Rs.30 per person with no extra fee for the camera (apart from professional photography and videography).
You can call on 0120-2425989 to confirm the timings and fee details if you’re planning to go after a few months.
The sanctuary needs proper maintenance.
It is also a subject conflict between UP and Delhi administrative authorities.
Environmentalists also claim that the number of birds has drastically decreased in the last five years.
Nevertheless, it is still one of the best bird sanctuaries in Delhi and every bird lover should visit it.
#3 Yamuna Biodiversity Park
This park is spread across an area of 457 acres (divided into two phases) near Wazirabad Village.
It is recently developed by the Delhi Biodiversity Foundation, DDA for the purpose of conservation and preservation of Eco-systems (Flora and Fauna) of the Yamuna region.
It is planned to function as an alternative habitat for residents and migratory birds around that area.
You need to take prior permission if going in big groups otherwise you can directly go and join their trails at the given timings absolutely free with no extra fee for the camera as well.
It opens quite late as compared to other sanctuaries because of the heavy fog due to dense vegetation, as informed by the officials.
Currently, Yamuna Biodiversity Park organizes two nature trails a day at 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM.
This, in my view, is the best site to start your birding hobby because you will get to know in detail the role of the overall ecosystem and its importance for birds.
For any queries, you can call the park officials here at 09899055001 and visit their site here.
Read my experience at Yamuna Biodiversity Park here.
#4 Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) runs this community-based urban Wildlife Sanctuary for the Department of Forest and Environment, Delhi.
The location of the sanctuary is on the outskirts of Tughlakabad Fort on Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.
Along with a variety of trees, butterflies, and animals, one can find around 200 species of birds here.
This sanctuary organizes guided tours and one cannot visit this on his/her own. Therefore, you have to pre-book your visits by calling +91-7878331458.
Since they give you a dedicated guide, they prefer groups of at least 4-5 people.
The Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary timings are 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM. Visiting fee on weekdays i.e.
Monday to Friday is Rs.100 and 350 to 500 on weekends depending on the trail/program you select.
You can check out their programs here. There are no extra charges for the camera.
#5 Sanjay Van
For all the nature lovers and bird watchers, Sanjay Van is the place-to-be! Sanjay Van spread over a large area of 443 Acres. The forest is home to a large variety of bird species and butterflies.
It opens at 6 AM and closes at 8 PM. You could easily spot Eurasian Golden Oriole, Purple Sunbird, Indian Peafowl, Indian Silver Bill, etc among other species.
It is best to carry your lunch and water bottle as there are no facilities in and around this forest.
Sanjay Van is located near Neela Hauz, Mehrauli in South Central Ridge. The nearest metro station to this forest is Qutub Minar.
#6 Aravalli Biodiversity Park
Located in Gurgaon, Haryana, Aravalli Biodiversity Park is surrounded by lush green along with the Aravalli ranges. The rich flora and fauna of this biodiversity park will mesmerize you!
Aravalli Biodiversity Park is located near Air India Colony, Vasant Vihar is open from 6 AM to 6 PM. There is no entry fee.
A total of over 185 bird species have been spotted in the park including Long-billed Pipit, Steppe Eagle, White-eared Bulbul, Black Drongo, and Lesser Whitethroat
Mammals like Indian Grey Mongoose, Golden Jackal, Five-stripped palm squirrel, and Indian Hare could be found in this park.
Visit the official website of the Delhi Biodiversity Foundation of D.D.A or call at +91-011 26152972 for more details of the Aravalli Biodiversity Park.
#7 Kamala Nehru Ridge Park
Kamala Nehru Park also called Kamla Nehru Biodiversity Park is a popular park for local residents to unwind in as it houses almost 70 species of resident birds and 25 species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and an innumerable species of arthropods.
It is located in the heart of the city and has a beautiful array of trees and plants around the lake, which adds to the serene feel of the place.
Early mornings here are an experience in themselves, especially in the winter when you can see flocks of birds waking up to the rising sun. There’s a small pond called Khooni Jheel near this park.
Though the park is open throughout the day, you should visit it during the day.
Kamala Nehru Ridge Park is located at Magazine Road, Civil Lines in Delhi. Vishwavidyalaya is the closest metro station to reach here.
For more information, you can call on this number +91-9899055001 or visit this page for updated information on this park.
#8 Najafgarh Jheel Bird Sanctuary
Across the popular Najafgarh Lake is the Najafgarh Jheel Bird Sanctuary. This wetland is home to many bird species. The sanctuary was established with the aim to preserve the rich wildlife in the area.
It is located in Dhansa village in South-West of NCT-Delhi near the Gurgaon border.
A major attraction of the Najafgarh Jheel Bird Sanctuary is that flamingoes flock in huge numbers here. You could spot Black Kite, Myna Bird, Tailor Bird, Cattle Egret, Golden Eagle, Red-wattled Lapwing, Warbler, and waterbirds.
There isn’t enough information available about the timings and entry fee of this sanctuary.
#9 Surajpur Bird Sanctuary
The Surajpur Bird Sanctuary and Biodiversity Park is a protected area and one of the major attractions in Delhi.
Not only does the wetland help attract various species of migratory birds, but it also provides an opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surroundings.
Anyone who visits this area will be amazed at how lush the surroundings are, and how much life and activity is going on
For those who appreciate the beauty of nature, there are plenty of options in Delhi for a serene retreat. This is bound to be one of the options when you think of visiting a bird sanctuary in Delhi.
Take a look at beautiful pictures and more information on Surajpur wetlands here.
