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Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary has become a major hub for birdies in Delhi and the surrounding areas. It sits in the Gurgaon - Farukh Nagar Road in Gurgaon district of Haryana, 40 kms from Delhi and 15 km from Gurgaon covering a total area of 359 acres.

Thanks to the effort of Peter Jackson, a journalist turned ornithologist, the place was declared as a Bird Sanctuary in 1971 and later upgraded to the status of National Park in 1991. This former marshy land now has a thriving vegetative cover by artificially planting several trees popular with the birds such as acacia nilotica, acacia tortilis, beris and neem and through the construction of mounds.

The vegetation of the sanctuary is of tropical and dry deciduous forests characterised by trees like babul savannah grasses, acacia, jamun and banyans dotting its landscape.

Some of the common resident birds found at Sultanpur are common hoopoe, paddyfield pipit, purple sunbird, little cormorant, Indian cormorant, common spoonbill, gray francolin, black francolin, Indian roller, White-throated kingfisher, spotbill, Painted stork, Black-necked stork, White ibis, Black-headed ibis, Little egret, Great egret, Cattle egret, Crested lark, Red-vented bulbul, Rose-ringed parakeet, Red-wattled lapwing, Shikra, Eurasian collared dove, Red-collared dove, Laughing dove, Spotted owlet, Rock pigeon, Magpie robin, Greater coucal, Weaver bird, Bank Mynah, Common Mynah and Green Bee-eater.

Migratory birds: Over 100 migratory bird species from as far as Siberia and Europe visit the sanctuary which includes siberian crane, greater flamingo, ruff, black-winged stilt, common teal, common greenshank, northern pintail, yellow wagtail, white wagtail, northern shoveler, rosy pelican, spot-billed pelican, gadwall, wood sandpiper, spotted sandpiper, eurasian wigeon, black-tailed godwit, spotted redshank, starling, bluethroat and long-billed pipit. In the summer, about 11 species of migratory birds also come here such as asian koel, black-crowned night heron, grey heron, eurasian golden oriole, comb duck, blue-cheeked bee-eater, blue-tailed bee-eater and cuckoos.

Animals such as Striped Hyena, Leopard, Nilgai, Sambar, Blackbuck, Hog Deer, Four Horned Antelope, Caracal, Wild Dog, Rattle/Honey Badger, Mongoose, Hedgehog, Wild Pig, Wild Cat, Indian Porcupine, etc are seen here.

Best Time To Visit: The months from October to June is the best time to visit the sanctuary.

Visitors Infrastructure: There are four watchtowers and a number of hideouts inside the park. The sanctuary also has a small museum and library. There is a resort near the entrance for those who want to stay overnight. It takes about 2 hrs to get around the sanctuary by foot.

Getting There: The nearest airport and railhead is at Delhi. From there, taxis and buses for Gurgaon are available.

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