Birds Of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been major attaractions for Bird watcher and ornithologists baecuse of its rich,unique
and endemic biodiversity.There are about 270 species and sub species are reported from these islands,106 of them are endemic
to these islands.Two areas in Andaman and Nicobar Ilsands are declared as
Endemic bird Areas in the world(out of 218).
Andaman Wood Pigeon (Columba palumboides)
About the size of domestic pigeons but with longer tails.Uppar parts black with purplish green,head and neck pale grey
in male ,dark grey in female,rump slaty,lower parts from neck to vent light slaty grey,
base of the bill pink meging into creamy white towards lips.
Resident and Endemic to Andamnan and Nicobar islands lives in dense
broadleaved evergreen forests.Voic-a deep "whoom".
Andaman Treepie ( Dendrocitta bayleyi)
A small trepie having a blue-grey head and neck(with blacker face) meging into dull rugous-brown mantle and bright ufous underparts
,has blackish wings with white patch at the base of rewinges and blackish tail.
A fairly common resident and endemic bird to Andaman Islands.
Found in pairs,family parties or flocks upto 20 birds in tall tress and desnse forests, feeds on fruits,small mammals
and reptiles.Breeds from March to May.Builds a filmy nests 5 m above the ground in a small thickly foliated forests.
Voice is harsh metallic tone.
Nicobar Megapode(or Nicobar srubfowl)
This bird is about the size of a small domestic hen with large feet and shot tail.Its length is about 43 cms.The uppar parts
are rufesents brown with an olive wash.Head is ash grey and the sides of the head have bare patches of red skin.
The chin and throat are pale grey and remaining underparts are greyish brown.
The nicobar megapode is essentailly a bird of tropical mosit dense forest along the sea shores.
Generally seen in apirs.The birds are nocturnal and feeds on sanils,worms,insects and vegetable matters.
Breeding continues throughout the year.Eggs are incubated in mounds made up of sands and rotten vegetation.
A mound is about 2 m high and upto 10 m in circumference.No incubation is done by hen and the haet generated by
the decomposing vegetative matters helps in incubating the eggs.An endemic and endangered birds which is found in Nicobar
group of islands.
In andaman and Nicobar Islands,four species of teals are reported.
1)Lessr Whistling Teal(Dendrocygna),Common Teal(Anas crecca), Grey Teal (Anas gibberifrons) and cotton teal (Nettapus
Sunda Teal or Grey Teal(Anas gibberifrons)
Commonly known as andaman teal,it is a small duck,mostly brown in color,37-47 cm in length.
Bill is grey,sometimes mixed with pink.The throat,the neck and the area around the tael are white.
Found in fresh water pools,amrshes,tidal creeks and paddy-fields.Usally found in flocks of 20-30.It feeds mainly during
night and the food consists of tender shootsof paddy and other crops,grains,worms etc.
nests in natural hollows in tree trunk but nests are also found on the garsses by the side of pools and creeks.
It is resident of Andaman Group of Islands.
Once common but the population has declined recently.
Area to watch inculde Photonala in RutLand,John Lawrence,Jackson creek,Henry lawrence.
Andaman Black Woodpecker (Drycopus hodgei)
A large size brownish black woodpecker.Male has scarlet moustachial stripe,forhead,crown,
nad chest while feamle has scarlet restricted to hind crown and crest.Found un boles of large trees in evergreen forests.
Food consists of grubs of wood-boring beetles and termites.Lives in pairs and lays two
eggs in hollow of rotten tree trunk.Breeding january to March.Voice has loud chattering "Kuk-kuk-kuk' ending in whistling 'kui'.
Narcodum Hornbill (Aceros narcondami or Rhyticerious)
A small hornbill (45 cm -60 cm) with green-glossed blck body and white tail.Mail has rufous haed and neck,yellowish white bill
with crimson at base nad crimson patches on cheeks,forehaed,crown nad nuchal crest.In female ,crimson confined to
The Narcondum Hornbill is endemic to Andaman and is restricted to Narcondum island in Bay of Beangal.
A bird of tropical rain forest,it is found in small flock of three to four,sitting in a single tall tree.Food includes
Brown Coucal ( Andaman crow pheasant -Centropus andamanensis
The only coucal found in the Andamans.The adult is about 48 cm in length and resembles a jungle crow with longer and
broder tail.It has striking chestnut wings but the head and body are fawn brown with darker brown rump nad tail.
An endemic species in Andaman Islands.Commonly seen in mangrove swamps,light forests and along the long hedge-lines of
cultivated fields.Food includes all kinds of insects,small frogs and lizards.
Breeds from february to July,lay 2-3 eggs in dome-shaped nest composed of twigs,grass nad leaves.
