A bird's eye view
As we head into the season of avian activity, gear up to explore Mumbai's winged diversity with this illustrated map
Mumbai boasts of nearly a quarter of the country's avifauna and yet, locals without an eye for or awareness about birdwatching attribute this diversity to the outlines of birds featured in a primary school colouring book — the crow, pigeon, eagle or sparrow.
With the migratory bird season starting this month, and extending till February, here are nine places in and around the city that are hotspots for birds with habitats ranging from hilly forests to wetlands. And in Karnala, Vasai, Uran, Dombivali and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park you get to spot over 200 species.
Asif Khan, orinthologist
Know your birds
Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide by Pamela C Rasmussen
Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp
The Book of Indian Birds by Salim Ali
City Forest: Mumbai's National Park by Sunjoy Monga
The place Bird to watch out for
Sanjay Gandhi National Park Yellow-throated sparrow
Maharashtra Nature Park Asian paradise flycatcher
Saatpool, Dombivli Bronze-winged Jacana
Bhandup Pumping Station Spot-billed duck
Panje, Uran Northern pintail
Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre Greater / Lesser Flamingo
Arnala Beach, Vasai Eurasian Marsh Harrier
Karnala Bird Sanctuary Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher
Nerul Flamingo Point Eurasian Spoonbill
The number of species that can be spotted in Panje, Uran. In addition to Panje, avifauna can also be found in the neighbouring Jasai
Four ways to enjoy outdoors
Mind on migration
Watch Witness migratory birds including the Kentish Plover, Eurasian Curlew and Common Redshank.
On December 8, 8 am to 10.30 am
At Bhandup Pumping Station, Bhandup West.
Cost Rs 500 to Rs 600
Top it all off
Walk Hear the chirping of birds while wading through rapid streams during a forest walk at Yeoor Hills.
On November 17, 7 am
At Sanjay Gandhi National Park, main entrance, Thane West.
Log on to insider.in
Cost Rs 1199
Identify the wings
Climb Learn field techniques for bird identification at a workshop comprising a talk and field trip.
On December 28, 3.30 pm and December 29, 6 am
At Hornbill House, near Kala Ghoda.
Cost Rs 2,500 to Rs 2,700
Afloat with flamingos
Safari Spot thousands of Lesser Flamingos during a boat safari and photograph them, too.
On December 22, 8 am
At Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre, Airoli.
Cost Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200
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