12 Most Fascinating Birds of Ranthambore National Park

spectacular birds of ranthambore

Ranthambore National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with more than 300 species of native and migratory birds. In this article, you will learn about some of the most spectacular birds of Ranthambore that we could manage to spot here.

From waterfowls like brahminy duck (ruddy shelduck) to wading birds like woolly-necked Stork, and ground-living birds like grey francolin, the park boasts an astonishing variety of birds.

If you are planning your trip soon, this travel guide with the best things to do in Ranthambore can help.

Without further ado, let us get on with this list of 12 birds to look for in Ranthambore.

A Quick Glance Through

  1. Painted Sandgrouse
  2. Brahminy Duck
  3. Oriental Darter
  4. Grey Francolin
  5. Peacock
  6. White-throated Kingfisher
  7. Painted Stork
  8. Rufous Treepie
  9. Black-rumped Flameback
  10. Woolly-necked Stork
  11. Black-winged Stilt
  12. Knob-billed Duck

Birds of Ranthambore

1. Painted Sandgrouse

The painted sandgrouse is a resident bird of Ranthambore National Park. It is usually found in dry grassland, scrubland, and rocky areas.

painted sandgrouse - one of the most beautiful birds of Ranthambore
Painted Sandgrouse

The male has an orangish-red bill and a striking black bar across the forehead. The chest and abdomen areas are pinkish brown and there are black and white stripes on the back.

Because of this unique colour scheme, it can camouflage very well against natural landscapes.

Female birds are slightly smaller in size and duller in appearance.

2. Brahminy Duck

Brahminy duck (ruddy shelduck), a migratory species to Ranthambore, is a brightly-coloured waterfowl. They arrive here from colder regions like Europe and Central Asia.

brahminy duck pair in ranthambore national park
A Pair of Brahminy Ducks (Ruddy Shelduck)

Dazzling orange-brown plumage with a shimmering green stripe on the wings, the brahminy duck is one of the most beautiful birds of Ranthambore National Park.

The tail feathers and the rump are black. Although males and females look similar, the male ducks feature a narrow black ring around the neck.

The male and female partners have a strong pair bond. These birds are commonly spotted in pairs or small flocks.

3. Oriental Darter

The oriental darter is an aquatic bird found mainly near freshwater lakes and rivers.

When swimming, its entire body remains underwater other than the head and neck that are seen above the water.

oriental darter
Oriental Darter (Snakebird) Perched on A Tree Branch

It is popularly also known as snakebird because of its long and gracefully thin neck.

The adult bird has a sandy brown neck and gleaming black plumage with silvery streaks on the wings.

With its sharp bill, the snakebird can catch and easily spear its prey (fish) before swallowing it whole.

It is indeed one of the most fascinating water birds of Ranthambore National Park.

4. Grey Francolin

The Grey Francolin is primarily a ground-dwelling bird and can fly short distances if required. It is one of the most commonly sighted birds in Ranthambore.

grey francolin
Grey Francolin

The typical habitat of Grey Francolin includes dry grassland and scrub forest.

It is also known by the colloquial name of teetar due to the loud and peculiar mating call it makes.

This plump bird has an orangish brown face and barring throughout the body.

Male and female grey francolin look quite similar. The only identifiable difference is the spurs on the legs of the male bird.

5. Peacock

This list of the most fascinating birds of Ranthambore cannot be complete without a mention of the elegant and vivacious bird ‘peacock’.

The male peafowl is known as peacock whereas the female is referred to as peahen.

peacock - one of the most beautiful birds of Ranthambore
A Solitary Peacock Casually Strolling Near A Lake

Known for its gorgeous plumage, the peacock is a ground-dwelling bird and can fly short distances if it needs to. It has a shiny blue neck and a beautiful fan-like crest on the head.

The peacock is so well linked to Indian culture and traditions that it was declared India’s national bird in 1963.

Also Read: 10 Best Places To See Wild Peacocks in India.

