North Bengal is a treasure trove of birds, thus making it a paradise for birdwatchers and photographers. Though the subject is vast and the number of birds found here requires a full directory to be filled, some popular and rare ones do deserve mention and discussion as they draw bird watchers from across the globe.

The photos above are of birds found mainly in the hill areas of North Bengal. Places like Rongtong, Kurseong, Dow Hill, Lepcha Jagat, Latpanchar, Lava, Rishab, Kalimpong, Jhandi, Gorubathan, Jhalong, Fulbari and many more are home to these beautiful species.

All photos are taken by Bipul Nandi, a birdwatcher and a professional photographer.

“It has been almost 35 years that I am into birds. Earlier, I used to collect stamps of birds, but from 2012 I started clicking their pictures. Sometimes it is a tiring process to sit all day long just to click one picture of a species, but at the end of the day when the bird gets into my camera, all the tiredness vanishes like camphor,” Mr Nandi says.

Here’s a list of some of the birds that make it a treat for birdwatchers:

Sultan Tit (Size 20.5 cm)

It is a large Bulbul-like song bird and is very popular among bird watchers. It is found in the Himalayas and Northeast Indian hills.

Striated Bulbul (20-23)

It is a very popular green Bulbul found in the Himalayas and NE Indian hill range.

Black Throated Parrot Bill (10 cm) 

It is a large-headed tiny bill parrot from the Himalayas and NE Indian hills.

Green Cochoa (28 cm)

It is very rare, and is in the ‘Red List’ of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is also found in the Himalayas and NE Indian hills.

White-browed Piculet(9-10 cm)

It is range restricted to the Himalayas and NE India. Tiny sized and tailless appearance, the smallest woodpecker of the Indian subcontinent and in the world as well.

Long tailed Broadbill (28 cm) 

It is a long-tailed forest broadbill bird. It depends on insects and is found in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Scarlet Minivet(22-23cm)

One of the most beautiful birds found in the Asian subcontinent and also very common in north Bengal hills. The male of the species has scarlet red underparts and the female has yellow underparts.

Jerdon’s Baza (46 cm) 

It is found in South-east Asia, and also in the Himalayas and Hills of north Bengal. It inhabits foothills of the Terai and is rarer in evergreen forests and tea estates.

Great Hornbill (95-100 cm)

It is one of the largest members of the hornbill family. It is found in the Himalayas, hills of NE India and Western Ghats.

Green Billed Malkoha (51cm)

It is a species of non-parasitic cuckoo found in the Himalayas, NE and East India. Large and long-tailed bird with greyish-green colour with lime-green bill.