Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon in Rajaji National Park

Jungle Safari Rajaji National Park, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, is a haven for birdwatchers. From soaring raptors to vibrant songbirds, the park boasts a diverse avian population. But for some birders, a particular emerald jewel takes center stage – the green pigeon (Treron bicinctus).

This shy and secretive bird, with its vibrant orange breast contrasting its emerald green plumage, is a sight to behold. However, spotting one can be a challenge. Fear not, fellow bird enthusiasts! This guide will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to increase your chances of encountering this elusive beauty.

Why the Challenge?

Several factors contribute to the difficulty of spotting the Orange-breasted green pigeon

  • Habitat – These pigeons favor dense forests with abundant fruit trees. While Rajaji offers various habitats, locating them within the vast park can be tricky.
  • Behavior – Green pigeons are notoriously shy. They dwell within the thick foliage of the forest canopy, making visual identification a test of patience and observation skills.
  • Rarity – Compared to other park residents, these green jewels are uncommon. Sightings, even in suitable areas, are not guaranteed.

Tips for Success

Don’t let the challenges deter you! Here are some strategies to enhance your chances

  • Guided Tours – Consider booking a birdwatching tour with an experienced guide. Their knowledge of the park’s birdlife and hidden birding spots can be invaluable.
  • Early Bird Gets the Bird – Birds are most active during the dawn and sunrise hours. Plan your birding session accordingly to maximize your window of opportunity.
  • The Power of Listening – Orange-breasted green pigeons have a distinct cooing call. Familiarize yourself with the sound beforehand. Hearing their call might lead you to their location within the foliage.
  • Fruity Focus – These birds are primarily frugivorous (fruit-eating). Focus your search on areas with fruiting trees, especially native fig trees, a favorite food source.
  • Gear Up – Pack binoculars with good magnification (8×42 or higher) for a clear view. A spotting scope (optional) can be helpful for distant sightings.
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon

Alternative Birding Delights Orange-breasted green pigeon

While the green pigeon might be the ultimate prize, Rajaji National Park offers a treasure trove of other birds to discover

  • The Majestic Hornbills – Spot the impressive Oriental Pied Hornbill and the even larger Great Hornbill with their prominent casques.
  • Soaring Giants – Look for the Himalayan Griffon Vulture, its massive wingspan dominating the skies.
  • Predatory Perfection – Watch the Crested Serpent Eagle perched on branches, surveying the landscape for prey.
  • A Splash of Color – The vibrant plumage of the Indian Peafowl, particularly the male’s elaborate courtship displays, is a breathtaking sight.

While the Green-Pigeon holds a special allure for birdwatchers, Rajaji National Park boasts a vibrant tapestry of avian life waiting to be discovered. This blog post delves deeper into the park’s diverse birdlife, offering insights into other fascinating species you might encounter:

Habitat Haven Orange-breasted green pigeon

Rajaji’s varied landscapes create a haven for a wide range of birds. From the open grasslands teeming with ground-dwelling birds to the lush sal forests echoing with the calls of arboreal residents, each habitat offers unique birding opportunities:

Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon
  • Grasslands – Keep an eye out for the Indian Courser, a long-legged bird perfectly adapted for running across the open plains. Spot the brightly colored Indian Roller, perched on prominent points, or witness the mesmerizing display of the Asian Houbara Bustard, a large, ground-dwelling bird known for its elaborate courtship dances.
  • Sal Forests – These dry deciduous forests are home to a variety of birds, including the charismatic Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, its drumming echoing through the trees. Look for the flash of blue of the Himalayan Pied Kingfisher, perched on branches overlooking water bodies. The melodious song of the Oriental Magpie-Robin might serenade you as you explore the forest trails.
  • Riverine Forests – The Ganges River and its tributaries create a vital corridor for birds. Look for the stately Grey-headed Fish Eagle soaring above the water, searching for prey. Spot the vibrant plumage of the Kingfisher species, like the Common Kingfisher or the White-throated Kingfisher, perched on branches along the riverbank.

