Mangalajodi - a birdwatcher's paradise in Odisha

The marshy wetland of Mangalajodi, 70 km from Odisha's capital Bhubaneswar, lines the northern edge of Chilika Lake. Mangalajodi is a birder’s paradise in the truest sense as it plays host to nearly 500,000 wintering migratory birds that seek refuge here. The habitat nurtures and nourishes them for more than four months each year. Mangalajodi is an exemplary village exhibiting the concept of eco-tourism where villagers protect the birds and play host to visiting bird-lovers and tourists. Some of these villagers used to earn their livelihood from poaching birds but after intervention by conservation groups, they have now shifted to serious conservation activities and act as guides for bird enthusiasts. Nearly 115 species of birds are seen in Mangalajodi including Godwits, Sandpipers, Northen Pintails, Ruddy Shelducks, Grebes, Ibises, Plovers, Herons, etc.

Mangalajodi can be easily accessed by road and rail. Regular buses ply Bhubaneswar upto Tangi Bazar of Khurda district from where a a local auto-rickshaw can be hired to reach the tourist centers operated by NGOs and villagers. Alternatively, a car can be hired from Bhubaneswar. There are 3 tourist centers at Mangalajodi, viz. Mangalajodi Eco Tourism Trust, Godwit Ecotourism Trust and Mangalajodi Conservation and Tourism Trust.

These photographs are by Flickr user A R SHAKTI NANDA, an architect who turned to photography. His passion has fuelled his hobby into a second profession. His goal is to project the rich architectural, cultural, and natural biodiversity of Odisha. View more of his photos on Flickr



