The Long-billed Vulture (LBV) has been a threatened species especially following the use of the drug Diclofenac (source Wiki) by cattle farmers. Recently these species were flagged under the “critically endangered” category. Having seen many posts of these Vultures at Ramanagaram, we decided to go there this morning. Many thanks to Ashwini Bhat for providing us detailed information about this place.

LongBilledVutureSilhoutte LongBilledVuture

We had only one agenda for this trip: to see the LBV. But even before we could start looking for them we sighted the Scaly Breasted Munia (our first sighting), a few Indian Robins, Ashy Prinias, WT Kingfishers, Laughing Dove and also an Egyptian Vulture (in flight).

A look through the binoculars on a far-off rock yielded the sighting of a solitary Long Billed Vulture. We set base at the opposite rock and sat watching this lone bird. We saw it preening itself, spreading its wings, walking around the crevice; spent a good one hour with it. It was very far but we were thoroughly engrossed observing its behavior. We were considering ourselves fortunate to have sighted at least one when suddenly there was a spurt of activity. Three others landed, some took off again. At one time, we could see three sitting on the rock and atleast five in flight, with one flying directly above us (and very close). It was an awesome sight.

TreePipit YellowThroatedBulbul

Having had our heart’s fill of sightings of the vultures, we headed towards the Ramadevara Betta. After climbing a few hundred steps, we reached the Rama temple. The area around the temple was productive for birding. We had our first sighting of the endemic Yellow-Throated Bulbul. After the temple, the trail led us to the top of the hill. Towards the end were a few steep steps carved out in a huge rock (scary, but safe). At the top, was a plateau where there were not many birds. We did see some tree pipits, the rock agama, some lizard and amazing 360 degree views of the area. With the gentle cool breeze and the solitude of the place we had a very peaceful and soothening experience.

CrimsonTip Lizard

On the way back, we stopped by a few trees where many Bulbuls (Red Whiskered, Red Vented, Yellow Throated) could be seen and heard. Also, there were quite a few Sunbirds (Purple Rumped, Lotens), Flowerpeckers and Oriental White-eyes hopping from tree to tree. A lot of beautiful, multi-colored butterflies could be seen all along the way down.

A hearty lunch at Kamat Lokaruchi topped up an extremely satisfying birding session.

RamanagaramLandscape1 RamanagaramLandscape




10 Responses to “Ramanagaram”

  1. 1 Anonymous
    June 25, 2007 at 12:19 am

    Enjoyed the post and the pics very much…music commitments prevented us from birding (now, with the new 70-200 lens, KM wants to start, too!)…so it was nice to feel that I “went” to Ramnagaram!

    I do wish you could go to Nandi Hills on a weekday…it was just wonderful.

  2. 2 Uma
    June 25, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Hi N & S, lovely post as usual. Thanks a ton. Your landscape pics are fabulous, as are those of the crimson tip and the oriental garden lizard. Wish you could have got the scaly-breasted munia too! But most of all, wish I could have come along… :( Do let me know when you plan to go anywhere, and I’ll try and join up if it’s ok with you…

  3. 3 thoughtsinflight
    June 25, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks both for your comments.

    Deepa, time permitting we will definitely try to visit Nandi Hills on a week day. Amazed with your raptor sightings there.

    Uma, we did get a record shot of the SB Munia (link below). Hows your birding coming along? We’ll let you know when we plan our next trip.

    Scaly-breasted Munia Image

  4. 4 Pavithra
    September 4, 2007 at 4:47 pm


    Great pics..!
    I would like to go to Ramanagaram. But I am kinda new to Bangalore. Can I take a cab to that place? How about the transportation facilities? Any idea?? It would be really helpful if you can provide me some details.


  5. 5 thoughtsinflight
    September 6, 2007 at 8:09 am


    You sure could take a cab/rick to Ramanagaram. However we are not sure how safe/feasible it would be. We do not have information on public transport to Ramanagaram either.

    The best bet may be to join someone going there. People tend to visit Ramangaram often (for Rock Climbing, Bird-watching, or purely to visit the temple). If you are new around, it would help to piggyback on someone such.

  6. 6 Kalyan Banerjee
    June 25, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Planning for Ramanagaram trip this weekend. Would let you know what happens!

  7. 7 Subbu. Subramanya
    October 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Very few people understand that these Vultures are critically threatened and need to be left undisturbed. Getting anywhere close the ledges to take pictures like the ones included on this post or climbing on to the hill above the vulture ledges should be strictly avoided. Painfully, we have more of trophy hunters than concerned populace and want to add a feather to their egoistic crowns heralding about their escapades. With posts such as these, more people would crowd the area and become a nuisance and a source of disturbance to these birds. Thankfully with the Forest Department getting the area declared as a conservation Reserve, we should be able to put an end to all such mindless activities.

    Subbu (subbus@vsnl.com)

  8. 8 thoughtsinflight
    October 23, 2008 at 8:51 am


    This is in reference to your comment on our post on Ramanagaram (https://thoughtsinflight.wordpress.com/2007/06/24/ramanagaram/). Being birders, we very well understand the plight of long-billed vultures. All the same, we strongly feel the acrimony in your comment was uncalled for.

    1. Our post does not “disclose” directions to the vulture’s roosting site.

    2. Our post clearly mentions we were on the rock opposite the cliff (really far off). We never ventured close to the roosting site. This location is publicly used for “college music fests – with loudspeakers blarring music at insane volumes” and off-road jeep events (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4×4-off-roading/47713-off-roading-report-ramnagaram-sholay-hills.html).

    3. No vulture photograph of ours has appeared in any public forum. We are very sensitive towards this and have, at times, requested fellow photographers to avoid the same.

    We do appreciate nature and understand our “responsibility” towards it. While we also share your concern about photographers getting too close to birds, Ramanagaram is currently “PUBLIC” and you would find more couples climbing up the rocks for privacy than photographers for getting closeup pictures. The forest department’s action will indeed help in conservation of these magnificent birds – something that would be appreciated by all birders – you and us alike.

    Warm Regards,
    Neelu and Sachin

  9. February 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    was searching about LBV stumbled into this blog must say it was helpful for my plans to ramanagara

  10. July 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm

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