Seasonal Specialties green pigeon

The birdlife of Rajaji National Park transforms throughout the year. Here are some seasonal highlights

  • Winter – During the winter months (November to February), migratory birds flock to Rajaji, offering an opportunity to spot birds like the Siberian Stonechat, the Common Teal, and the Greater Flamingo (in specific areas).
  • Summer – The breeding season (March to June) brings a burst of activity. Witness the vibrant breeding plumage of resident birds and listen to their territorial calls.
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon

Beyond Birding Orange-breasted green pigeon

Rajaji National Park offers more than just birdwatching. Here are some additional elements to enrich your experience

  • Wildlife Encounters – Keep an eye out for other park residents, including elephants, tigers, deer, and reptiles, adding to the overall wildlife viewing experience.
  • Nature Photography – Capture the stunning scenery and the beauty of the birds you encounter with your camera.
  • Jungle Safaris – Embark on a jeep safari or an elephant safari for a unique perspective of the park’s diverse landscapes and wildlife.

A Responsible Birder’s Code

Remember, responsible birding practices are crucial

  • Minimize disturbance – Maintain a safe distance from birds to avoid disrupting their natural behavior.
  • Avoid using bird calls – Playing recorded bird calls can be stressful for birds.
  • Leave no trace – Dispose of waste responsibly and minimize your impact on the environment.
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon

Embrace the Symphony of Nature

Rajaji National Park is a symphony of nature, where the vibrant calls of birds intertwine with the rustling leaves and the gurgling river. Whether you encounter the elusive green pigeon or discover the dazzling array of other avian residents, Rajaji offers an unforgettable birding adventure. So, pack your binoculars, embrace the spirit of exploration, and get ready to be captivated by the rich tapestry of birdlife in this magnificent national park.

Embrace the Adventure Orange-breasted green pigeon

Remember, birdwatching is about the journey, not just the destination. Rajaji National Park provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the diverse avian life it shelters. Even if the Orange-breasted green pigeon remains elusive, the thrill of the chase, the beauty of the park, and the encounters with other feathered wonders will make your birding adventure unforgettable. So, grab your binoculars, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on a quest to spot the emerald jewel of Rajaji National Park!


Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon

Spotting the Orange-breasted green pigeon in Rajaji National Park is a rewarding and memorable experience showcasing this pristine wilderness’s rich biodiversity. With its striking coloration and elusive nature, this beautiful bird symbolizes the park’s natural splendor and the importance of conservation efforts to protect it. So, pack your binoculars, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on a birdwatching adventure in Rajaji National Park—you never know what avian wonders await you amidst the treetops. You can also read our blog about Rock Pigeons.

FAQs About Spotting the Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon

1. What is the best time to spot Orange-breasted green pigeons in Rajaji National Park?

The best time to spot Orange-breasted green pigeons in Rajaji National Park is during the early morning or late afternoon when they are most active. During these times, they are often seen foraging for food or perching in trees.

2. Where is the best place to look for Orange-breasted green pigeons in the park?

Orange-breasted green pigeons are primarily found in wooded areas and forest edges where they can feed on fruits and berries. Look for them in areas with dense vegetation and fruit-bearing trees such as figs, berries, or other fruiting plants.

3. What do Orange-breasted green pigeons eat, and how can I use this information to find them?

Orange-breasted Green-Pigeons primarily feed on fruits and berries. By identifying fruiting trees within the park, such as fig trees or other fruit-bearing plants, you can increase your chances of spotting them as they come to feed.

4. What does the Orange-breasted green pigeon look like, and how can I distinguish it from other birds?

The Orange-breasted green pigeon is characterized by its striking orange breast and green upperparts. It has a relatively small size compared to other pigeons and doves, and its coloration makes it stand out against the foliage. Binoculars or a spotting scope can help observe its features from a distance.

5. Are there any specific calls or behaviors I should listen to or watch for when trying to spot Orange-breasted green pigeons?

Orange-breasted green pigeons are not particularly vocal, but you can listen for soft cooing sounds or the rustling of leaves as they move through the trees. Watch for their distinctive flight pattern and scan the tree canopy for flashes of orange and green.

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