Bird-watching tourism appears to be growing rapidly amongst Western travelers to India and numerous studies have confirmed that it can substantially enhance local economies. Surveys found that the diversity of birds and calls of birds constituted a major component of visitor satisfaction, and estimated that visitors, both domestic and international to this wilderness tourism and has much potential for growth. Many tour operators agree that their largest markets were associated with international travelers, predominantly Australians.
Bird watching is about being there at the right time, with the right people, to know in advance what to expect. India is home to 1200 bird species that is 14% of the bird population. With an abundance of over 500 species of birds, South India is quickly becoming a favorite birding hot spot among birders and nature lovers from across the globe. Kerala offers the highest bird presence of 124 species recorded.
Kollam in Kerala has understood the practices, requirements and opinions of traveling bird-watchers, both domestic and international. Tour guides from Kollam are knowledgeable experts on local birds ensuring you a great birding experience, exciting bird sightings, and unique way to see India. Munroe Island and Ashtamudi Lake offers birding experience in Kollam. The backwaters of Ashtamudi Lake beckon tourists to enjoy birding experience on tastefully decorated houseboats. The main attractions are local birds like the waterfowl, Cormorant cuckoo, egret, heron and the water duck, as well as the migratory Siberian cranes. White necked stork can see during October-May. Lesser Pied King fisher is another common bird in the lake. African lovebirds can also be spotted. Great Indian Hornbill is seen in evergreen areas. The Woodpecker is the resident of the deciduous forest. Brahminy Kite is seen singly or in pairs. Flocks of parrots hovering in the paddy fields especially those fields with rice stalks in the bloom are spectacular. You can also watch the black birds in groups as a blanket sweeping across the sky in and around Vembanad Lake.
The mystifying collection of unique birds in Kollam offers broods of the highly elusive nocturnal forest bird, the Great Eared Nightjar, spotted in Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in Kollam. Other species hererecorded were the Painted Bush Quail, Sri Lankan Frogmouth, White-Bellied Black Woodpecker, Great Indian Pied Hornbill, Black Baza, Blue-Bearded Bee-eater, Red-Winged Crested Cuckoo, Great-eared Nightjar, Lesser Fishing Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Booted Warbler, Blue Rock Thrush, Malay Bittern, Brown Fish Owl, Black-capped Kingfisher, Thick-billed Warbler, Speckled Piculet, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, and the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon.
The Tytlers Warbler, a rather uncommon winter visitor to Kerala, was recorded at Pandimotta. Of the 16 endemic species of the Western Ghats, 13 were recorded during the bird survey. Important birds recorded during surveys occasionally were the Osprey, Lesser Coucal, Long-tailed Nightjar, Grey Heron, and the Hair Crested Drongo.