How wonderful are those mornings when one gets up by the enchanting jingles of delightful birds perched on your window, rather than the usual screeching of the digital alarms! Read more to know about this.

How peaceful and dreamy are those moments where one watches the birds simply fly away into the horizon, without having a care in the world!

garden birds of India

“I value my garden more for being full of birds than of cherries,

and very happily would give them fruits for their songs.” 

Just like a flower has no purpose without butterflies, similarly a garden has no meaning without birds. Some of the common garden birds of India, which visit our backyards and lift our spirits with their joyful customs, are listed below.

However, the once commonly sighted birds, which we used to wildly chase around,  are becoming increasingly difficult to spot and hear in the hustle-bustle of the modern times. So do your best to preserve the rich diversity of birds that we are so generously gifted with.

1. Asian Koel (Kokila)

Since time immemorial, our poems and songs have admired this black angel for its melodious soothing calls, resonating from far away trees. Despite their popularly recognizable and repetitive ‘ku..oo ku..oo” calls during their mating season, Asian Koels are a very shy and difficult to spot birds.

Common garden birds of India

Asian Koel- male

  • Scientific name: Eudynamys scolopaceus
  • Distribution: Asian Koels are widespread across South and South-east Asia, found in open forests and parks.
  • Diet: mainly fruits and berries.

Listen to its sound by clicking here.

Koel is a parasitic bird since it lays its eggs in the nest of a familiar looking host-bird, the House Crow. The adult Koel or the earlier-to-hatch baby Koel remove some eggs of the host Crow, thereby ensuring their survival as well as keeping the population of the Crow in check.

2. House Sparrow (Gauraiyya)

House sparrows are probably the most beloved birds for a gardener, since without their playing around, a garden looks barren and lifeless. These adorable little creatures with their cute habits are always a treat to watch, with their hopping around for food and flying out of sight within a split-second.

Garden birds of India

House Sparrow- female (left), male (right)

  • Scientific name: Passer domesticus
  • Distribution: It is the most widely distributed bird in the world, found close to human habitations.
  • Diet: mainly eats seeds, grains and weeds; but also feeds on insects as well.

Listen to its sound by clicking here.

House sparrows have known to be one of our earliest companions, ever since human beings started gardening about 10,000 years back. They are very social birds, often feeding, bathing and even singing in flocks. Did you know that sparrows, besides bathing in water, also takes dust baths? They throw dust and soil all over their body, in the same manner like it bathes in water.

3. Rose-ringed Parakeet (Tota)

Another delightfully magnificent bird for your garden, Rose-ringed Parakeets get its name from the rose coloured ring encircling their neck. These early morning visitors are sure to wake you up from your slumber with their loud screeching calls. Almost completely green in color, these elegant birds are admired for their striking red beaks and bluish-green tails.

Garden birds of India

Rose-ringed parakeet

  • Scientific name: Psittacula krameri
  • Distribution: Widespread from South Asia to Central Africa and introduced in Europe and North America, they are commonly found in urban parks and gardens, cultivated areas and open forests.
  • Diet: being herbivorous, they feed largely on buds, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries and seeds.

Listen to its sound by clicking here.

It is a pleasant sight to watch these playful birds quarrelling with each other over food, by scaring other competitors away by poking their beaks and vigorously flapping their large wings. Popular among birds for their unique ability to speak, rose-ringed Parakeets have sadly been hunted in large numbers for their demand in the pet-industry.

4. Jungle Babbler (Sat bhai)

Popularly known as the “Seven sisters”, since they often visit in a group of six to ten birds, these birds are notorious for disturbing our quiet afternoon nap, hence appropriately being named as Babbler (meaning noisy). However, these bold chattering flock of birds are very useful in garden, as they till the top-soil with their yellow beaks while searching for some worms to eat.

common garden birds of india

Jungle Babbler

  • Scientific name: Turdoides striata
  • Distribution: widespread resident of the Indian subcontinent, commonly found in gardens, cities and open forests.
  • Diet: includes mainly insects and sometimes snakes, but also eats grains, nectar and berries.

Listen to its sound by clicking here.

Although taken for granted, admire the funny vocal Babblers the next time they visit your garden or a balcony, as they will always keep your plants company, even when no other bird is around.

5. Black Drongo (Buchanga)

Easy to identify by its sharp silhouette of uniquely forked-tail, Black Drongo is a beautiful bird to gaze at, especially during daylight when the sunlight shines through its glossy pitch-black body. These royal looking birds are quite intelligent, as they are known to imitate the calls of predatory birds like Shikra, to scare away birds with similar diet like Myna, in order to steal and eat their prey.

Garden birds of India

Black Drongo

  • Scientific name: Dicrurus macrocercus
  • Distribution: South and South-east Asia, commonly found in fields, urban habitats and open grasslands.
  • Diet: includes mainly insects such as grasshopper, bees, wasps, ants, dragonflies, caterpillar, etc.

Listen to its sound by clicking here.

Black Drongo is also known as “King Crow” because of its aggressive behaviour towards birds much larger in size, which encourages smaller birds like doves, pigeons, babblers and especially bulbuls to nest close to this natural guardian. Since they feed on a large number of insects, Black Drongos are a favourite of farmers as these birds serve the ecological role of being a natural pesticide for their crops.

Do you wish to invite these cheerful avian guests into your backyard? Then read “Garden accessories for birds” to know more about alluring birds. Just one advice before you get too attached to lovable birds:

free bird

“God loved the birds and invented trees. 

Man loved the birds and invented cages.” 

Something to think about, yeah? So let your birds fly high in the sky, because love is not about possessing someone, it’s about letting them be free.

(This list is Part I in the series of “Common Garden birds of India”.)

Happy Gardening

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