Birds Of Bangladesh Essay Topics


Magpie Robin – National Bird of Bangladesh

Each country has a number of national emblems and Bangladesh is no different. The Jackfruit, or Kathal, is considered the national fruit as it is used in traditional cooking and the Water Lily is their national flower, as it can be found in water ways and ponds everywhere in the country. When it comes to the national bird of Bangladesh, a small but distinctive bird has made its way to the top, namely the Magpie Robin. And Bangladesh is proud to have this little bird as a national emblem, as can be seen in monuments and even on its currency.

The Magpie Robin, or the doel as it is often referred to, is a very shy bird that only grows to approximately nineteen centimeters from head to tail. It is mostly known for its melodious call, and also for being one of the numerous shy bird species. Magpie Robins in Bangladesh are therefore only found in the rural areas where it is quieter and they have the freedom to breed without being disturbed by human interference. They are distinctive in their coloring, as the males have black heads, backs, wings and tail with white under parts and a little white plumage on their wings. The females look similar to the males, with the difference being that the females are grayer, with grayish-white under parts. They are also distinct in the fact that they keep their tails up in the air, which moves while they sing. Magpie Robins are able to mimic a variety of bird species calls.

They construct their nests in brushes and shrubs, and quieter regions are more suitable for them. Magpie Robins are insect eaters and can either be seen flying low to the ground or jumping through the forest brush in search of food between the fallen leaves. When visiting the outlying areas of Bangladesh, be sure to keep an eye out for these petite, yet significant birds, as seeing one of the country’s national emblems will be a moment to remember.



magpie robin, national, bird, emblem, jackfruit, water lily


This is a list of the bird species recorded in Bangladesh. The avifauna of Bangladesh include a total of 466 species, of which one has been introduced by humans, and twelve are rare or accidental. Three species listed are extirpated in Bangladesh and are not included in the species count. Thirty-five species are globally threatened.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Bangladesh.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

  • (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Bangladesh
  • (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Bangladesh as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
  • (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Bangladesh although populations exist elsewhere
Table of contents

Non-passerines: Grebes • Storm petrels • Tropicbirds • Boobies and gannets • Cormorants • Darters • Pelicans • Bitterns, herons and egrets • Ibises and spoonbills • Storks • Flamingos • Ducks, geese and swans • Osprey • Hawks, kites and eagles • Caracaras and falcons • Pheasants and partridges • Cranes • Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots • Sungrebe and finfoots • Bustards • Buttonquails • Jacanas • Painted-snipe • Oystercatchers • Avocets and stilts • Stone-curlews • Pratincoles and coursers • Plovers and lapwings • Sandpipers and allies • Skuas and jaegers • Gulls, terns, and skimmers • Sandgrouse • Pigeons and doves • Old World parrots • Cuckoos and anis • Barn owls • Typical owls • Frogmouths • Nightjars • Swifts • Treeswifts • Trogons and quetzals • Kingfishers • Bee-eaters • Typical rollers • Hoopoes • Hornbills • Barbets • Woodpeckers and allies

Passerines: Broadbills • Pittas • Larks • Swallows and martins • Wagtails and pipits • Cuckooshrikes • Bulbuls • Leafbirds • Ioras • Thrushes and allies • Cisticolas and allies • Cettid warblers • Locustellid warblers • Acrocephalid warblers • Phylloscopid warblers • Old World warblers • Old World flycatchers • Fantails • Fairy flycatchers • Monarch flycatchers • Whistlers and allies • Laughingthrushes • Ground babblers • Babblers • Cupwings • Spotted elachura • White-eyes • Vireos • Chickadees and titmice • Nuthatches • Sunbirds and spiderhunters • Flowerpeckers • Old World orioles • Fairy-bluebirds • Shrikes • Woodshrikes • Drongos • Woodswallows • Crows, jays, ravens and magpies • Starlings • Weavers and allies • Waxbills and allies • Buntings, sparrows, seedeaters and allies • Siskins, crossbills and allies • Sparrows

See also       References       External links


Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Bangladesh.

Storm petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae

The storm petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 21 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Bangladesh.


Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.

Boobies and gannets[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium to large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish.


Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colourful.


Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

Darters are often called "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark-brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving.


Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes.

Bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills. There are 61 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Bangladesh. (Note: in Bangla short-legged, short beaked herons and egrets are called Bok, all other herons egrets and storks are generically called Sarosh)

  • Grey heron, Ardea cinerea
  • White-bellied heron, Ardea insignis
  • Purple heron, Ardea purpurea
  • Eastern great egret, Ardea modesta
  • Intermediate egret, Ardea intermedia
  • Little egret, Egretta garzetta
  • Pacific reef heron, Egretta sacra
  • Indian pond heron, Ardeola grayii
  • Chinese pond heron, Ardeola bacchus
  • Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
  • Striated heron, Butorides striata
  • Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
  • Malayan night heron, Gorsachius melanolophus
  • Yellow bittern, Ixobrychus sinensis
  • Cinnamon bittern, Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
  • Black bittern, Ixobrychus flavicollis
  • Great bittern, Botaurus stellaris

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers.


Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory.

  • Painted stork, Mycteria leucocephala (A)
  • Asian openbill, Anastomus oscitans
  • Black stork, Ciconia nigra
  • Woolly-necked stork, Ciconia episcopus
  • White stork, Ciconia ciconia
  • Oriental stork, Ciconia boyciana
  • Black-necked stork, Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus (A)
  • Lesser adjutant, Leptoptilos javanicus
  • Greater adjutant, Leptoptilos dubius (A)


Order: Phoenicopteriformes   Family: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) tall, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume and, uniquely, are used upside-down. There are 6 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Bangladesh.

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating.

  • Lesser whistling duck, Dendrocygna javanica
  • White-winged duck, Cairina scutulata
  • Comb duck, Sarkidiornis melanotos
  • Cotton pygmy goose, Nettapus coromandelianus
  • Falcated duck, Mareca falcata
  • Northern pintail, Anas acuta
  • Garganey, Spatula querquedula
  • Red-crested pochard, Netta rufina
  • Common pochard, Aythya ferina
  • Ferruginous pochard, Aythya nyroca
  • Baer's pochard, Aythya baeri
  • Greater scaup, Aythya marila
  • Common goldeneye, Bucephala clangula


Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

The family Pandionidae contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

Hawks, kites and eagles[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight.

  • Jerdon's baza, Aviceda jerdoni
  • Black baza, Aviceda leuphotes
  • Crested honey buzzard, Pernis ptilorhynchus
  • Black kite, Milvus migrans
  • Brahminy kite, Haliastur indus
  • White-bellied sea eagle, Haliaeetus leucogaster
  • Pallas's fish eagle, Haliaeetus leucoryphus
  • Grey-headed fish eagle, Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
  • White-rumped vulture, Gyps bengalensis
  • Slender-billed vulture, Gyps tenuirostris
  • Red-headed vulture, Sarcogyps calvus
  • Crested serpent eagle, Spilornis cheela
  • Eastern marsh harrier, Circus spilonotus
  • Pallid harrier, Circus macrourus
  • Pied harrier, Circus melanoleucos
  • Crested goshawk, Accipiter trivirgatus
  • Japanese sparrowhawk, Accipiter gularis
  • Besra, Accipiter virgatus
  • Eurasian sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus
  • White-eyed buzzard, Butastur teesa
  • Black eagle, Ictinaetus malaiensis
  • Lesser spotted eagle, Clanga pomarina
  • Greater spotted eagle, Clanga clanga
  • Changeable hawk-eagle, Nisaetus cirrhatus

Caracaras and falcons[edit]

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. There are 62 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Bangladesh.

Pheasants and partridges[edit]

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quail, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowl, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowl and jungle fowl. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Bangladesh.

  • Black francolin, Francolinus francolinus
  • Swamp francolin, Francolinus gularis
  • Rain quail, Coturnix coromandelica
  • Blue-breasted quail, Coturnix chinensis
  • Jungle bush quail, Perdicula asiatica
  • Manipur bush quail, Perdicula manipurensis
  • Rufous-throated partridge, Arborophila rufogularis (A)
  • White-cheeked partridge, Arborophila atrogularis
  • Mountain bamboo partridge, Bambusicola fytchii
  • Painted spurfowl, Galloperdix lunulata
  • Red junglefowl, Gallus gallus
  • Kalij pheasant, Lophura leucomelanos
  • Grey peacock-pheasant, Polyplectron bicalcaratum
  • Green peafowl, Pavo muticus


Order: Gruiformes   Family: Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are 15 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Bangladesh.

Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers.

  • Brown-cheeked rail, Rallus indicus
  • Slaty-legged crake, Rallina eurizonoides
  • Slaty-breasted rail, Gallirallus striatus
  • White-breasted waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus
  • Black-tailed crake, Amaurornis bicolor
  • Baillon's crake, Porzana pusilla
  • Ruddy-breasted crake, Porzana fusca
  • Watercock, Gallicrex cinerea
  • Grey-headed swamphen, Porphyrio poliocephalus
  • Common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus

Sungrebe and finfoots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Heliornithidae

Heliornithidae is a small family of tropical birds with webbed lobes on their feet similar to those of grebes and coots.


Order: Otidiformes   Family: Otididae

Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays. There are 26 species worldwide and only 1 species which occurs in Bangladesh.


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Turnicidae

The buttonquails are small, drab, running birds which resemble the true quails. The female is the brighter of the sexes and initiates courtship. The male incubates the eggs and tends the young.


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Jacanidae

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found throughout the tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. There 8 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Bangladesh.


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Rostratulidae

Painted-snipe are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Bangladesh.


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are 11 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Bangladesh.

Avocets and stilts[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Bangladesh.


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Burhinidae

The stone-curlews are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats.

Pratincoles and coursers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Glareolidae

Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long, pointed bills which curve downwards. There are 17 species worldwide and only 1 species which occurs in Bangladesh.

