Uttar Pradesh
International Bird Festival 2016

An initiative taken by the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri. Akhilesh Yadav, the UP Bird Festival is now in its second year and the excitement does not cease. The UP Ecotourism wing under the aegis of UP Forest Corporation is the organizing body for the event.

About International Bird Festival

The Uttar Pradesh International Bird Festival highlights the unique biodiversity of Uttar Pradesh. Being held on the grounds of Chambal Safari Lodge, a mere 45 minutes drive from Taj Mahal, this 3-day festival from 2-4 December, 2016 celebrates the many vibrant facets of birding in Uttar Pradesh, India, whilst raising awareness and mobilizing support for bird/wildlife conservation.
A-one-of-its-kind initiative in India, the Uttar Pradesh International Bird Festival, provides an excellent platform for sensitizing the local, national and international community whilst reaching out to them as stakeholders in conservation and protection.

The festival brings together eminent ornithologists, researchers and bird enthusiasts from across the world to discuss issues related to bird/wildlife conservation, environment protection, and habitat management. The festival in 2015, had international (USA, UK, Australia, Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Sri Lanka, Nepal) and national level ornithologists, photographers, birding enthusiasts, and wildlife artists. It attracted visitors from local schools, colleges, institutions, nature and wildlife conservation agencies.

UP International Bird Festival is a unique forum for bird watching enthusiasts. The festival this year promises to be even more interesting, with an exciting line-up of talks, presentations, interactive workshops, field visits, and the opportunity to rub shoulders with the who’s-who of the international birding community. If you are a bird and wildlife enthusiast, look no further.

This is the destination for you!

  • CM Shri Akhilesh Yadav unvieling - Birds of U.P

  • Bird Festival Cultural performance

  • Bird Festival Photo Exhibition

  • Bird Festival - Field Trip

  • Release of ringed bird by CM Shri Akhilesh Yadav

  • Bird Festival - Sarus Village

Global Alignment

Bird Life International is the world's largest nature conservation Partnership. Together there are Bird Life Partners worldwide from 117 countries/territories. An MOU has been signed between "Bird Life International and Government of Uttar Pradesh" last year. Bird Life International’s unique local-to-global approach delivers high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people.
  • Lamp Lighting by CM Shri Akhilesh Yadav

  • Bird Festival - Peacock Dance

  • CM Shri Akhilesh Yadav addressing the Audience

  • Expert Presentations - Jim Lawrence

  • Pete Marshal presenting painting to CM Shri Akhilesh Yadav

  • Artist Workshop by Jackie Garner

  • Signing of MOU between Bird Life International and Government of UP

  • Sarus Village - Dinning & Meeting Tent

Birding in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh, the largest state in India is bestowed with unique natural resources to cater for both resident and migratory birds besides a wide variety of animals and plants. It is one of the finest states in India in terms of variety of its bird life. The rivers like Ganges, Yamuna, Rapti and Gandak which originate in the Himalayas traverse longest distance of their journey in the state. The meandering river system, the ox bow lakes formed and other wetlands provide a magnificent natural habitat for birds. Apart from this the sub-montane regions between Himalayas and plains, the alluvial Gangetic plains and the southern hills and plateaus provide the best ecotones to sustain the birdlife. It is an ode to the tolerance and conservation consciousness of the people of the state that such diverse plant and animal populations continue to coexist with humans. Migrating birds flying over 5000 kilometres, above 8500 metres high from regions like Europe, Tibet, Siberia and China make wetlands of Uttar Pradesh their home during months starting from October to February. During this period, the wetlands are completely covered with the large numbers of migratory birds in search of food. It is estimated that out of 1300 species of birds found in India, Uttar Pradesh caters to over 500 species. 13 species, categorised as globally threatened and near threatened, like Slender Billed Vulture, Bengal Florican, Black Bellied Tern, Sarus Crane, Indian Skimmer, Black Necked Stork etc., find hospitable habitat conditions in Uttar Pradesh.

