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Grey Heron



Fishing Eagle

Steppe Eagle

Himalayan Griffon

Bearded Vulture



Brahminy Duck

Ladakh has a great diversity of birds, both resident and migratory birds. Some 225 different species of birds have been recorded in Ladakh. In the mountains one can see Chukor Partridge, Kestrel, Lammergeyer, Himalayan griffin vultures and also the occasional golden eagle. Of the migratory birds the black-necked is one of the rarest species found in the Changthang Lakes. Other birds include the Bar –headed Goose, Tibetan Snowcock , Brahminy Duck etc....

Common Name : Dove
This is a dusty-plumaged dove. The under parts are grey to pink. There are black and bluish-grey barings on sides of neck. Juvenile is quite different in coloration with grey head and under parts.

Open areas often near cultivated land and orchards.

Distribution in Ladakh
The bird can be sighted around Leh, Nubra and Suru.

Genaral Distrubution

Resident and winter visitor to Himalayas, North-East India, Bangladesh and Peninsular India south to North Karnataka.

Scientific Name : Streptopelia Orientalis Local Name : Kamru, Gondil Size : Body length 33 cm

Common Name : Kestrel
This is a medium-sized falcon with relatively long wings and long but broad tail. The bird soars frequently with tail spread. In flight, wings appear longer and wing-tips are more rounded. Male has grayish head with dark moustachial stripe. Female has diffuse and narrow dark moustachial stripe.

Habitat :
Open country, cultivated land, grassland and semi-desert, in hills and plains and open sub alpine and alpine slopes. Nest is usually in a cliff hole or on a cliff.

Distribution in Ladakh
Wetlands of eastern Ladakh, Mahe, Nyoma, Shey and along Upper Indus Basin.

Genaral Distrubution
Breeding resident in mountains of West Pakistan and Himalayas from North Pakistan east to Bhutan and probably Manipur; also Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Winter visitor throughout most of the subcontinent.

Scientific Name : Falco Tinnunculus
Local Name : Thha
Size : Body length 35 cm

Common Name : Osprey
The Pallas’s Cat resembles a small domestic cat in size. It has a broad head, low forehead, low-set widely parted ears and long thick tail with black tip. Its coat gives frosted appearance due to white tips of its hair. The body is compact with low limbs. The colour of the body is silver grey. The limbs and lower back have black bands. The fur on its under parts and tail is comparatively longer than that on the rest of the body. The cat feeds on small mammals like pika and rodents. It also feeds occasionally on birds. The male is slightly heavier than female. The cat attains sexual maturity afterone year.

Habitat :
It has a long, rather thin wings and comparatively short tail. Fine head is often held downwards and when soaring and gliding wings are sharply bowed. At long range can be mistaken for a large gull.

Distribution in Ladakh
It can be sighted along Upper Indus Basin, Hanle, Chushul and Chumur.

Genaral Distrubution
Breeds in Himalayas, Kashmir, North Uttar Pradesh and Assam. Winters throughout much of the Indian Subcontinent except Central India. In Pakistan the bird is common and a widespread winter visitor throughout the Indus Basin.

Scientific Name : Pandion Haliaetus
Local Name : Nyallak Thawo
Size : Body length 58 cm

Common Name : Fishing Eagle
In flight, the bird soars and glides with comparatively narrow wings and fairly long tail. Adult has white throat and neck and dark brown upper and under wings. Juvenile is different in shape with broader arm and longer tail.

Habitat :
Mainly found large rivers and lakes. Is also found in tidal creeks and mangroves. Feeds mainly on fish and also on water birds such as common coot.

They also prey on cattle when suffi cient wild prey is not available or when they are near human settlements. The hierarchy is maintained by the pack. The animals move over a large territory and the territory is marked by the pack by urine and feces at prominent spots. The whole pack feeds together on the prey. The animal is very shy and secretive and runs away in human presence.

Distribution in Ladakh
The bird can be sighted at Chumur, Hanle, Shey and Stakmo.

Genaral Distrubution
Resident and winter visitor. Mainly found in Pakistan and in India from East Kashmir to North East India. Is also found in south-east Rajasthan, North Madhya Pradesh and south-east Orissa and Central Bangladesh.

Scientific Name : Haliaeetus Leucoryphus
Local Name : Nyallak
Size : Body length 84 cm

Common Name : Steppe Eagle
Appears heavier in body than some of the other similar species. Wings are broader and longer and primary tips more pronounced and spread. In flight, tail appears slightly longer and protruding, head and neck are more pronounced.

