Dandeli is not known for a bird watcher’s paradise without good reason. It provides a nest to more than 200 bird species. Rare and exotic animals also find their way in the extensive range of fauna in the forest.
Apart from tigers, you can sight the Leopard, Spotted and Mouse Deer, Wild Dog, Gaur, Elephant, Civet, Jackal, Langur, and Giant Flying squirrel. Among the exotic inhabitants of the forest are the Barking Deer, Black Leopard, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Sloth Bear, and the Indian Pangolin.
Coming to Avifauna, the sheer number and variety of bird species found in and around Dandeli are simply enthralling, giving it fame for being true heaven for bird watchers and wildlife photographers looking to get that perfect shot. Probably the most intriguing bird found here is the Malabar Pied Hornbill. The bird is large in size (26 inches) with a black coat and patches of white on belly, throat, wing edges and tail sides. It has a curiously shaped helmet-like structure on top of its actual beak, known as a casque.
Apart from this curious avian, some other common bird species are Great Pied Hornbill, Blue-Throated Barbet, and Peregrine falcon. Indian Lorikeet & Malabar Parakeets, Velvet-fronted & Chestnut-bellied Nuthatches, Ceylon Frogmouth, Ruby-throated & Yellow-browed Bulbul, Hill Myna, Malabar Grey Hornbills, Black-throated and White-backed Munias, Blue-bearded & Chestnut-headed bee-eaters, Fairy Blue Bird, Little Spiderhunter, White-bellied and Brown-capped Pigmy woodpeckers, Dark-fronted Babblers, Malabar Trogon, Crested Goshawk, Speckled Piculet, and Gold-fronted & Blue-winged Leafbirds make up the massive bird population here. Some owl species such as Brown Fish, Mottled wood, Spot-bellied and Brown Wood are also found here.