International Bird Festival 2016 Program Details

We are busy planning a long list of events and lectures for you to enjoy at Uttar Pradesh International Bird Festival 2016. There will be talks by prominent ornithologists from around the globe. Workshops by professional photographers, art shows by renowned artists and a bird ringing station. Field trips accompanied by trained naturalists conversant in the local biodiversity, are another highlight of the festival - river safari in the National Chambal Sanctuary, jeep safari for Black-buck, visit to the Sarus Crane wetland areas, nature walks..... There is something for everyone to get excited about.

2nd December 2016 :

SESSION I: 8:30am - 10:00am

  • 8:30am - 8:50am - The Perils and Pitfalls of Birding by Bill Thompson
  • 8:50am - 9:10am - Tales from the Concrete Jungles by BDavid Lindo
  • 9:10am - 9:30am - Ladakh Birding Adventures by Otto Pfister
  • 9:30am - 10:00am - Q & A session
  • 10:00am - 10:20am - Break

SESSION II: 10:20am - 01:10pm

  • 10:20am - 10:40am - Champions of the Flyway (Bird Event in Israel) by Jonathan Meyrav
  • 10:40am - 11:00am - Extremadura: Europe’s Bird of Prey Paradise by Vanessa Palacious
  • 11:00am - 11:20am - Sri Lanka’s Megafauna and Superrich wildlife by Gehan De Silva Wijeyeratne
  • 11:20am - 11:40 – Break
  • 11:40am - 12:00pm - Around the world with BBC Natural History Unit by Stephen Moss
  • 12:00am - 12:20pm - Let’s Bird Fair by Tim Appleton
  • 12:20am - 1:00pm - Not just bird watching by Michael Chung Lu
  • 12:40pm - 1:10pm - Q & A session
  • 01:10pm - 2:00pm - Lunch
  • 2:30pm - 6:00pm – Three Parallel Workshop Sessions
    • Outdoor Birding
    • Bird Banding by BNHS
    • Bird Sketching by Ashley Boon

3rd December 2016 :

SESSION III: 8:30am-10:00am

  • 8:30am - 8:50am - Identification of Gulls by Clive Harris
  • 8:50am - 9:10am - More Curious Tales about Warblers by Martin Kelsey
  • 9:10am - 9:30am - Conservation of critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper on Asian Flyway: from the Arctic to the Bay of Bengal by Evgeny Syroechkovskiy
  • 9:30am - 10:00am - Q & A session
  • 10:00am - 10:20am - Break

3rd December 2016 :

SESSION IV: 10:20am - 01:10pm

  • 10:20 - 10:40 - Assessing the status of birds in India, including preparation of state checklists by Tim Inskipp
  • 10:40am - 11:00am - Indian Skimmer by Panchami Ukil
  • 11:00am - 11:20am - The Big Year by Shashank Dalvi
  • 11:20am - 11:40 – Break
  • 11:40am - 12:00pm - Saving the Amur Falcon by Ramki Sreenivasan
  • 12:00noon - 12:20pm - Stepping Down from the Sand- Status of Riverine Nesting Birds by Parveen Shaikh
  • 12:20 pm - 1:00pm - Presentation on Vultures by Vibhu Prakash.
    Panel Discussion on Vultures by Amita Kanauji, Krishna P Bhusal
  • 1:00pm - 1:20pm - Q & A session
  • 01:20pm - 2:00 pm - Lunch
  • 2:30pm-6:00pm - Three Parallel Workshop Sessions
    • Outdoor Birding
    • Bird Banding by BNHS
    • Bird Photography by Craig Jones

4th December 2016 :

SESSION V: 8:30am - 10:00am

  • 8:30am - 8:50am Effect of Climate Change on Himalayan Birds by Carol Inskipp
  • 8:50am - 9:10am - New and Potential Additions to India’s Avifauna by Pamela Rasmussen
  • 9:10am - 9:30am - Threatened grassland birds of Brahmaputra and Gangetic Floodplains by Dr. Asad Rahmani
  • 9:30am -10:00am - Q & A Session
  • 10:00am - 10:20am - Break

