Birds of India

Birds on Silk Cotton Tree


Silk cotton trees comprise eight species in the genus Bombax, native to the Indian subcontinent, tropical Southeast Asia, northern Australia and tropical Africa. The Bombax ceiba  is a tall, fast growing deciduous tree that produces open, red, cup-shaped, nectar rich flowers during January to March. Flowers last for a day and are visited by a variety of bird species seeking the abundant nectar and simultaneously pollinating them. Some birds and mammals also eat the floral parts or whole flowers. Flowering continues for about a month. Common names for the genus include Red Silk-cotton Tree, Simal, Indian Kapok and Indian Cottonwood.

In this photo essay we present a selection of bird species that visit the flowering Bombax across India. Most of the visitors come for the plentiful nectar, but some use the tall branches to perch.

 We are looking to add more species as and when images are available. In case you have an image of a new species on a flowering Silk Cotton anywhere in India, you can mail me a small image at and I will be happy to add it..


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Image contributors on this page:
Garima Bhatia: Red-billed Blue Magpie
Amit Ghosh: Rufous Treepie
Subhasis Roy: Great Barbet, Grey Treepie
Ratna Ghosh: Vernal Hanging Parakeet
Rest of the images by Sumit Sen


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