Friday, July 14, 2023

Shekha Bird Sanctuary

Shekha Bird Sanctuary UPSC

The Shekha Bird Sanctuary is a freshwater perennial water body located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Established following the formation of the Upper Ganges Canal in 1852, the sanctuary spans an area of 25 hectares (62 acres) and is maintained by the Forest Department.

The Shekha Bird Sanctuary is home to numerous avian residents, including waterbirds, waders, raptors, songbirds, and various migratory species that overwinter in the area. The sanctuary's wildlife extends beyond birds and may include wetland animals such as amphibians, reptiles, and fish. Additionally, small mammals like rodents and larger mammals like deer and wild boars might be found in the surrounding areas.

Table of Contents

  • Shekha Bird Sanctuary Location
  • Shekha Bird Sanctuary History
  • Shekha Bird Sanctuary Area
  • Shekha Bird Sanctuary Lake
  • Shekha Bird Sanctuary Flora
  • Shekha Bird Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Shekha Bird Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Shekha Bird Sanctuary Location

Shekha Bird Sanctuary is located near the village of Shekha in Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is situated 17 km (11 mi) east of Aligarh and 5 km (3.1 mi) from the Grand Trunk Road (GT Road). 

Shekha Bird Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Shekha Bird Sanctuary is the Indira Gandhi International Airport  in New Delhi. It is located approximately 135 kilometers (84 miles) away from Aligarh. Travelers can reach Aligarh from the airport by hiring a taxi or taking a train or bus.

Shekha Bird Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Shekha Bird Sanctuary is the Aligarh Junction Railway Station. It is located around 17 kilometers (11 miles) west of the sanctuary. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus or auto-rickshaw to reach the Shekha Bird Sanctuary.

Shekha Bird Sanctuary History

The Shekha Bird Sanctuary, located near the village of Shekha in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India, is a freshwater perennial water body that has a rich history. 

Formation of the Upper Ganges Canal: The Upper Ganges Canal, constructed in 1852, played a crucial role in the formation of the Shekha Bird Sanctuary. This canal, which flows adjacent to the sanctuary, provided a perennial water source that attracted a diverse range of bird species to the area.

Management by the Forest Department: The Shekha Bird Sanctuary is currently managed and maintained by the Forest Department. This ensures the protection and preservation of the sanctuary's natural resources, including the lake and its surrounding habitat. The Forest Department likely implements measures to conserve the biodiversity of the area, promote eco-tourism, and educate visitors about the importance of bird conservation.

Shekha Bird Sanctuary Area

The Shekha Bird Sanctuary covers an area of 25 hectares (62 acres), making it a relatively compact sanctuary dedicated to the conservation of avian species. The sanctuary offers a diverse range of habitats for birds to thrive.

With its size of 25 hectares, the sanctuary provides ample space for various bird species to find suitable nesting grounds, feeding areas, and resting places. This compact area allows for easier management and monitoring of the sanctuary's ecological balance, ensuring the well-being of its avian inhabitants.

Within the sanctuary's boundaries, visitors can expect to find a variety of landscapes, such as wetlands, woodlands, and grasslands, which attract different types of birds. These diverse habitats offer a range of resources, including water bodies, vegetation, and food sources, which support a vibrant bird population throughout the year.

Shekha Bird Sanctuary Lake

The Shekha Bird Sanctuary Lake is a freshwater perennial water body that originated following the construction of the Upper Ganges Canal in 1852. This canal runs alongside the lake, ensuring a consistent water supply that is vital for the sanctuary's ecosystem. The Shekha Bird Sanctuary Lake is under the care and maintenance of the Forest Department, responsible for its preservation and protection.

The formation of the Upper Ganges Canal in 1852 played a significant role in the creation of the Shekha Bird Sanctuary Lake. The canal's construction resulted in the development of a freshwater habitat, attracting a diverse array of bird species to the area. The availability of a perennial water source is crucial for supporting the sanctuary's ecosystem, providing nesting sites, feeding grounds, and shelter for numerous bird species.

Shekha Bird Sanctuary Flora

The Shekha Bird Sanctuary boasts a diverse array of flora, contributing to its ecological richness and providing essential habitats for a variety of bird species. The sanctuary supports a range of plant life that supports the avian ecosystem.

(1) Wetland Vegetation:

As a bird sanctuary with a freshwater lake, the Shekha Bird Sanctuary is likely to harbor various wetland vegetation. This may include emergent plants such as reeds, rushes, and water lilies. These aquatic plants not only provide nesting sites and cover for birds but also help maintain water quality and stabilize the lake's ecosystem.

(2) Riparian Vegetation:

Given the sanctuary's proximity to the Upper Ganges Canal and the presence of a perennial water body, riparian vegetation is expected to flourish along the banks of the lake. Riparian plants, such as willows, shrubs, and grasses, play a vital role in preventing soil erosion, providing shade, and creating suitable habitats for birds and other wildlife.

(3) Woodland and Scrubland Plants:

Beyond the wetland and riparian areas, the Shekha Bird Sanctuary feature pockets of woodland and scrubland vegetation. These areas could be composed of trees like neem, babul, and peepal, along with shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers. Such habitats offer shelter, nesting opportunities, and food sources for a wide variety of bird species.

(4) Agricultural Fields:

The surrounding landscape of the sanctuary include agricultural fields. These fields can attract certain bird species that utilize the crops or forage for insects and seeds. Depending on the crops grown, vegetation such as wheat, rice, mustard, and sugarcane might be present in the vicinity.

Shekha Bird Sanctuary Fauna (Shekha Bird Sanctuary Animals)

The Shekha Bird Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna, including a variety of bird species and other wildlife. The sanctuary provides a suitable habitat for numerous avian residents as well as other animals.


While the primary focus of the sanctuary is on avian conservation, there may also be a presence of mammals within the Shekha Bird Sanctuary. Common mammalian species that might be found in the surrounding areas include small mammals like rodents, hares, and mongoose. 


As a bird sanctuary, the Shekha Bird Sanctuary is renowned for its rich bird population. It attracts both resident and migratory species, making it an excellent destination for birdwatching. Some notable avian species found in the sanctuary include:

  • Black-necked stork
  • White ibis
  • Spoonbill
  • Greylag goose
  • Bar-headed goose
  • Lesser whistling teal
  • Ruddy shelduck
  • Northern pintail
  • Common teal
  • Indian spot-billed duck
  • Sarus crane
  • Asian openbill stork
  • Red-breasted flycatcher
  • Black- necked stork
  • Wooly-necked stork
  • Common Pochard
  • Ferruginous Duck
  • Ferruginous Duck
  • Baer's Pochard
  • Tufted Duck
  • Indian Peafowl
  • Little Grebe
  • Asian Openbill
  • Common Quail
  • Black Francolin
  • Gray Francolin
  • Woolly-necked Stork
  • Black-necked Stork
  • Little Cormorant
  • Great Cormorant
  • Eurasian Spoonbill
  • Black-shouldered Kite
  • Egyptian Vulture
  • Booted Eagle
  • Purple Heron
  • Cattle Egret
  • Indian Pond-Heron
  • Black-headed Ibis
  • Red-naped Ibis
  • Bonelli's Eagle
  • Shikra
  • Black Kite
  • Egyptian vulture


  • Snakes
  • Turtles
  • Lizards

Shekha Bird Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Shekha Bird Sanctuary?

A. Shekha Bird Sanctuary is located near the village of Shekha in Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh, India. 

Shekha Bird Sanctuary

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