This tiny hamlet in Rajasthan is one of the last strongholds of the Lesser Florican and your front-row seat to witness the unique courtship display of these exceptional trampoline artists
Merely 40km from Ajmer in Rajasthan, the village of Shokaliya (pronounced as so-kh-liya) has captured the attention of the birding community in recent years. It is home to one of the most sought-after avian species in Eastern Asia—the Lesser Florican (Sypheotides Indicus) or Likh or Kharmor (which translates to ‘grass peacock’ in Hindi), the smallest of India’s three resident bustards. Once found in abundant numbers, the endemic bustard has today vanished from much of its historical ranges due to hunting and the rapid obliteration of grasslands. Identified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, it is believed that there are hardly 730 mature Lesser Floricans in the country today.
Shokaliya also harbours a variety of grassland birds like Savanna Nightjar, Rain Quail, Jungle Bush-Quail, Grey Francolin, Indian Eagle-Owl, Indian Roller, European Roller (passage migrant), Paddyfield Pipit, Pied Cuckoo, Eurasian Collared Dove, Indian Silverbill, Indian Peafowl, Laughing Dove, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, shrikes, bushlarks and more.
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