Goa has more than 250 variety of birds which includes common hawk cuckoos, grey bellied cuckoos, drongo cuckoos, Indian swift let, crested tree swift, chestnut headed flame back, brown capped pygmy woodpecker, heart spotted woodpecker, Indian pitta, Dusky crag martin, wire tailed swallows, Eurasian golden and black hooded orioles, ashy and white bellied bronzed spangled and greater racket tailed drongo, bar winged flycatcher shrike, large and common wood shrikes, black headed cuckoo shrike, golden fronted leaf bird, Asian fairy bluebird etc.
It is a treat for those who do not only wish to relax on the beaches but would like to travel around the interiors of Goa villages in search of some of the colorful species of birds exclusively found in this state. The most remarkable feature of Goa that attracts several birdwatchers is that it provides the right opportunity to observe coastal migratory bird life along with the resident birds. This allows the birdwatcher to observe large number of species of birds with a very small radius.
The best time to venture out for bird watching in Goa is early in the morning and in the evenings till sunset. The beaches are the ideal areas to observe birds like Brahminy Kites; White bellied Sea Eagle and various species of gulls, plovers and terns and numerous species of migratory ducks and geese.
Apart from these, the other species of birds that birdwatchers can observe are the Steppe Eagle, Lesser adjutant Stork, Siberian Stone Chat and all the usual terrestrial birds observed in the woodlands and forests.
It is necessary that birdwatchers have a good pair of binoculars, a field guide on birds and if possible a bird expert who can spot and identify the birds immediately. Some of the best places for bird watching in Goa include the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Chapora Estuary, Mollem Wildlife Sanctuary and the Castle rock area of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary.
Baga – Baga is a beach side small village located 18 kms northwest of capital city, Panjim. Birders can sight Asian Koel, Greater Coucal, spotted owlet, white cheeked barbet, Rufus treepie, small minivit, common iora, blue winged leaf bird, red whiskered bulbul, Asian brown flycatcher, Asian paradise fly catcher, common tailor bird, oriental magpie robin and many more.
Bondla – Bondla is small place with the area of 8kms at the foot of Western Ghats. The habitats are largely mixed forest with undulating terrains. This small sanctuary is accessible and harbors good number of birds at the east coast. Bondla is 52 kms east of Panaji. This small sanctuary provides the habitats for Oriental Honey Buzzards, crested Goshawk, Black eagles, Crested Serpent Eagles, Indian peafowl, Pompadour Green Pigeonand many more.
Carambolim Lake – This excellent place of birding is commonly known as Old Goa which is 10 kms east of Panaji. There is a great marshy lake at Carambolim which is approx 2 kms southeast of Old Goa. This place is a good mixture of scrub, wasteland along with the trees on eastern side, paddy fields to the south where as woodland at the west.
Goa is one of the most beautiful states in India and has an unbelievable avian diversity, which would captivate any birdwatcher.