The park is regarded as a paradise for the avian world and pilgrimage for the bird lovers. It was known as the best duck shooting resort in the british empire. But, was declared a reserve for birds in 1956 and later upgraded to national park. UNESCO has listed it as a world heritage site.
The park sprawls over an area of 29 sq. kms. And its geographical location is considered ideal, as it lies on the main north – south avian route of india. It boasts to house more than 375 species of beautiful birds. More than 132 species breed inside the park and the list keeps on multiplying with every passing years. The sanctuary not only attracts birds from india but also from places like Europe, Siberia, China and Tibet.
Before the advent of monsoons, a large number of exotic birds roost and nest building activities start on the babool and kadam trees of the park. The water coming through the ‘Ajan Bandh’ starts filling the various ponds and lakes of the park. When assured of enough food, hundreds of large, medium and little cormorant, darter, purple and grey heron, various species of egret, painted, open – billed, white necked and black necked stork, white ibis, spoonbill, night heron and other birds get busy in couting and mating. The trees are overflooded with nests and one can observe a single tree having more than fifty nests, belonging to different bird species. The beautiful nests hanging on the trees look like pearl necklaces.
With the advent of monsoons, birds from various parts of the country head for the park. Daily arrivals includes egrets, grey herons, painted storks, open billed storks, black necked storks and Indian shags. The water-fowls visit the park in millions during the month of October. Siberian cranes, the pride of keoladeo, are the most distinguished guests of the park. The ducks spotted here are pintail, commoteal, ruddy shelduck, mallard, widgeon, shoveler, common shelduck, red crested pochard, gadwall etc. the predatory birds like imperial eagle, steppe and tawny eagle, spotted eagle, marsh harrier and laggar falcon are attracted towards the park, which completes the avian food chain of the ecosystem. Some predatory birds like short-toed eagle, lesser spotted eagle and shikra are the residents of park. About 11 sq. km. area of the park is covered with water, the remaining portion is rich with kingfisher, red vented and white cheeked bulbuls, babblers, quails, partridges, sunbirds, sparrows, parakeets orioles, which live in bushes and burrows. The park remains busy all over the year with activities of the winged beauties, but the best time to visit is from October to march.
The park is also home to animals like, black buck, sambhar, spotted deer, and nilgais. Pythons can also be observed at some places lazing in the sun.
Vehicles are only permitted up to shanty kutir inside the park. The electra van of the forest department can be engaged in the sanctuary. The best way to explore the park is on foot or bicycles which are available on hire. Cycle rickshaws can also be hired.