Habitat :
Wooded hills, larger lakes and open country.

Distribution in Ladakh
It can be sighted at Chumur, Hanle, Shey and Stakmo.

Genaral Distrubution
Winter visitor mainly from Pakistan east to North East India and south to Bangladesh, central Maharashtra, south Madhya Pradesh and south Orissa.

Scientific Name : Aquila Nipalensis
Local Name : Lhak or Rewgyab
Size : Body length 80 cm

Common Name : Himalayan Griffon
Adult has a larger and broader body and slightly longer tail. Wing coverts and body are pale whitish in coloration. Legs and feet are pinkish with dark claws. In flight, wings are held flatter with markedly upturned fingers.

Habitat :
Mountains, especially long routes well used by pack animals. The bird nests singly or sometimes in small colonies. Nest is a larger platform of sticks and rubbish placed on a cliff.

Distribution in Ladakh
Tsokar, Tsomoriri, Upper Indus Basin and from Zanskar and Kargil.

Genaral Distrubution
Resident of the Himalayas from North Pakistan East to West Arunachal Pradesh.

Scientific Name : Gyps Himalayensis
Local Name : Thankar
Size : Body length 125 cm

Common Name : Bearded Vulture
This is a huge sized bird. Has long pointed wings with small but well protruding head and a large wedge-shaped tail. In appearance, is quite unlike any other raptor. Adult hasyellowish or white head, black mask and beard. Juvenile is mainly blackish-brown with grey face.

Habitat :
Towns, villages and city outskirts, especially around rubbish dumps and slaughter houses.

Distribution in Ladakh
It can be sighted at Hanle, Chushul, Tsokar, Puga, Lungparma, Nyoma, Loma and Suru.

Genaral Distrubution
Widespread resident with some altitudinal movements. Mainly found in Pakistan, Nepal and India except the north-east and parts of south-east.

Scientific Name : Gypaetus Barbatus
Local Name : Skiaklag, Tangcar
Size : Body length 115 cm

Common Name : Phalarope
A small phalarope with slender longish black bill. Legs and toes are black in colour. Compared to male, the female is longer in size. Female has a dark grey crown and a small white patch above the eye.

Habitat :
In the wetland of eastern Ladakh, upper Indus Basin and Shey marshes.

Distribution in Ladakh
An uncommon winter migrant. Breeds in Arctic and winters in tropical seas across the world including South-East Asia. Most migrate over sea, few also migrate over land.

Genaral Distrubution
Widespread resident with some altitudinal movements. Mainly found in Pakistan, Nepal and India except the north-east and parts of south-east.

Scientific Name : Phalaropus Lobatus
Local Name : Jingmar
Size : Body length 19 cm

Common Name : Wigeon
It is a medium sized duck with neck and small bill. Male has a distinctive creamy patch on forehead with rusty-red head and neck. Female is similar to male in eclipse but much duller. Bill is red with white tip and legs are orange in colour.

Habitat :
Freshwater shallow marshes, lakes, open reservoirs, rivers and pools. Avoid deep water overgrown with vegetation.

Distribution in Ladakh
On very few occasions bird can be sighted at Tsokar and at Shey marshes.

Genaral Distrubution
Breeds across North Asia and moves to East Asia, northern part of South Asia, northern part of South-East Asia in non-breeding period.

Scientific Name : Anas Penelope
Local Name : Gobrakpa
Size : Body length 48 cm

Common Name : Brahminy Duck
This is a large rusty orange duck with pale head and neck. During breeding season male develops a narrow black collar on lower neck whereas female is without black collar. During the non-breeding season the collar is absent in male.

Habitat :
The duck breeds around high altitude brackish water lakes in Ladakh, Sikkim and Nepal. The bird is a common winter visitor in lakes, marshes and rivers with extensive shingle banks. The nest is made in a carefully selected hole in a cliff close to water source. The Ruddy Shelduck is most alert of all the birds. Whenever present in a group of birds, this is the first one to raise an alarm. Both the parents contribute equally in raising the chicks.

Distribution in Ladakh
OThe bird can be easily sighted around high altitude wetlands in eastern part of Ladakh and in the upper Indus basin from Likche to Demchok.

Genaral Distrubution
Breeds in Central Asia and then moves to South Asia and Northern part of South-East Asia in non-breeding period. The breeding range is from Morocco to Central Siberia and North China. In India the bird breeds around high altitude wetlands in eastern Ladakh and Sikkim.

Scientific Name : Tadorna Ferruginea
Local Name : Muru
Size : Body length 64 cm

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