The <strong>Black-tailed Godwit</strong> (<em>Limosa limosa</em>) is a long-billed shorebird that breeds as far north as Iceland. In winter, it migrates to the Indian subcontinent, Australia and western Africa.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
The Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) is a long-billed shorebird that breeds as far north as Iceland. In winter, it migrates to the Indian subcontinent, Australia and western Africa.
A <strong>Grey Heron</strong> (<em>Ardea cinerea</em>) is a resident wading bird that can be seen in Mangalajodi wetland, Odisha.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is a resident wading bird that can be seen in Mangalajodi wetland, Odisha.
The resident <strong>Pheasant-tailed Jacana</strong> (<em>Hydrophasianus chirurgus</em>) is very attractive in its breeding plumage. Jacanas have large toes that enable them to walk on lilypads.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
The resident Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) is very attractive in its breeding plumage. Jacanas have large toes that enable them to walk on lilypads.
A <strong>Little Cormorant</strong> (<em>Microcarbo niger</em>) tosses a fish before swallowing it whole. Cormorants are accomplished swimmers and dive effortlessly to great depths in the water to catch their prey.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger) tosses a fish before swallowing it whole. Cormorants are accomplished swimmers and dive effortlessly to great depths in the water to catch their prey.
The <strong>Citrine Wagtail</strong> or Yellow-headed Wagtail (<em>Motacilla citreola</em>) is a winter migrant that breeds in north central Asia in summer.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
The Citrine Wagtail or Yellow-headed Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) is a winter migrant that breeds in north central Asia in summer.
When viewed from the back, the <strong>Bluethroat</strong> (<em>Luscinia svecica</em>) looks drab and brown. When it turns to face you, it flashes its stunning bib of blue and orange. It breeds in northern Asia, Europe and Alaska and winters in the Indian subcontinent.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
When viewed from the back, the Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) looks drab and brown. When it turns to face you, it flashes its stunning bib of blue and orange. It breeds in northern Asia, Europe and Alaska and winters in the Indian subcontinent.
Female Northern Pintails (<em>Anas acuta</em>) take off from the water. These migratory ducks breed in the northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America and spend the winter in the warm tropics where food is rich and plentiful.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
Female Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) take off from the water. These migratory ducks breed in the northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America and spend the winter in the warm tropics where food is rich and plentiful.
A <strong>Northern Pintail</strong> (<em>Anas acuta</em>) in the water at Mangalajodi.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) in the water at Mangalajodi.
A <strong>Northern Pintal</strong> (<em>Anas acuta</em>) rises from the water.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A Northern Pintal (Anas acuta) rises from the water.
A <strong>Little Grebe</strong> or Dabchick (<em>Tachybaptus ruficollis</em>) is a small waterbird that is commonly found in lakes, marshes and large waterbodies. It can dive underwater to catch fish.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A Little Grebe or Dabchick (Tachybaptus ruficollis) is a small waterbird that is commonly found in lakes, marshes and large waterbodies. It can dive underwater to catch fish.
The striking <strong>Purple Swamphen</strong> (<em>Porphyrio porphyrio</em>) is a member of the rail family, a group of birds that inhabit reedy swamps.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
The striking Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is a member of the rail family, a group of birds that inhabit reedy swamps.
A <strong>Red-wattled Lapwing</strong> (<em>Vanellus indicus</em>) in flight. This resident wading bird used to be common around cities but habitat destruction and pollution of waterbodies has pushed it out into relatively undisturbed areas.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) in flight. This resident wading bird used to be common around cities but habitat destruction and pollution of waterbodies has pushed it out into relatively undisturbed areas.
The <strong>Oriental Pratincole</strong> (<em>Glareola maldivarum</em>) is a wader that migrates locally in large numbers.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
The Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) is a wader that migrates locally in large numbers.
A <strong>Jungle Myna</strong> (<em>Acridotheres fuscus</em>) rides a domestic water buffalo in Mangalajodi and leaves a speck of white on its forehead.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus) rides a domestic water buffalo in Mangalajodi and leaves a speck of white on its forehead.
A male <strong>Streaked Weaver</strong> (<em>Ploceus manyar</em>) calls from a reed in Mangalajodi wetland of Odisha. Male weaverbirds build large nests of grass for females to inspect. Females reject several nests until they decide which one they like and mate with the lucky suitor.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A male Streaked Weaver (Ploceus manyar) calls from a reed in Mangalajodi wetland of Odisha. Male weaverbirds build large nests of grass for females to inspect. Females reject several nests until they decide which one they like and mate with the lucky suitor.
The female <strong>Streaked Weaver</strong> (<em>Ploceus manyar</em>) might look drab but she is a cautious and highly choosy bride. The brightly coloured male lavishes all his attention on her.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
The female Streaked Weaver (Ploceus manyar) might look drab but she is a cautious and highly choosy bride. The brightly coloured male lavishes all his attention on her.
Migratory <strong>Ruddy Shelducks</strong> (<em>Tadorna ferruginea</em>), also known as Brahminy Ducks, rise from the water in Mangalajodi, Odisha.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
Migratory Ruddy Shelducks (Tadorna ferruginea), also known as Brahminy Ducks, rise from the water in Mangalajodi, Odisha.
A <strong>Glossy Ibis</strong> (<em>Plegadis falcinellus</em>) is a medium-sized wading bird that inhabits both dry and wet fields in the vicinity of waterbodies. Its curved bill is well suited for digging in the earth.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a medium-sized wading bird that inhabits both dry and wet fields in the vicinity of waterbodies. Its curved bill is well suited for digging in the earth.
<strong>Whiskered Terns</strong> (<em>Chlidonias hybridus</em>) are commonly found in coastal areas but in winter they often fly inland over large rivers and water bodies.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
Whiskered Terns (Chlidonias hybridus) are commonly found in coastal areas but in winter they often fly inland over large rivers and water bodies.
A <strong>White-throated Kingfisher</strong> or White-breasted Kingfisher (<em>Halcyon smyrnensis</em>) rests on a fence. These common birds adapt well to urban areas, too.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A White-throated Kingfisher or White-breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) rests on a fence. These common birds adapt well to urban areas, too.
The <strong>Pied Kingfisher</strong> (<em>Ceryle rudis</em>) is an attractive member of its family that inhabits swamps, lakes and marshes. It can also be seen near coastal backwaters.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) is an attractive member of its family that inhabits swamps, lakes and marshes. It can also be seen near coastal backwaters.
The <strong>Common Kingfisher</strong> (<em>Alcedo atthis</em>) is not so common any more as waterbodies and streams become more polluted.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
The Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) is not so common any more as waterbodies and streams become more polluted.
<strong>Bronze-winged Jacana</strong> (<em>Metopidius indicus</em>) is a resident bird at Mangalajodi wetland, 70 km from Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus) is a resident bird at Mangalajodi wetland, 70 km from Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
The <strong>Jacobin Cuckoo</strong>, also known as Pied Cuckoo, or Pied Crested Cuckoo (<em>Clamator jacobinus</em>), is seasonally migrant in India. Its presence is believed to herald the onset of monsoon. In Indian mythology and literature, it is known as papiha.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
The Jacobin Cuckoo, also known as Pied Cuckoo, or Pied Crested Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus), is seasonally migrant in India. Its presence is believed to herald the onset of monsoon. In Indian mythology and literature, it is known as papiha.
A graceful <strong>Purple Heron</strong> (<em>Ardea purpurea</em>) in Mangalajodi wetland. A resident in India, it is also found in Europe and Africa.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
A graceful Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) in Mangalajodi wetland. A resident in India, it is also found in Europe and Africa.
It's not only birds that live in Mangalajodi. This <strong>Indian Cobra</strong> (<em>Naja naja</em>) spreads its hood out in a threat gesture.
Travel Mangalajodi Orissa Odisha Bird Watching Photography Flickr
It's not only birds that live in Mangalajodi. This Indian Cobra (Naja naja) spreads its hood out in a threat gesture.

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