Plovers and lapwings[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. There are 66 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Bangladesh.

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 9 species which have been recorded in Bangladesh.

  • Wood snipe, Gallinago nemoricola
  • Pintail snipe, Gallinago stenura
  • Swinhoe's snipe, Gallinago megala
  • Common snipe, Gallinago gallinago
  • Black-tailed godwit, Limosa limosa
  • Nordmann's greenshank, Tringa guttifer
  • Great knot, Calidris tenuirostris
  • Spoon-billed sandpiper, Calidris pygmeus (A)
  • Ruff, Calidris pugnax

Skuas and jaegers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

  • Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
  • Brown-headed gull, Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus
  • Pallas's gull, Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus
  • Caspian gull, Larus cachinnans
  • Lesser black-backed gull, Larus fuscus
  • Gull-billed tern, Gelochelidon nilotica
  • Great crested tern, Thalasseus bergii
  • Lesser crested tern, Thalasseus bengalensis
  • Sandwich tern, Thalasseus sandvicensis
  • River tern, Sterna aurantia
  • Black-naped tern, Sterna sumatrana
  • Common tern, Sterna hirundo
  • Black-bellied tern, Sterna acuticauda
  • Little tern, Sternula albifrons
  • White-winged tern, Chlidonias leucopterus
  • Whiskered tern, Chlidonias hybrida
  • White tern, Gygis alba
  • Lesser noddy, Anous tenuirostris
  • Indian skimmer, Rynchops albicollis


Order: Pterocliformes   Family: Pteroclidae

Sandgrouse have small, pigeon like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. Their legs are feathered down to the toes. There are 16 species worldwide and only 1 species which occurs in Bangladesh.

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere.

  • Rock pigeon, Columba livia
  • Pale-capped pigeon, Columba punicea
  • Spotted dove, Spilopelia chinensis
  • Barred cuckoo-dove, Macropygia unchall
  • Orange-breasted green pigeon, Treron bicincta
  • Ashy-headed green pigeon, Treron phayerei
  • Thick-billed green pigeon, Treron curvirostra
  • Yellow-footed green pigeon, Treron phoenicoptera
  • Pin-tailed green pigeon, Treron apicauda
  • Wedge-tailed green pigeon, Treron sphenura
  • Green imperial pigeon, Ducula aenea

Old World parrots[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittaculidae

Cuckoos and anis[edit]

Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs.

  • Pied cuckoo, Clamator jacobinus
  • Chestnut-winged cuckoo, Clamator coromandus
  • Large hawk-cuckoo, Hierococcyx sparverioides
  • Common hawk-cuckoo, Hierococcyx varius
  • Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo, Hierococcyx nisicolor
  • Himalayan cuckoo, Cuculus saturatus
  • Indian cuckoo, Cuculus micropterus
  • Lesser cuckoo, Cuculus poliocephalus
  • Banded bay cuckoo, Cacomantis sonneratii
  • Plaintive cuckoo, Cacomantis merulinus
  • Asian emerald cuckoo, Chrysococcyx maculatus
  • Violet cuckoo, Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus
  • Square-tailed drongo-cuckoo, Surniculus lugubris
  • Fork-tailed drongo-cuckoo, Surniculus dicruroides
  • Asian koel, Eudynamys scolopacea
  • Green-billed malkoha, Phaenicophaeus tristis
  • Sirkeer malkoha, Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii
  • Lesser coucal, Centropus bengalensis

Barn owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Bangladesh, (Bangla: pecha).

Typical owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.

  • Indian scops owl, Otus bakkamoena
  • Collared scops owl, Otus lettia
  • Rock eagle-owl, Bubo bengalensis
  • Spot-bellied eagle-owl, Bubo nipalensis
  • Dusky eagle-owl, Bubo coromandus
  • Brown fish owl, Ketupa zeylonensis
  • Tawny fish owl, Ketupa flavipes
  • Buffy fish owl, Ketupa ketupu (A)
  • Collared owlet, Glaucidium brodiei
  • Asian barred owlet, Glaucidium cuculoides
  • Jungle owlet, Glaucidium radiatum
  • Spotted owlet, Athene brama
  • Brown hawk-owl, Ninox scutulata


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Podargidae

The frogmouths are a group of nocturnal birds related to the nightjars. They are named for their large flattened hooked bill and huge frog-like gape, which they use to take insects. There are 12 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Bangladesh.


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. There are 86 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Bangladesh.


Order: Apodiformes   Family: Apodidae


Copsychus saularis - Oriental magpie-robin (Bangla: doweel), the national bird of Bangladesh
Podiceps cristatus - great crested grebe (Bangla: chokha)
Threskiornis melanocephalus - black-headed ibis
Ciconia ciconia white stork, (Bangla Sarosh {generic for all herons and storks})
Mountain bamboo partridge
Masked finfoot Heliopais personata
Bengal florican Houbaropsis bengalensis
Barred buttonquail Turnix suscitator taigoor
Gull-billed tern Gelochelidon nilotica
Yellow-footed green pigeon

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