Birding at M. S. Swaminathan Botanical Garden

Little Spider Hunter Photo: Rajeev

M. S. Swaminathan Botanical Garden (MSSBG) is spread over 17 ha with diverse representative species of tropical flora consisting of crop wild relatives, wild orchids, medicinal plants, germplasm of a variety of food plants such as roots, tubers, legumes, citrus, and wild edible greens. Differing from the conventional concept of Botanical Gardens, MSSBG gives equal priority to ‘wild, natural and cultivated’, as well  as ‘traditional and horticultural species’ among the diversity of plants. The Garden pays special attention to conservation of wild food plant species and Rare, Endemic and Threatened (‘RET’) species, especially trees of South Western Ghats/Malabar region. In addition, scientific, educational and recreational activities are being undertaken and promoted to create greater awareness among both the scientific as well as lay community.

The botanical garden is home to many faunal groups such as birds, butterflies, dragon flies, spiders and a few animal species. Being adjacent to a natural forest landscape, MSSBG is a remarkable location for birding with many endemics present. With 12% (1,300 species) of global bird diversity , India is known for its remarkable richness. More than 600 species of birds are recorded from Western Ghats alone, of which 20 are endemic, being found no where else in the wild. and Wayanad’s diverse ecosystem supports about half that number. It is a region of unusual bird diversity, thanks to the high- altitude mountains, evergreen biotope, vast wetlands and its unique seasonal forests. MSSBG is an ecotone between farmlands and natural forests and nearly 80 species of birds, including many endemics call it home.Elusive migratory birds also arrive from northern hemisphere as winter commences. In addition, it’s a roosting and nesting habitat for various species of birds. Treasure your moments of birding in the province.