Resident and Local Migrant Birds Found Across Bird Sanctuaries in Delhi NCR
While there are hundreds of species of resident and local migrant birds that are found across bird sanctuaries in the Delhi and the NCR area, few of them are easily and abundantly found everywhere. These include-
- Kingfisher (Common, Great blue, and White-breasted/throated),
- White-breasted Waterhen,
- Purple Swamphen,
- Common Moorhen,
- Red-Wattled Lapwing,
- Ruddy Shelduck,
- Black-headed Ibis,
- Indian spot-billed duck,
- Lesser Whistling Duck,
- Egret (Intermediate, Cattle, and Great),
- little cormorant,
- Heron (Purple, Grey and Indian pond heron),
- Indian Darter,
- Rose-ringed Parakeet,
- Jungle Babbler,
- Eurasian Magpie,
- Black Drongo,
- Greater Coucal,
- Peacock and so on.
Migratory Birds Found at Bird Sanctuaries in Delhi NCR
Migratory birds in Delhi are a major attraction for bird lovers. The fact that these tiny creatures fly so long to find a habitat is in itself fascinating. Some of the migratory birds in Delhi include –
- Common Teal,
- Northern Shoveler,
- Common Coot,
- Common Shelduck,
- Tufted Duck,
- Greylag Goose,
- Common Pochard,
- Flycatchers and so on.
Things to Remember
Although visiting a bird sanctuary requires nothing more than an interest in nature and birds, it will be good if you go slightly prepared to get the best of experience.
- Knowing that you might need to walk more than usual, it is recommended to wear a pair of comfortable shoes.
- The best time to visit any bird sanctuary is the earliest hours. Given that walking might make you hungry. Have a good breakfast before beginning the visit.
- Early hours are quite cold in winters so be well clad.
- A water bottle will help in keeping you hydrated.
- Don’t forget to carry your pair of binoculars if you own them. It’s okay if you don’t.
- Get your camera ready with a zoom/macro lens.
- Carry an umbrella if there are chances of rain.
- If you want to see birds from close, do not make any noise; avoid talking.
Major Birding Sites around Delhi
My interest in birds is new and I learn during each visit. It is no less than a blessing for me to have so many bird sanctuaries in Delhi NCR.
Therefore, I do not really require to travel long for Birding. During winters, migratory birds coming from other parts of the country and the world join local resident birds.
The site in bird sanctuaries during winters is heavenly for any bird lover. So, get your camera and binoculars ready and go bird-watching.
There are other comparatively lesser-known places which you can also explore namely Sanjay Lake, Roshanara Bagh, Lodhi Gardens, Aravali Biodiversity Park, and so on.
After your free basic orientation at Yamuna Biodiversity Park, I would recommend you start your birding at Okhla Bird Sanctuary.
Although the number of birds is decreasing here due to various reasons, it still has a good variety of migratory birds which are easy to cite as well. The site that it offers, no other sanctuary does.
If you are open to traveling a bit, you can also plan a visit to the following Bird Sanctuaries Near Delhi –
- Basai Wetland, Gurugram, Haryana
- Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (or Keoladeo National Park), Bharatpur
- Pangot and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary, Nainital
- Bakhira Bird Sanctuary,
- Thasrana Bird Sanctuary, Haryana
- Dighal, Bahadurgarh, Haryana
- KG Wetlands, Palwal, Haryana
- Surajpur Wetland and Biodiversity Park, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh
I have shared my experiences of my visit to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary here in this article. If you are planning a one/two day trip nearby New Delhi, I would suggest you consider visiting this perfect birding site.
Summing it up
I have written this article specifically for budding bird watchers. However, I would appreciate feedback and comments from the experts as well.
Please share your expressions on birding as your passion and bird sanctuaries around your area.
Which birds do you like? Which is your favorite birding place?
Do you have any questions related to birding?
Please feel free to post your experiences and inquiries in the comments section below.
Also, if you wish to bring nature close to you, you might wish to read tips for budding gardeners and flower plants that you should get home this winter.
Happy Bird Watching!!!
FAQs – Bird Sanctuaries in Delhi
Here are a few common queries and answers about bird sanctuaries in Delhi and nearby:
What is a Bird Sanctuary?
A bird sanctuary is a protected area, established for the protection of birds. It is a sanctuary for birds that is governed by a committee appointed by the government of the country concerned. It is usually located in a national park or forest.
How Many Bird Sanctuaries Are There in Delhi?
There are a total of 9 bird sanctuaries in Delhi NCR. 4 bird sanctuaries are in proper Delhi and the rest 5 are in NCR.
What is the Famous Bird of Delhi?
The most famous bird of Delhi is the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). It’s also known as the “State Bird of Delhi.” The Indian Peafowl is also one of the most easily spotted birds in Delhi.
What are the Common Birds in Delhi?
The birds in Delhi are very diverse. The common birds found in Delhi are Crow, Indian Peafowl, The House Sparrow, Doves, Rock Pigeon, The Koels, The Blue Jay, etc.
Which Bird Sanctuary is the Most Famous for Birds in India?
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is a popular and largest bird sanctuary in Karnataka. It was established in the 1940s and houses close to 170 bird species including the endangered painted stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, and River Tern.
Which is the Largest Bird Sanctuary in India?
Bharatpur bird sanctuary. It is also known as Keoladeo National park. Located in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, Bharatpur bird sanctuary is the largest bird sanctuary that hosts thousands of birds with over 230 species.
Which is India’s First Bird Sanctuary?
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is located in Tamil Nadu was the first Bird Sanctuary of India. It was established by the British government in 1858 by the order of the Collector of Chengalpattu.
How Many Bird Sanctuaries Are There in India?
India has 72 bird sanctuaries and around 1,210 bird species. Out of which, 9 bird sanctuaries are in Delhi.