SESSION VI: 10:20am - 01:10pm

  • 10:20am - 10:40am - Tales of Remarkable Birds by Dominic Couzens
  • 10:40am - 11:00am - Birds of Dhanauri Wetlands, UP by Anand S Arya
  • 11:00am - 11:20am - The Business of Birding – and its critical role in nature Conservation by Julian Mathews
  • 11:20am -11:40am - Q & A session
  • 11:40-12:00pm – Break
  • 12:00 noon -12:20pm - Binoculars- What’s best for you? By Gerold Dobler
  • 12:20pm -1:30pm - Bird Quiz. Quiz Master- Bikram Grewal
  • 01:30pm - 2:30pm - Lunch
  • 2:30pm - 6:00pm - Three Parallel Workshop Sessions
    • Outdoor Birding
    • Bird Banding by BNHS
    • Digiscoping by Nanette

Birding Destination During The Uttar Pradesh International Bird Festival

2nd - 4th December 2016

Lion Safari

National Chambal Sanctuary

Black Buck Safari

Etawah Wetlands

Important Bird Areas of Uttar Pradesh

The state has three "Bird Circuits" to encourage national as well as international bird tourism. A network of Forest Rest Houses, private hotels and motels, secure transport and a well spread road network along with professional tour operators offer convenient access to the protected areas.

Sandi Wildlife Sanctuary

Sandi Bird Sanctuary is located at a distance of 19 km on Hardoi-Sandi Road. Asian Openbills, Painted Storks and the 3 species of Egrets make a big heronry here during the rainy season.

Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

Dudhwa National park, Katerniyaghat Wildlife Sanctuary and Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary together make up the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. It's one of the finest parks in India and is the only home to the One-Horned Rhinoceros in Northern India besides Swamp Deer as also the Royal Bengal Tiger. It is also the habitat of Swamp Francolin, Spoonbill, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Kingfishers, Barbets, Vultures, Pied Kingfisher and Bengal Florican.

Saman Wildlife Sanctuary

Situated in western Uttar Pradesh, tourists here can sight Sarus Crane, Greater Spotted Eagle, Common Teal, Lesser Whistling Duck, Black-necked Stork, Northern Pintail, and Great White Pelican.

Patna Wildlife Sanctuary

Home to over 200 species of migratory birds, it is in the Etah district in Uttar Pradesh. Winter has the small lake dotted with waterfowl. Baer's Duck is often found here.

Lakhbahoshi Bird Sanctuary

The bird sanctuary is made up of two shallow jheels near the villages of Lakh and Bahosi (about 4 kms apart). The winter sees the lakes full of migratory waterfowls, Painted Storks, Pelicans, Herons, Pochards.

National Chambal Sanctuary

Set up in 1979 to revive the near-extinct Gharial, the National Chambal Sanctuary is a 400 km riverine sanctuary with a range of habitats that provide shelter to an amazing abundance of biodiversity. The sanctuary, an hours’ drive from Agra, is home to thriving populations of the fabled Gharial, Gangetic dolphin, turtles, and over 300 species of resident & migratory birds, including large nesting colonies of the Indian Skimmer.

Suhaildev Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in Shravasti, Balrampur and Gonda districts of Uttar Pradesh, the sanctuary is home to Sal, Sheesham, Sagaun (Teak) and a host of diversified tree species. The fauna found in the sanctuary includes leopard, tiger, bear, boar and variety of forest birds.

Sursarovar Wildlife Sanctuary

A large artificial wetland at just 20 kilometres from Agra it boasts of endangered Dartars, Painted Stork and Oriental White Ibis besides visitors like Asian Openbill-Stork, Gadwall, Common Teal, Common Ringed Plover and River Lapwing.

Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary

Situated on the Highway between Lucknow & Kanpur it's easily accessible. It is one of the important areas for the henrys that come up during the monsoon besides Cotton Teal, Pintail, Greylag Goose, Gadwall, Shoveller and Mallard.

Okhla Bird Sanctuary

It is home to an astounding over 300 bird species in its area. Leucistic Coot, Common Coots are occasional visitors along with vulnerable bird species from the family of Baikal Teal, Baer's Pochard, Sarus Crane, Sociable Lapwing and Indian Skimmer.

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Photo courtesy: Ashish Dwivedi, Nelson George, Prakhar Krishan, Neeraj Mishra, Praveen Rao Koli, Sanjay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ashok Kashyap and Dr. N.K.Pandey