6. White-throated Kingfisher

Turquoise blue back and tail, chestnut-brown head and lower abdomen, pure-white throat, and a pointed dark-red bill combine to make it one of the prettiest birds of Ranthambore.

white-throated kingfisher - one of the most gorgeous birds of Ranthambore
White-throated Kingfisher

It is a resident bird species and is usually seen solitary perched on tree tops and poles.

The white-throated kingfisher feeds on insects, earthworms, small rodents, and occasionally on fish as well.

7. Painted Stork

The painted stork is largely a non-migratory bird. But it makes local movements sometimes to seek food or favourable weather conditions.

The adult has a shiny white body with deep black stripes on its wings. One of the most striking features is its glossy pink-tipped tertials.

painted stork - one of the most spectacular birds of ranthambore
A Painted Stork Wading Through Water

Its long orangish bill with a curved tip is just perfect to pick up the prey.

Males are generally larger in size than females. They usually forage in groups and can be seen mostly near water bodies.

8. Rufous Treepie

Rufous Treepie is the most conspicuous bird in Ranthambore forest. It doesn’t need much effort to spot a rufous treepie bird here.

You are bound to encounter them during your safari if there are eatables in your hand. They are very clever and opportunistic feeders.

rufous treepie
Rufous Treepie

This bird species is considered an omnivore and belongs to the crow family. It has an orangish-brown lower back and underparts, a black head and nape, and a long tail.

9. Black-rumped Flameback

Commonly known as the woodpecker (precisely, lesser golden-backed woodpecker), this bird can often be seen hopping around the tree branches and pecking at the bark.

black-rumped flameback - one of the prettiest birds of Ranthambore
Black-rumped Flameback (Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker)

The black-rumped flameback feeds mainly on insects, flower nectar, fruits, and sometimes on tree sap.

The adult has a golden-yellow back, black rump and throat, and white underparts with black stripes.

black-rumped flameback - pecking tree bark in Ranthmabore forest
Just Pecking At A Tree Trunk

Their long and stiff tail supports in balancing against the tree trunks when climbing or digging to catch the prey.

10. Woolly-necked Stork

The Woolly-necked Stork is a large tree-nesting waterbird. It is one of the most elegant birds of Ranthambore with its brownish-black body plumage and contrasting white fluffy neck.

woolly necked stork - one of the most fascinating birds of Ranthambore
Woolly-necked Stork

It has a deeply forked white tail, red legs, and a long grey bill. Males and females look alike.

This bird species is usually found near rivers, lakes, marshes, and swampland.

It eats a wide range of prey that includes insects, small reptiles, amphibians, and marine creatures like crabs and molluscs.

11. Black-winged Stilt

A wader bird with long pink legs, the black-winged stilt is commonly seen near ponds, shallow lakes, and mud lands.

It has a whitish head with an iridescent black crown and a long slender bill.

The wings and the back are black too while the rest of the body is conspicuously white.

black-winged stilt
A Group of Black-winged Stilts

Black-winged stilt is generally a resident bird though some populations migrate to India in winter months.

It feeds mainly on insects, worms, fish, and other aquatic creatures like shrimp, molluscs.

12. Knob-billed Duck

Also known as the comb duck, this duck species is easily identifiable with a very prominent knob on its bill.

Females lack this knob (comb) and are generally smaller in size.

Adults have a white head with black speckled markings and a glossy black back with purplish green sheen.

knob-billed duck
Knob-billed Ducks

The knob-billed duck is one of the most graceful water birds of Ranthambore.

They are usually seen in small groups near water bodies such as ponds, rivers lakes, and freshwater swamps.

These birds feed mainly on seeds and aquatic plants, and occasionally on small fish and amphibians.

Further Reading

Check out some of these posts to discover more about India’s plentiful wildlife.

15 of The Most Beautiful Birds in India.

10 Best Places To See Snow Leopards in India.

India’s Best National Parks To Sight Tigers.

15 Best Wildlife Destinations To Spot Elephants in India.

Over To You Now…

That concludes our list of the 12 most fascinating birds of Ranthambore National Park.

Have you spotted some of these birds during your wildlife trips? Let us know in the comments below.

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