India 2016 (part LIII): Khichan

Khichan, Rajasthan:

Demoiselle Cranes in Khichan

Demoiselle Cranes in Khichan

In the early morning, I left Bikaner and its beautiful surroundings for the long drive to Jaisalmer. On the way, I stopped at Khichan which is famous for its large flocks of Demoiselle Cranes.


Khichan is a tiny and rather unremarkable village, which is visited by several thousand Demoiselle Cranes each winter. Locals started to feed the migrating birds in the 1970s and since then their numbers increased strongly – today the village is an important resting point for the species. Each morning, the cranes descend into an enclosed square where birdseed has been distributed. Due to a drastic decline in tourism caused by the demonitisation, I was the only visitor that morning and had the fantastic sight all to myself! After the feeding was over, my driver/guide showed me the nearby dam where the cranes gathered to drink and rest during the daytime.

Following the spectacle in Khichan, we continued our journey towards Jaisalmer. My guide/driver stopped at several dams to look out for some more wildlife and as you can see on the following photographs, we were quite lucky!

We reached Jaisalmer in the late evening and since I worked throughout the coming days, I did not take a lot of photographs of the otherwise charming city! After field work was finished, I returned to Jaipur for a couple of days before the following trip brought me to Gujarat – check out the next post!

14 responses to “India 2016 (part LIII): Khichan

  1. Thanks for taking us to Khichan, Matthias. I enjoyed all the wildlife and especially the birds. The laggar falcon strikes me as rare. And the Demoiselle Cranes are truly gorgeous. I read that the D. Cranes have an arduous migration over the Himalayans, so it is wonderful that the recent tradition of feeding them in Khichan continues. Interesting post, as always.

  2. Pingback: Video: Demoiselle Cranes in Khichan (India 2016) | wild life·

  3. Pingback: India 2016 (part LIV): Lothal | wild life·

  4. Those Demoiselle crane photos are spectacular! Your photography is breathtaking.
    I’d never even heard of some of those birds. Thanks for enlightening me!
    From http:/

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