Monday, September 6, 2010

A Visit to a Walk-in Aviary in Simla, Himachal Pradesh

White-creasted Kaleej, male in Himalaya Bird Park, Simla, H.P., India. Photograph by Anita Chauhan, 2010.

Not all of us have the time or the opportunity to visit the national parks for enjoying the wildlife sightings. Therefore zoos, safaris, and bird-parks serve as important means of education and recreation.

The Himalaya Bird Park, situated at a convinient walk from the Mall, Simla, offers visitors a unique experience of viewing rare pheasants up-close. One would require months of preparation, patience and pain-staking trek through mountainous terrain to get a glimpse of these pheasants. But at the bird-park, one can walk slowly amongst the Cheer, Monals, Red Junglefowl and Kaleejs, and photograph them.
Red Junglefowl, male and female, Himalaya Bird Park, Simla. Photograph by Anita Chauhan, 2010.
The birds kept at the park have been hatched at the other pheasantries in the state or have been rescued from the wild.
Himalayan Monal, male, at the Himalaya Bird Park, Simla. Photograph by Anita Chauhan, 2010.

So, if you are heading to the hill station the next summer, do spend some time at the Himalaya Bird Park. It will also be useful to read up on the distribution and habits of the seven species of pheasants that occur in Himachal Pradesh. The following website will be useful -

An update: The Himalaya Bird Park, a small walk-in aviary will be closed down in a few years time. The small size of the aviary does not conform to the new 'zoo standards' developed by the Central Zoo Authority. However, visitors can view many species of pheasants at the Kufri Nature Park that is located near Shimla.

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