The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are one of the seven union territories of India, are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. The northern part is Andaman Islands and the southern part is Nicobar islands, with the capital of Port Blair located in the Andaman Islands.
Many tourists flock these islands for the pristine natural beauty and for some of the finest beaches in Asia. These Islands also host some of the rarest bird species found in the country.
The group also boasts of over 240 species of birds which include a hundred endemic species and very rare birds like Narkondam Hornbill and Nicobar Megapod.
The chief birding hotspots in these islands are located in the largest of all, the Andman Island. Mount Harriet, Chidia Tapu, Port Blair, Sipighat, Baratang and Ross Island are very productive areas which can produce endemics like Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Drongo, Andaman Crake, Collared Kingfisher, Brown Coucal, Andaman Teal, White-bellied Sea Eagle and Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, just to mention the easier ones.Nicobar Islands are home to Nicobar Megapod, Nicobar Pegion, Nicobar Serpant Eagle, Olive-backed Sunbird and also visiting Chinese Sparrowhawks, Chinese Pond Herons and Pacific Reef Egret.
The Nicobar group of islands are not open for birding to all and special permits have to be obtained even for Indians to visit them. Non Indians are not allowed in Nicobar.
When to go
November to February is the best time for birding around the Islands. During winters, the birding activity is at its peak.
One of the most beautiful hornbills found in India, the Narcondam hornbill, is endemic to Narcondam Island in this region. Access to Narcondam Island is restricted by the Indian Army currently.