Eight species of Kingfisher are found in Andaman Islands.Namely
1) Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
2) Blue-eared kingfisher (A . meninting)
3) Three toed Kingfisher ( Ceyx erithacus)
4) Storkbilled Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
5) Whitecollared kingfisher( Halcyon cholris)
6) Ruddy Kingfisher (H. coromanda)
7) Black capped Kingfisher (H. pileata)
8) Whitebreasted Kingfisher (H. smyrnesis)
Whitebreasted Kingfisher (H. smyrnesis)
A medium sized (48) coastal kingfisher with stout mainly blackish bill,blue-green crown and ear-coverts with
short wwhite supercillium,white collar,blue green mantle na dblue wings and tail,with white underparts.Sub species found in Andaman gropu
(T. c. davisoni) differs slighlty with subspecies found in Nicobar gruop(T.c occippitalis)
Commonly seen in coastal mangrove areas.Food consists of insects,lizards,frogs and fishes.
Breeds in summer and excavates its nest hole in a tree trunk,sometimes in mud nests of tree trunk or in a tremaite mound.
Clutch consists of 3-4 eggs.
Four beatiful spsecies of parakeet are reported to breed in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
1) Redbreasted parakeet (Psittacula alexandri)
2) Nicobar parakeet (P. caniceps)
3) Alexandrine parakeet (P.eupatria)
4) Redcheecked parakeet (P.logicauda)
Nicobar parakeet (P. caniceps)
Bird with a long tailed yellowish green parakeet with grey haed,forehaed black continued backward as a broad stripe to each
eye,blackish flight feathers with bluish edges,bill red,black below in male and black both abovea nd below in females.
The species is endemic to Nicobar Group of Islands.Found in tall forested ares,
feeds on fruits of Pandanus,wild barriers,nuts etc ,Voice a continous screeching note.
Long Tailed Parakeet or Red-cheecked parakeet (Psittacula logicauda)
The bird is of the size of Myna with a long pointed tail.The adult male has pinkish red cheeks contrasting with dark green crown,
a black band streets from nostril to eyes;nape yellowish green;upper greyish to bluish.Female has dull
red cheeks and uniformly green above.
Species is widely distributed in Andaman and Nicobar Islands with racial varaiation.Feed on fruits,grains,found in forests,
mangrove,cultivated areas,gardens.Breeds in January-February.
Glossy-Swiftlet or White-Bellied Swiftlet(Collocalia esculeuta)
A small size swiftlet with glossy blue-black upper parts, square-ended tail, white belly contrasting with dark grey throat and breast; tail unforked; bill and legs black.
A common resident of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, found flying freely in large flocks near houses, buildings, jetties etc. Breeds from December to April, lays two white eggs in each nest.
Edible-Nest Swiftlet (Collocalia fuciphaga)
A layer size(12cm) swiftlet with noticable indentation to tail, upper parts blackish brown, darkest on crown, wings and forked tail, throat silvery grey, rest of the under parts greyish brown.
The sub-species c.f. inexpectata is endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. A common resident which keeps in large flocks, prefers coast and areas near human habitation. Hawks over mangrove swamps in the day and roosts in caves and cliff fissures in night. Breeds in march-April commonly in caves. Nests are made entirely of saliva and have high commercial value due to medicinal properties. Nest is also used to make soup.
Andaman Hawk Owl(Ninox affinis)
A small-size(28 cm in length) hawk-like owl with rufous spotting on white underparts, pale-brown upperparts with distinct barred black tail.
An endemic resident of Andaman and Nicobar Islands; found commonly in mangrove swamps, creeks and lagoons; perches on tall trees in fields and forest clearing; hawks insects at dusk.
Pigeons and Doves:
In all, eight species of pigeons and doves are recorded here.
They include greyfronted green pigeon(Treon pompadora), Green Imperial pigeon(Ducula aenea), Pied Imperial Pigeon(D.bicolor), Andaman wood pigeon(Columba palumbodies), Andaman Cuckoo Dove(Macropygia rufipennis), Red turtle dove(Streptopelia tanquebarica), Emarald dove(Chalcophaps indica) and Nicobar pigeon(Caloenas nicobarica).
Green Imperial Pigeon(Ducula aenea)
A very large pigeon with a uniform dark green tail and maroon undertail coverts, constrasting with and appering darker than grey breast and belly.
Two sub-species found D.a. andamanica is endemic to Andaman Islands and D.a.nicobarica is endemic to Nicobar Islands; commonly seen in forests, keep singly or in pairs, and gathers in small flocks when feeding on fruiting trees. nests of loose twigs are built fairly high up on tall trees; the clutch consists of two eggs.
Nicobar Pigeon(Caloenas nicobarica)
A stout short-tailed pigeon with long blue-black, metallic green and copper neck hackles; tail and its coverts white; underparts slaty grey.
