Sultanpur sanctuary
 
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Sultanpur National Park & Bird Sanctuary is located in Gurgaon district of Haryana, 50 km from Delhi and 15 km from Gurgaon on the Gurgaon - Farukh Nagar Road. This park, ideal for birding and bird watchers, is best visited in winters when a large number of migratory birds come here. In old maps of Gurgaon, this area is shown as marshy land where water accumulates during rains and dries out in summer. A number of organisms like crustaceans, fish and insects thrive during floods which attract a number of birds to this area. It's potential as a bird preserve, was first identified by an enthusiastic bird watcher, Mr. Peter Jackson. He convinced Mrs Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, of the need for giving protection to this area (Read this in Peter Jackson's own words). Keeping in view it's potential, the area covering 359 acres was declared a Bird Sanctuary in 1971 and was upgraded to the status of National Park in 1991 by the Haryana Government.

The Department of Wild Life Preservation, Haryana has carried out a number of development works like construction of mounds, and widening of paths, four tube wells have also been dug. Efforts are being made to improve vegetation in area by planting more trees. Trees which are popular with the birds like Acacia Nilotica, Acacia Tortilis, Beris and Neem have been planted. For the benefit of bird lovers certain facilities have been provided like an education and interpretation center, a library as well as films, slides and binoculars. To facilitate bird watching, there are four watch towers (machans) located at different points. In addition there is parking and facilities for toilets and drinking water. For birders and tourists, interested in staying for the night, there is a resort just near the entrance providing food and lodging.

The educational Interpretation Center has over 70 attractive color photographs of different species of birds, varying from 16"x16" to 38"x40". The photographs are accompanied with informative write-ups about birds which will be of interest to bird lovers. The Haryana Wild Life Department has dedicated to the memory of Dr. Salim Ali, an internationally renowned Ornithologist, a room which contains his bust, photographs, write ups, and certain of his personal effects.

In Haryana there are more than 450 species of Birds and out of those about 250 have been recorded in the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. Some of them are resident, while others come from distant regions like Siberia, Europe and Afghanistan.

Some of the resident birds: Common Hoopoe, Paddyfield Pipit, Purple Sunbird, Little Cormorant, Eurasian Thick-knee, Gray Francolin, Black Francolin, Indian Roller, White-throated Kingfisher, Spot billed Duck, Painted Stork, White Ibis, Black headed Ibis, Little Egret, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, India 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.

Every year over a 100 migratory bird species arrive here in search of feeding grounds and to pass the winter. In winter the sanctuary provides a picturesque panorama of migratory birds such as Siberian Cranes, Greater Flamingo, Ruff, Black winged Stilt, Common Teal, Common Greenshank, Northern Pintail, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Northern Shoveler, Rosy Pelican, Gadwall, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Eurasian Wigeon, Black tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Starling, Bluethroat and Long billed Pipit. In summer about 11 species of migratory birds such as Asian Koel, Black crowned Night Heron, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Comb duck, Blue cheeked Bee Eater, Blue-tailed Bee-Eater and Cuckoos come here.

A leisurely walk along the perimeter of the whole park can take up to two hours. In addition to hundreds of species of birds, antelopes like Neelgai (Blue Bull) and Black Buck are also seen here.
 




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