The Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary is located in the Begusarai District of the Indian State of Bihar, about 22 kilometers north of the Begusarai Town. Also known as the Kanwar Taal, it is a freshwater ox-bow lake created by the meandering nature of the Burhi Gandak River and is spread over a 67.5 square kilometer area. Established as a Protected Area in the year 1987, this lake provides a dazzling nest for a number of floral and faunal species which take up important positions in the ecological pyramid. These wetlands are vital links between the relict and highly evolved species, and such requires to be conserved.
The vegetation cover located within the Park comprises of Bamboo, Neem, Sissoo, Sohar, Siris, Imili, Khajur, Tar and Babool. The wildlife found within the Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary includes Jackals, Rhesus Macaque, Indian Fox, Common Mongoose, Palm Squirrel and Nilgai. The reptiles dwelling within these areas are Tortoises, Water Snakes, Dhaman, Krait, Cobra and Lizards. The Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary is home to over 40 species of fishes, which thrive within this lake.
The Sanctuary is also home to over 106 species of resident birds and over 60 species of migratory birds from Central Asia visiting every winter season. Some of the prominent bird species of Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary include the Yellow Throated Sparrow, Purple Rumped Sunbird, Magpie Robin, Jungle Babbler, Tailor Bird, Black Drongo, Bush Lark, Palm Swift, Spotted Owlet, Painted Snipe, Red Wattled Lapwing, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Winged Kite, Black Red Start, Swallow, Terns and the endangered Oriental White-Backed Vulture & the Long Billed Vulture.
Begusarai is the nearest city on National Highway No. 28 & 31, and through a State Highway Road network with the rest of the region. Patna is the closest Airport, while Begusarai itself is the nearest Railway Station. However, apart from the monsoon, October to June is the best time to visit the Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary.
Painted Stork: It is a large wading bird of the Stork family found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia in the south of the Himalayas. They forage in flocks in shallow waters along rivers and lakes with half open beaks immerged in water and sweep them from side to side. They nest colonially in trees along with other water birds. Recorded within the Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary, they are non-migratory and only make short distance movements in response to food and for breeding. Like all other Storks, they are often found soaring on thermals.