Andaman Islands and D.a.nicobarca is endemic to Nicobar Islands; commonly seen in forests, keep singly or in pairs, and gathers in small flocks when feeding on fruiting tree. Nests of loose twigs are built fairly high up to tall trees; the clutch consists of two eggs.
Two sub-species found D.a. andamanica is endemic to
It is smaller than Curlew(N.arquata), with shorter bill, often with more marked downward kink; has prominent supercilium and crown-stripe, contrsting with blackish eye-stripe and sides to crown. Upper tail coverts white, streaked blackish; chin, throat and abdomen white; bill long and strongly decurved, horny brown legs and feet green-grey.
The nominate sub-species N.p.phaeopus visits Narcondum island in winter. Habitat includes mainly inter-tidal coastal mudflats and forages in mixed flocks of curlew and other waders.
Ruddy Turnstone(Arenaria interpres)
A stout dampy wader with black bill and short orange legs. Feathers fringed pale brown; Tail dark brown with whitish tip. Foreneck and sides of breast brown, rest of underparts white with a dark interrupted pectoral band.
Commonly seen during winter along the coast, keeps in small parties; feeds on small crabs and worms.
Ten species of terns reported to be found in these islands include Whitewinged Black tern(Childonias leucopterus), Gullbilled tern(Gelochelidon nilotica), Brownwinged tern(Sterna anaethetus), Indain Lesser tern(S.bengalensis),Large crested tern(S.bergii), Rosy tern(S.dougallii), Sooty tern(S.fuscata), Blacknaped tern(S.sumatrana), Noddy tern(Anous stolidus) and White capped noddy(A.tenuirostris).
Black-Naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana)
A maritime bird of about 35 cm length; underpart grey; head and neck white with a black spot infront of the eye and a blank band round the nape; tail long and forked; centarl tail feathers grey, streamers white; underparts white suffused with pink bill black with yellow tip; legs and feet black.
The nominate subspecies S.s.sumatrana is found in these Islands as a resident. Hanitat includes inshore water around islands; favours lagoons.
Forages in flocks on marine fishes; breeds on rocky islands between May and July.
Common eagle specilees found here include Creasted Hawk-eagle(Spizaetus cirrhatus), White-bellied sea eagle(Haliaeetus leucogaster), Crested serpent eagle(Spilornis cheela), Andaman dark serpent eagle(S.elgini) and Great nicobar serpant eagle(Spilornis klossi)
White-Bellied Sea-Eagle(Haliaeetus leucogaster)
A heavy built large eagle with head, neck and underparts, grey upperparts, white underwing-coverts contrasting with black rewiges. Seen commonly in these islands singly or in pairs along the coasts; feeds on fishes, snakes and other creatures; nests from octobers to February, favours same nesting site year after year; voice-a distinctive 'kak-kak-kak'
Andaman dark Serpent Eagle(Spilornis Elgini)
A sepentacle about 50 cms in length with dark brown underparts which are spotted with white. Above dark chocolate brown with short brown crest; wings long and pointed; bill pale horny to bluish horny. An endemic resident species limited to Andaman Islands. Inhabit open forest areas and feeds on rats, lizards and snakes.
Black Baza(Indian Black Crested Baza-Avicda Leuphotes)
Adult is largely black with long crest and with broad white band accross upper breast.Upper parts glossy back marked with chest nut and white blatches. Wings area braod and rounded and tail moderately long. Of the three sub species found here, A.e.Andamanica is endemic in Andaman islands. In frequently mate with singlely in dense forest, wheeling over tree tops, Sallying after insects feeds on large insects like lizards, frog, small bird and mammals.
Asian fairy Blue Birds(Irenapualla)
Small bird about 25 cms length. Male is stricking with glistering voilet blue crown and upper parts contrating with velvety black face, underparts, wings and tails.
Female is entirely dull blue green. The nominate sub species I.p.puella occuers in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a resident. Commonly found around fruiting trees particularly wild fig, moves in flocks in small parties, feed on wild fruits and barries. Breeding seasons ranges from April to June, Lays 2 eggs in twigs nests
Andaman Drongo(Dicrurus Andamanensis)
A glossy black bird with blue green metalic sheen above, dull velvety black below, tail long deeply forked; the outer feathers curving markedly upward. Endemic in the Andaman group of Islands. Commonly found in the forested area.Breeds during April - may and lays 2 -3 eggs in shallow cup shaped twig nests, Voice a long 'tseep'
The Birds play very important roles in maintaining natures delicate balance. They are important source of Seed disparsal of floral species, help in polination, act as scavenger and help mankind by devouring harmfull insects.
For Further Details Contact:
The Principal of Chief Conservator of forests
The Chief Wild life Warden
Van Sadan, HADDO, P. O
Port Blair 744102
Andaman and Nicobar Islands.